Ridesharing, for the purpose of this study, refers to two or more people regularly travelling together to and from work by car. It includes carpooling, where each person takes a turn to drive his/her car and gives a lift to the other(s).
Ridesharing has the potential of increasing the person-movement capacity of the existing transportation system by carrying more people in fewer vehicles. As such, it offers the chance to extend the use of existing transportation systems in ways that increase their efficiency while reducing the need for additional vehicles and roadway capacity.
Despite the growing interest among transportation professionals to adopt strategies and actions aimed at increasing the vehicle occupancy rates, little effort has been expended to understand the concept of ridesharing. The objective of this study is to a establish a better understanding of the ridesharing mode by studying the characteristics of ridesharers and identifying the factors that influence ridesharing propensity when making a journey to work.
The main findings of this study are that ridesharers have high levels of education and car availability; make long but regular work journeys; work in large organizations; and choose to rideshare for financial reasons. In addition, social requirements and irregular working hours are the major deterrents to ridesharing. A model was developed to predict the commuters choice between ridesharing and driving alone. It indicates that travel characteristics are good indicators and predictors of the choice between driving alone and ridesharing. Furthermore, it identifies commuters with long commutes and low levels of car availability as the target populations for ridesharing.