Pushed from the Curb: Optimizing the Use of the Curb Space by Ride-Sourcing Vehicles
Research Team: Ryland Lu (lead) and Donald Shoup
UC Campus(es): UCLA
Problem Statement: Over the past 5 years, ride-sourcing platforms have experienced tremendous growth in American cities. Despite indications by recent studies that ride-sourcing vehicles substitute for vehicle travel and reduce parking demand, policymakers and academics have ignored the implications of ride-sourcing use for curb space allocation, which traditionally favors long-term vehicle occupancy. This thesis will examine whether designation of curb space for long-term vehicle occupancy induces ride-sourcing pick up and drop off activity in travel lanes through observation of curb use on two arterial corridors in Los Angeles perceived to have a high level of ride-sourcing activity. Comparative analysis of curb occupancy with the number of passengers ride-sourcing and other vehicles transport to the curb can reveal the extent to which ride-sourcing pick-ups and drop-offs make for a more productive use of the curb than vehicle parking (potentially justifying the re-designation of curb space used for vehicle parking as ride-sourcing pick up zone(s)).
Project Description: The project considers how the designation of curb space for uses such as vehicle parking affects vehicle occupancy of the curb and the extent to which high private vehicle occupancy, in turn, induces ride-sourcing vehicles to pick up and drop off passengers in traffic lanes. The project also compares curb occupancy by vehicle type along stretches of the curb designated for parking and other uses with the number of passengers ride-sourcing and other non-freight vehicles transport to the curb.