Carsharing Continues to Gain Momentum

Authors: Susan Shaheen, PhD Date: July 2006 Abstract:  With auto ownership and fuel costs rising, people everywhere are seeking alternatives to private vehicle ownership. Carsharing (or short-term vehicle rentals) provides such an alternative through hourly rates and subscription-access plans, especially for individuals and businesses in major cities with good access to other transportation modes, such as transit and carpooling. The principle of carsharing is simple: individuals gain the benefits of private vehicle use without the costs and responsibilities of ownership. People involved in this typically join an organization that maintains a fleet of cars and light trucks in a network of locations, such as lots at transit stations or in neighborhoods or businesses. Most carsharing operators manage their services with some degree of modern computer-based technologies, which can include automated reservations, smart card vehicle access, and real-time vehicle tracking. For nearly 20 years, there has been growing worldwide participation in carsharing. Some 330,000 individuals—nearly two thirds of whom are in Europe—now share at least 10,500 vehicles as part of organized carsharing services (See Table 1 and Figure 1). Many of these operations began in Switzerland and Germany in the late 1980s and later spread to 12 other countries on the continent and to the United Kingdom. In the 1990s, North America and Asia also started professional carsharing activities. More recently, three carsharing initiatives were launched in Australia starting in 2003. View...

Travel Behavior of Mexican and Other Immigrant Groups in California

Authors: Susan Handy, Evelyn Blumenberg, Moira Donahue, Kristin Lovejoy, Caroline Rodier, Susan Shaheen, Kimiko Shiki, and Lily Song Date: January 2008 Abstract:  California is the destination for over one-quarter of immigrants to the United States, and immigrants now make up over one-quarter of the state’s population. To ensure that transportation systems and services adequately meet the needs of recent immigrants, planners need a firm understanding of the travel behavior of immigrant groups. This paper reports on key findings from a three-phased study: (1) analysis of data on commute travel of California immigrants from the 1980, 1990, and 2000 Censuses; (2) focus groups with recent Mexican immigrants on their transportation experiences and needs in six California regions; and (3) interviews with community-based organizations in nine California regions on the transportation needs and wants of Mexican immigrants. These findings point to a long list of potential strategies for agencies and organizations to consider in efforts to more effectively meet the transportation needs of Mexican and other immigrants in California. View...

Smart Parking Linked to Transit: Lessons Learned from Field Test in San Francisco Bay Area of California

Authors: Susan Shaheen and Charlene Kemmerer Date: January 2008 Abstract:  Rising demand for parking at suburban transit stations, such as the Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) District in California, necessitates strategies to manage traveler demand. To better manage parking supply, researchers implemented a smart parking field test at the Rockridge BART station from 2004 to 2006 to evaluate the effects of smart parking technologies (changeable message signs (CMSs), Internet reservations and billing, mobile phone and personal digital assistant communications, and a wireless parking lot counting system) on transit ridership and response to service pricing. Researchers employed expert interviews, Internet surveys, focus groups, and parking reservation data to conduct this analysis. Survey data indicated that the field test increased BART trips and resulted in 9.7 fewer miles per participant per month on average. Key lessons learned include that it would have been beneficial to anticipate additional time for project scoping and permitting, and fixed wayfinding signs were beneficial in both directing vehicles from the highway to the smart parking lot and addressing resident concerns about increased traffic. Additionally, the majority of participants continued to use the service when fees were implemented. However, the CMSs were not widely employed in users’ decision making processes in this application. Finally, the wireless counting system worked well, with the exception of the in-ground sensors, which were prone to miscounts. This paper provides an overview of the project and key literature, behavioral effects of the field test, and lessons learned. View...

Dynamics in Behavioral Response to Fuel-Cell Vehicle Fleet and Hydrogen Fueling Infrastructure

Authors: Susan Shaheen, Elliot Martin, and Timothy Lipman Date: January 2008 Abstract:  Transportation is a major contributor of carbon dioxide (CO2) and other greenhouse gas emissions from human activity. It accounts for approximately 14% of total anthropogenic emissions globally and about 27% in the United States. Growing concern regarding the impacts of climate change and greenhouse gas emissions has led to innovations in automotive and fuel technology. However, behavioral response to the newest transportation technologies, such as hydrogen fuel cell vehicles (FCVs) and fueling infrastructure, is not well understood. This paper examines the results of an exploratory F-Cell hydrogen fuel vehicle fleet study, which focused upon fleet drivers’ attitudes and perceptions over a seven-month period in 2006. The study employed a longitudinal survey design, with three phases and one focus group. There are limitations to the exploratory dataset generated from this study (e.g., small sample size, self-selection bias, and generalizability). However, the results of this study provide insights into participants’ response to the FCV and hydrogen infrastructure over time and can help to inform further inquiry. Higher levels of hydrogen exposure are correlated with increased comfort with hydrogen, especially among those who were less experienced. Early adopters generally felt safer driving the F-Cell than later adopters. Respondents mostly felt safe refueling the F-Cell. As experience with the F-Cell increased, participants felt increasingly safe with the F-Cell. Driving range was considered a limitation. Furthermore, over the course of the study, participant perception of vehicle range increased due to learning. View...

Transit-based smart parking: An evaluation of the San Francisco Bay area field test

Authors: Caroline Rodier and Susan Shaheen, PhD Date: April 2010 Abstract:  This paper presents an evaluation of the first transit-based smart parking project in the US at the San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) District station in Oakland, California. The paper begins with a review of the smart parking literature; next the smart parking field test is described including its capital, operational, and maintenance costs; and finally the results of the participant survey analysis are presented. Some key user response results are: (1) most participants used the smart parking system 1–3 days a month for commute travel and (2) 37% of respondents had seen the changeable message signs with parking information, but only 32% of those used this information to decide whether to continue driving or take BART. Some key changes in participant travel behavior include: (1) increases in BART mode share, (2) reductions in drive alone modal share, (3) decreased average commute time, and (4) an overall reduction in total vehicle miles of travel. View...