Using Transportation Network Companies to Inform and Support Transit Planning and Disadvantaged Community Mobility

Research Team: Gregory Pierce (lead), Mohja Rhoads, and James Di Filippo

University: UCLA

Problem Statement: In the past decade, there has been a boon in travel opportunities engendered by technology. A major transformation has been the provision of ridehailing services such as Uber and Lyft, companies defined as Transportation Network Companies (TNCs). TNCs have cornered an under-served taxi market. TNC services have been appealing to travelers of varying income levels, equipping travelers with enhanced access to goods and services. It is predicted that TNC use will continue to grow and form a significant portion of individual and household travel needs. Conversely, transit ridership has fallen over the last decade. Travelers often view TNCs as preferable to transit because TNCs preserve the high-mobility and convenience of an auto-trip. Transit planners should learn how TNCs are used, so they can tailor transit services to increase mobility.

Project Description: This research will utilize a dataset of Lyft rides over three months in Los Angeles region, to understand how TNCs can inform and support transit. The project will have two main components: Assessment of how TNCs are assisting or replacing transit and where TNC demand is highest, and Development of an index of transit access, vehicle availability, TNC use, income, and length and destinations of TNC trips to measure a community’s level of access to motorized mobility.

Status: In Progress

Budget: $89,262