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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Markets for Dynamic Ridesharing? Case of Berkeley, California


Ridesharing programs are widespread across the United States. Dynamic ridesharing is a newer way to share rides on the fly or up to several days in advance using cell phone or computer messaging to make arrangements. This paper describes research conducted to assess the potential for dynamic ridesharing for travel to downtown Berkeley, California, and the University of California, Berkeley, campus. The study provides insights about the opportunities and challenges presented by this travel option. Data were collected from statistical and geographic analysis of the downtown and campus travel markets, and surveys and focus groups were administered to employees and graduate students. The study found that about one-fifth of commuters who drive alone to the campus would be interested in using dynamic ridesharing at least occasionally and live in areas where matches could be found. They would prefer to arrange a shared ride at least the night before rather than immediately before the trip is made. Many of these travelers were unaware of current rideshare services, and some would be willing to find a regular carpool partner. Finally, if parking charges are fairly high and parking supply is limited and regulated, financial incentives and carpool parking subsidies greatly increase interest in dynamic ridesharing.

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