Bridging the Gap Between Evacuations and the Sharing Economy

Authors: Stephen Wong, Joan Walker, and Susan Shaheen Date: April 2020 Abstract:  This paper examines the opportunities for addressing evacuations by leveraging the sharing economy. To support this research, we use a mixed-method approach employing archival research of sharing economy actions, 24 high-ranking expert interviews, and a survey of individuals impacted by Hurricane Irma in 2017 (n=645). Using these data, we contribute to the literature in four key ways. First, we summarize sharing economy company actions in 30 U.S. disasters. Second, we discuss results from 24 expert interviews on 11 sharing economy benefits (ranging from resource redundancy to positive company press coverage) and 13 limitations (ranging from driver reliability to the digital divide). Experts included six directors/executives of emergency/transportation agencies, two executives of sharing economy companies, and eight senior-level agency leaders. Third, we use these interviews, specifically negative opinions of the sharing economy, to inform our Hurricane Irma survey, which contributes empirical evidence of the feasibility of shared resources. Despite just 1.1% and 5.4% of respondents using transportation network companies (TNCs, also known as ridesourcing and ridehailing) and homesharing respectively during the Irma evacuation, some respondents were extremely willing to offer their own resources including transportation before evacuating (29.1%), transportation while evacuating (23.6%), and shelter for free (19.2%) in a future disaster. We also find spare capacity of private assets exists for future evacuations with just 11.1% and 16% of respondents without spare seatbelts and beds/mattresses, respectively. Finally, we conclude with practice-ready policy recommendations for public agencies to leverage shared resources including: communication partnerships, surge flagging (i.e., identifying and reducing unfair price increases), and community-based sharing systems. View...

Economic Assessment of Electric-Drive Vehicle Operation in California and Other U.S. Regions

Authors: Jeffrey Lidicker, Timothy Lipman, PhD, and Susan Shaheen, PhD Date: January 2010 Abstract:  This study examines the relative economics of electric vehicle operation in the context of current electricity rates in specific utility service territories. The authors examined 14 utility territories offering electric vehicle (EV) rates, focusing on California but also including other regions of theUnited States. The consumer costs of EV charging were examined in comparison with gasoline price data, geographic location, and during three highly variable gasoline price periods of July 2008, January 2009, and July 2009. In a switch from a conventional 23 mile per gallon (10.2liters/100 kilometers) vehicle to a 300 watt-hours/mile electric vehicle driven 10,000 miles (16,100 km) per year, the study finds that savings in fuel costs ranged from approximately $100US to $1,800US annually, with considerable geographic variation and with higher-endvalues mostly in Summer 2008 when gasoline prices were relatively high. Charging off-peak instead of during peak periods saves an average of only a few hundred dollars US per year,rendering the incentive to charge off-peak a relatively small one except perhaps during some summer months when the on-peak prices are especially high. Gasoline price variances have a larger effect and switching from a low fuel economy conventional vehicle to the reference EV(compared with a switch from an already efficient vehicle) presents the highest savings level. The West and Midwest are generally the most favorable regions for EV economics, when EV charging rates and gasoline prices are considered together. View...
Policy Brief: Social Equity Impacts of Congestion Management Strategies

Policy Brief: Social Equity Impacts of Congestion Management Strategies

Authors: Susan Shaheen, PhD, Adam Stocker, and Ruth Meza Date: December 2019 Abstract:  To better understand the equity implications of a variety of congestion management strategies, researchers at the Transportation Sustainability Research Center (TSRC) at University of California, Berkeley analyzed existing literature on congestion management strategies and findings from 12 expert interviews. The literature review applies the Spatial – Temporal – Economic – Physiological – Social (STEPS) Equity Framework to identify impacts and classify whether social equity barriers are reduced, exacerbated, or both by a particular strategy. The congestion management strategies of interest were categorized into six broader categories: 1) pricing, 2) parking and curb policies, 3) operational strategies, 4) infrastructure changes, 5) transportation services and strategies, and 6) conventional taxation. View...
Social Equity Impacts of Congestion Management Strategies Whitepaper

Social Equity Impacts of Congestion Management Strategies Whitepaper

Authors: Susan Shaheen, PhD, Adam Stocker, and Ruth Meza Date: December 2019 Abstract:  This white paper examines the social equity impacts of various congestion management strategies. The paper includes a comprehensive list of 30 congestion management strategies and a discussion of equity implications related to each strategy. The authors analyze existing literature and incorporate findings from 12 expert interviews from academic, non-governmental organization (NGO), public, and private sector respondents to strengthen results and fill gaps in understanding. The literature review applies the Spatial – Temporal – Economic – Physiological – Social (STEPS) Equity Framework (Shaheen et al., 2017) to identify impacts and classify whether social equity barriers are reduced, exacerbated, or both by a particular congestion mitigation measure. The congestion management strategies discussed are grouped into six main categories, including: 1) pricing, 2) parking and curb policies, 3) operational strategies, 4) infrastructure changes, 5) transportation services and strategies, and 6) conventional taxation. The findings show that the social equity impacts of certain congestion management strategies are not well understood, at present, and further empirical research is needed. Congestion mitigation measures have the potential to affect travel costs, commute times, housing, and accessibility in ways that are distinctly positive or negative for different populations. For these reasons, social equity implications of congestion management strategies should be understood and mitigated for in planning and implementation of these strategies. View...
Leveraging the Sharing Economy to Expand Shelter and Transportation Resources in California Evacuations

Leveraging the Sharing Economy to Expand Shelter and Transportation Resources in California Evacuations

Authors: Stephen Wong and Susan Shaheen, PhD Date: June 2019 Abstract: In 2017 and 2018, California was severely impacted by a number of devastating wildfires that required thousands of people to evacuate. These evacuations were hampered by poor communication, traffic congestion, and transportation and shelter resource deficiencies. To ensure that all citizens have both transportation and shelter in evacuations, agencies must consider alternative strategies for expanding resources, such as leveraging the sharing economy. This policy brief presents key research findings from the report “Current State of the Sharing Economy and Evacuations: Lessons from California” as well as policy recommendations for evacuation planning at the state and local level. View...