, Associate Professor, Civil, Environmental and Geo-Engineering
Transportation systems are experiencing transformative changes in terms of both technologies and user travel behavior. New transit systems such as Light Rail Transit (LRT) or Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) are becoming more popular, and managed lanes are becoming common solutions to urban congestion. Besides the infrastructure changes, car-sharing and ride-sharing systems have emerged as innovative approaches to promote less car ownership and more carpooling. These changes have impacted travel behavior of new generations. The younger population is less enthusiastic about owning vehicles and is enjoying the shared consumption of these facilities (e.g. Uber or Nice Ride). With a greater outlook, shared autonomous vehicles could completely transform our transportation systems by offering Mobility-as-a-Service (MaaS) with greater affordability and accessibility, particularly to low-income population, elderly, youth, and people with disabilities.
Since transportation planning methods and tools do not explicitly consider these changes, this project aims to provide insights on how collaborative consumption and MaaS can contribute to improving transportation systems. Built upon a previous study in collaboration with the Minnesota Council on Transportation Access (MCOTA), this project is studying the impacts of new mobility solutions--i.e. Transportation Network Companies (TNC)--on: 1) travel behavior and 2) cost effectiveness of transit systems. The outcome of this research could recommend policies on how to spend public budget to achieve the greatest improvement to multimodal transportation systems for a higher level of service and cost effectiveness.