Mobile Apps and Transportation: A Review of Smartphone Apps and a Study of User Response to Multimodal Traveler Information

Mobile Apps and Transportation: A Review of Smartphone Apps and a Study of User Response to Multimodal Traveler Information

In recent years, technological and social forces have pushed smartphone applications (apps) from the fringe to the mainstream. Understanding the role of transportation apps in urban mobility is important for policy development and transportation planners. This study evaluates the role and impact of multimodal aggregators from a variety of perspectives, including a literature review; a review of the most innovative, disruptive, and highest-rated transportation apps; interviews with experts in the industry, and a user survey of former multimodal aggregator RideScout users. Between February and April 2016, researchers conducted interviews with experts to gain a stronger understanding about challenges and benefits of data sharing between private companies and public agencies. Key findings from the expert interviews include the critical need to protect user privacy; the potential to use data sharing to address integrated corridor and congestion management as well as various pricing strategies during peak hours; along with the potential benefits for improving coordination between the public and private sectors. In March 2016, researchers surveyed 130 people who had downloaded the RideScout app to evaluate attitudes and perceptions toward mobile apps, travel behavior, and modal shift. The goal was to enhance understanding of how the multimodal apps were impacting the transportation behavior. The survey did found that respondents used multimodal apps in ways that yielded travel that was less energy intensive and more supportive of public transit. Looking to the future, smartphone applications and more specifically multimodal aggregators, may offer the potential for transportation planners and policymakers to enhance their understanding of multimodal travel behavior, share data, enhance collaboration, and identify opportunities for public-private partnerships....

Peer-to-Peer Carsharing: Exploring Public Perception and Market Characteristics in the San Francisco Bay Area, California

Authors: Ingrid Ballús Armet, Susan Shaheen, Kelly Clonts, David Weinzimmer Published: January 27, 2014 Abstract: Peer-to-peer carsharing is an innovative approach to vehicle sharing in which vehicle owners temporarily rent their personal automobiles to others in their surrounding area. Peer-to-peer carsharing belongs to the larger sharing economy, an economic model premised on the notion of collaborative consumption as opposed to ownership. This study examined public perception of peer-to-peer carsharing and potential market characteristics through an intercept survey conducted in the San Francisco Bay Area, California. Three hundred respondents from 14 locations in San Francisco (n=150) and Oakland (n=150), California, were polled on their existing attitudes toward and perceptions of classic carsharing, peer-to-peer carsharing, and the sharing economy. The survey results indicate that there remains a low awareness of peerto-peer carsharing, with fewer than 50% of San Francisco respondents and 25% of Oakland respondents having heard of the term. Approximately 25% of surveyed vehicle owners would be willing to share their personal vehicles through peer-to-peer carsharing, citing liability and trust concerns as primary deterrents. Those who drove almost every day were less open to renting through peer-to-peer, while those who used public transit at least once per week expressed a greater interest in it. Overall, the results of this study indicate considerable interest in peer-to-peer carsharing: 60% of San Francisco respondents and 75% of Oakland respondents without vehicle access would consider renting a peer-to-peer vehicle. The top three reasons for using peer-to-peer carsharing are convenience and availability, monetary savings, and expanded mobility options. Further outreach and education are needed to raise awareness of this mobility innovation View...