The Transportation Sustainability Research Center fosters research, education, and outreach so that transportation can serve to improve economic growth, environmental quality, and equity. Our work focuses on real-world research with the public and private sectors that can help to advance policy understanding and the social good. Co-Directors are Professor Susan Shaheen, Dr. Tim Lipman, and Professor Arpad Horvath. The groups participating in this effort are the:
Institute of Transportation Studies
Framework for Testing Innovative Transportation Solutions: Case Study of Carlink, a Commuter Carsharing Program
Transit accounts for just two percent of total travel in the U.S. One reason for low ridership is limited access; many individuals either live or work too far from a transit station. In developing transit connectivity solutions, researchers often employ a range of study instruments, such asstated-preference surveys, focus groups, and pilot programs. To better understand response to one innovative transit solution, the authors employed a number of research tools, including: a longitudinal survey, field test, and pilot program. The innovation examined was a commutercarsharing model, called CarLink, which linked short-term rental vehicles to transit andemployment centers. Over several years, researchers explored user response to the CarLinkconcept, a field operational test (CarLink I), a pilot program (CarLink II), and a commercial operation (the pilot was turned over to Flexcar in summer 2002). This multi-staged approach provided an opportunity for researchers to learn and adapt as each phase progressed. In thispaper, the authors outline the CarLink model, technology, and early lessons learned; describe CarLink II operational understanding; provide a synopsis of the pilot program transition; and offer recommendations for future model development.
This article examines four phases in bicycle evolution in China from initial entry and slow growth (1900s to 1978), to rapid growth (1978 to 1995), bicycle use reduction (1995 to 2002), and policy diversification (2002 to present). Two bicycle innovations, electric bikes, and public bikesharing (the shared use of a bicycle fleet), are also explored in this article. Electric bikes could provide a transitional mode on the pathway to bicycle and public transportation integration or to small battery electric cars. Four lessons have been learned from China’s electric bike experience relevant to government policy and management. Public bikesharing represents an important step towards integrating the bicycle with bus, metro, and rail systems. Five early operational lessons have been identified from China’s limited public bikesharing experience.