New TRB E-circular-- Multimobility and Sharing Economy: Shaping the Future Market Through Policy and Research

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This week TRB E-Circular 210, Multimobility and Sharing Economy: Shaping the Future Market Through Policy and Research was published.  Written by TSRC researchers Susan Shaheen, Adam Stocker, and Abhinav Bhattacharyya, the report covers the results of a wokshop that discussed the intersections of multimodal transportation, the sharing economy, and technology. 

Multimodal mobility is the use of a combination of different modes to get from one place to another. Multimodal mobility is growing in popularity, especially in urban centers with recurring problems associated with congestion, parking, and an overall lack of space. The shift from homogeneous to multimodal mobility has resulted in some shifts in the transportation sector, including land use and planning. Technology is moving at a tremendous pace, resulting in the evolution of modes like carsharing, carpooling, ridesharing, ridesourcing, bikesharing, and others, as well as improvements in existing public transit options. For riders, this has added a multitude of innovative mobility options, many of which were not available until recently. The sharing economy, which includes both business-to-consumer and peer-to-peer models of sharing of goods and services, has seen tremendous growth in the past decade. Many transportation startups—like Lyft and Uber which allow drivers to source rides to passengers using a platform to make money—leverage the concept of a sharing economy. Companies that are a part of the sharing economy have gained notable momentum in the past 5 years, giving rise to a multitude of service-based startups.

The full report can be found here

Closed July 1-July 4

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The ITS Library will be closed Friday July 1 for maintenance and Monday July 4 for the holiday. We will resume regular hours on Tuesday, July 5. 

This weekend, if you are going to a fireworks display, stay safe and sane while you sit in traffic leaving the event. There has been some research in how smart parking can help these kinds of events and how mobile networks can be leveraged to detect congestion more accurately. Crowd-sourced probe data can also be used to monitor the situation. And in areas where it's available bike share data can sense the pulse of activity, like Washington D.C. and the fireworks display at the Capitol Mall. 

ITS Library closed June 13-17

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Summer is upon us so the library will be closed next week, June 13-17, for a quick vacation. We will resume with normal library hours on June 20th. See you then!

Influence of weather on bus ridership

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It's going to be another warm week here in Berkeley, as the Summer unofficially begins. A new article, "The influence of weather on local geographical patterns of bus usage" by Sui Taoa, Jonathan Corcoranb, Mark Hickmana, and Robert Stimsonc, in the Journal of Transport Georgraphy that looks at how weather patterns affect bus ridership. 

This paper broadens the research on weather and public transport usage by considering the micro dynamics of the effect that various weather conditions impose on micro geographic patterns of bus ridership in Brisbane, Australia. A smart card data set and detailed measurements of weather, allied with a suite of statistical and visual analytic techniques, are employed to capture the effect of weather on the local variations of bus ridership. While changes in weather conditions do not significantly affect bus ridership at the system level, some marked influence was found for rainfall, wind speed and relative humidity at a sub-system level. In addition, discernible variations of both the magnitude and direction of weather's effect were found at the sub-system level. Developing a more geographically detailed understanding of the effect of weather on public transport services serves as a critical first step towards establishing a more weather-resilient public transport system. This new understanding has the potential to contribute to an evidence base that can be used to proactively adjust public transport services in response to changes in weather conditions across different parts of the network. Further research is needed to assess how transferable our findings are to other public transport and climatic contexts.

The article can be read here

ITS Library Closed 5/27-5/30 for Memorial Day

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We'll be closed Friday May 27 through Monday May 30th in observance of Memorial Day. We will resume our normal hours on Tuesday, May 31. 

Memorial Day kicks off the United States' summer travel season, which means more traffic. Much has been written about the correlation of highway crashes and holiday weekends. There's been some recent work on how to forecast holiday travel with seasonal traffic models. Other researchers have explored how integrated multimodal travel information services might help alleviate holiday traffic patterns

Whatever your plans are this weekend, have a nice one! 

New issue of ACCESS out now!


ACCESS Magazine issue 48 (Spring 2016) is out now! 

Articles in the issue cover a range of topics from airport capactiy to balancing transportation investment and fragile environments.  You can read the whole issue online or wait a week, and we'll have hard copies in the library.

ACCESS is sponsored by UCCONNECT

Uber and Lyft Leave Austin After Voters Reject Less Regulations on Ride-Hailing Apps.

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This weekend Austin voters went to the polls vote on Prop 1, which if passed would have eased the regulation on finger prints and background checks for rideshare drivers in the city. The proposition failed, only garnering 44% of the Yes vote. Uber and Lyft spent $8million campaigning for Prop 1, but that may have left a bad impression on voters. If Prop 1 failed, both Uber and Lyft said they would leave Austin in a kind prisoners dilemma. True to their word, on Monday both companies announced they were halting service in the city. 

What does this mean for ride-sharing? Will more cities push for more fingerprinting and background checks for ridesharing drivers in the name of public safety? Does fingerprinting actually make riders safer

Research in this area suggests that rideshare companies don't need more safety regulation than taxis, but that they fit awkwardly into the existing regulatory framework.  Though how different is ridesharing to taxis? And can the industry be regulated to benefit consumers and drivers? Time will tell. 

Bay Area Bike Share Rolling Into The East Bay

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Bay Area Bike Share is expanding with new stations in San Francisco and San Jose, but also its first deployment in the East Bay with 34 stations. The Phase 1 expansion sites are clustered around the UC Berkeley campus and down Telegraph towards 12th Street BART. What impact will these new stations have on mode choice in the East Bay? In the last 5 years bikeshare systems in the U.S. have greatly matured, and have come a long way from early implementations.  The current literature is very robust. 

Alaska Airlines buys Virgin America

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After some brief speculation, it was announced this morning that Alaskan Airlines' parent organization bought Virgin America for $2.6 billion in cash. This acquisition will bolster Alaskan's presence on the West Coast and particularly in California. Virgin's chairman Richard Branson wrote about the brand's history and his thoughts on the future

It's expected this deal won't experience regulatory hurdles that faced the American Airlines and US Airways deal because their market shares are much less. Given the geographic idiosyncrasies of airline mergers, it will be interesting to see how this deal plays out. What will be the implication for consumers? Initial impressions have been kind of negative

FHWA Announces new Bicycle-Pedestrian Safety Performance Measures

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Today FHWA issued a press release announcing new safety performance measures, including for the first time new measures for bicycle and pedestrian safety. The final rules will be published on FHWA's Highway Safety Improvement Program website soon, but can be found here in the Federal Register.  

SafeTREC researchers have worked with Caltrans to develop data collection systems for California to make it possible to monitor system performance for bicycles and pedestrians. This data will be critical to implementation of these new performance measures. 

Stay tuned. 

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