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...
Current State of the Sharing Economy and Evacuations: Lessons from California

Current State of the Sharing Economy and Evacuations: Lessons from California

Authors: Stephen Wong and Susan Shaheen, PhD Date: June 2019 Abstract:  In many evacuations including wildfire evacuations, public agencies often do not have enough resources to evacuate and shelter all citizens. Consequently, we propose that the sharing economy, through private companies and/or private citizens, could be leveraged in disasters for transportation and sheltering resources. To assess this feasibility, we distributed surveys to individuals impacted by three major wildfires in California: 1) the 2017 October Northern California Wildfires (n=79), 2) the 2017 December Southern California Wildfires (n=226), and 3) the 2018 Carr Wildfire (n=284). Using these data, we find that private citizens are moderately to highly likely to share transportation and sheltering resources in future disasters, but numerous reservations persist about sharing. We also find significant spare capacity in evacuating  vehicles and potential homes. To supplement this work, we also conducted four focus groups (n=37) of vulnerable populations to determine the benefits and limitations of a sharing economy strategy in terms of equity. Groups included low-income (2017 December Southern California Wildfires), older adult (2017 October Northern California Wildfires), individuals with disabilities (2017 October Northern California Wildfires), and Spanish-speaking (2018 Mendocino Complex Wildfire). We find that while severe equity limitations exist, groups were able to develop several recommendations for successfully leveraging sharing economy resources for the general population and their specific vulnerable group. We conclude with several local agency and statewide recommendations for building a sharing economy framework for California to prepare for future evacuations. View...
MOD Sandbox Demonstrations Independent Evaluation: Los Angeles County and Puget Sound MOD First and Last Mile Partnership with Via Evaluation Plan

MOD Sandbox Demonstrations Independent Evaluation: Los Angeles County and Puget Sound MOD First and Last Mile Partnership with Via Evaluation Plan

Authors: Gustave Cordahi; Susan Shaheen, PhD; Elliot Martin, PhD; and Mikaela Hoffman-Stapleton Date: December 2018 Abstract:  Through a partnership-driven approach, LA Metro, KCM, ST, and Via (an on-demand transportation network company or TNC) will work together to develop, deploy, and analyze two analogous pilot programs designed to test the viability of transit agency-TNC partnerships to deliver equitable first- and last-mile access to the transit network. Three transit stations were selected in the Los Angeles region, and four stations were selected in the PS region for the pilot. Pilot locations were selected with strong consideration for equity, geographic diversity, current first and last mile access, potential trip generators, operational density, and current available transit service. Areas were also evaluated to determine where there is currently untapped demand, such as employment centers that are challenging to reach with the existing network. Upon pilot launch, customers will be able to request subsidized Via rides to or from the participating transit stations, within a specified radius of the transit station during specified times of the day. In the Los Angeles region, the selected stations are North Hollywood (Red Line Station in the City of Los Angeles), El Monte (Silver Line Station in the City of El Monte), and Artesia (Blue Line Station in the City of Compton). In the PS region, the selected stations are Tukwila International Boulevard Station, Othello Station, Columbia City Station, and Mount Baker Station (Link Right Rail Stations). The service will operate within defined regions around each station. The service areas were determined to ensure that each area’s unique mobility circumstances were properly considered. Time periods in which the...
MOD Sandbox Demonstrations Independent Evaluation: City of Palo Alto and Prospect Silicon Valley Bay Area Fair Value Commuting (FVC) Demonstration Project Evaluation Plan

MOD Sandbox Demonstrations Independent Evaluation: City of Palo Alto and Prospect Silicon Valley Bay Area Fair Value Commuting (FVC) Demonstration Project Evaluation Plan

Authors: Gustave Cordahi; Susan Shaheen, PhD; Elliot Martin, PhD; and Mikaela Hoffman-Stapleton Date: December 2018 Abstract: The Bay Area FVC Demonstration seeks to reduce Bay Area SOV commute share by implementing a FVC set of solutions designed to address many of the issues described above. Stanford University’s commute program provides the conceptual FVC starting point. Stanford reduced SOV from 75 percent to 50 percent (with transit share increasing from 8 percent to 31 percent), eliminating the need for $107 million in new parking structures. Two key concepts will be demonstrated with this project: An integrated “Commuter Wallet” software platform will attempt to maximize convenience for commuters to plan, compare, and pay for alternative transportation modes. Enterprise backend systems will be coordinated to present commute incentives and benefits seamlessly to employees. Either a “feebate” system or a “cash out” system will be demonstrated. A “feebate” system will simultaneously assess fees for SOV use (assigning a “fair value”) and redirect the income received to fund incentives for use of alternative transportation modes, creating a self-sustaining commute program. A “cash out” system is an incentive-based program where an incentive is paid to non-SOV employees. While a pure cash out program would not address the “fee” part, it is highly likely that a cash out program would generate measurable reductions in car use by participating employees. The FVC project consists of five components: Component #1: Enterprise Commute Trip Reduction (ECTR) software platforms automate employer commute programs. ECTR platforms will integrate with employer human resources and payroll functions and distribute benefits such as loading Clipper transit fare cards and allowing pre-tax commuter benefits purchase...
MOD Sandbox Demonstrations Independent Evaluation: CTA Integrated Fare Systems From Transit Fare to Bike Share Project Evaluation Plan

MOD Sandbox Demonstrations Independent Evaluation: CTA Integrated Fare Systems From Transit Fare to Bike Share Project Evaluation Plan

Authors: Gustave Cordahi; Susan Shaheen, PhD; and Elliot Martin, PhD Date: December 2018 Abstract: CTA has partnered with the Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT), whose customers have access to more than 580 Divvy Bike Share stations and over 5,800 bikes located throughout the region; this includes the ability to make connections to Divvy at 75 percent of CTA’s rail stations and nearly 50 percent of CTA’s bus stops. These connections greatly increase CTA’s reach throughout the Chicago metropolitan region. Divvy bikes are used by commuters, tourists and recreational riders for convenient and healthy trips around the downtown, in 44 city neighborhoods, and in 2 suburbs. To increase access to the bike sharing program, Divvy has recently placed 65 new stations in 12 primarily low-income neighborhoods and developed an alternative fee structure to encourage ridership. With CTA’s partners (CDOT, Cubic and Divvy), CTA has proposed two modifications to the Ventra App that will allow customers to more easily access Divvy bikes and establish a platform to expand this opportunity to other ride sharing modes of transportation in the future. 1. Phase 1 of the project will incorporate Divvy bike station locations and status in to the Ventra trip planner so that customers can identify, in real-time, the availability of a bike at their transit stop, or the availability of a docking station at the destination of their bike trip. The initial phase will also include a Deep Link to the existing Divvy App so that new customers can create a Divvy account, and existing Divvy members will be able to obtain a bike unlock code. 2. Phase 2 will further integrate Divvy functionality into the Ventra App so that customers can pay for their Divvy bike with their Ventra transit value or other payment source to receive...