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TSRC Study Earns Transport Policy Prize

Congratulations to Transportation Sustainability Research Center Co-Director and Civil and Environmental Engineering professor Susan Shaheen, Professor Emeritus of City and Regional Planning Robert Cervero, and former graduate students Lisa Rayle (Data Science at Facebook), Danielle Dai (City of Oakland Mobility Programs Manager), and Nelson Chan (Interaction Designer at Internet Brands/WebMD) on earning the Transport Policy Prize from the World Conference on Transportation Research (WCTR)

The Transport Policy Prize for the most influential Paper is in recognition of the most influential paper published in the Transport Policy Journal during the last three years preceding the conference, and is only awarded every three years. It is chosen by a Sub-Committee of WCTRS, comprised of all the editors of Transport Policy and the Chair of the WCTRS Prize Committee. The Editor in Chief serves as chairperson for the Sub-Committee.

The journal article from article in Transport Policy (published in 2016), “Just a Better Taxi? A Survey-Based Comparison of Taxis, Transit, and Ridesourcing Services in San Francisco" presents exploratory evidence of how “ridesourcing” services (app-based, on-demand ride services like Uber and Lyft) are used in San Francisco, who uses ridesourcing and for what reasons, how the ridesourcing market compares to that of traditional taxis, and how ridesourcing impacts the use of public transit and overall vehicle travel.

In spring 2014, 380 completed intercept surveys were collected from three ridesourcing “hot spots” in San Francisco. The study compares survey results with matched-pair taxi trip data and results of a previous taxi user survey. It also compares travel times for ridesourcing and taxis with those for public transit. The findings indicate that, despite many similarities, taxis and ridesourcing differ in user characteristics, wait times, and trips served. While ridesourcing replaces taxi trips, at least half of ridesourcing trips replaced modes other than taxi, including public transit and driving. Impacts on overall vehicle travel are unclear. The paper concludes with suggestions for future research.

The award was presented at the15th World Conference on Transport Research on May 26-31, 2019 in Mumbai, India.