Future Mobility and Environmental Policy

Future Mobility and Environmental Policy

Innovative and emerging transportation services have the potential to significantly alter mobility and contribute to emissions reductions and have the potential to improve transportation accessibility.

As a postdoctoral researcher I study how these new services are reshaping the landscape of transportation alternatives. My research in this area focuses on the individual

the factors that contribute to the use of these alternatives, and the effects of these alternatives on travel behavior, vehicle ownership and the use of sustainable modes of transportation. The use of these services is also related to policies and the adoption and local government management of these new services

Another aspect of this research is focused on local governments adaptation to these new transportation resources. What regulations have been put in place, and what types of issues are addressed by policies as local governments address new mobility?

Has ridesharing replaced the use of other modes, or allowed more use of transit? Is ridesharing used as a regular commute mode? Does the use of these services tend to result in a reduction of VMT, or even in the number of household vehicles? For those who have not yet used these services, or who have only tried it out, perhaps with someone else, what (stated preferences) might make them more likely to use it? In this project social networks might also be a relevant factor in the use and perceptions of ridesharing services

This project has two components; .the first is primarily concerned with how individual users are adapting to the presence of these future mobility alternatives and how they are changing travel behavior. In the second piece, I will develop a qualitative interview-based project aimed at identifying the stakeholders involved in the decision making related to emerging transportation alternatives. The first part of this project would focus on identifying what policies and regulations are currently in place that manage these new services. At the same time, this part would aim to identify whose interests are reflected in such regulations or policies. That is, are the regulations protecting drivers and their safety? Are they protecting competing interests such as conventional taxi companies? Lastly, this part would investigate the differences in regulations across the different cities/regions where regulations are in place. This could be within California, comparing different cities, or across states, or even include an international component. This part of the project would also aim to identify what factors and what policy processes (with the involvement of which interest) have shaped the regulations and outcomes that have emerged thus far.

Part 2: The second part of this project would consider the current policies and regulations related to ride sharing services and investigate how well these policies both identify and meet goals that are 1. stated by those involved, and 2. stated by those who have an interest in the outcomes, but may not have been able to impact the discussion.

Questions in this investigation would include, what goals are stated as the basis for regulations related to ridesharing? Do the regulations that have been put in place so far seem to meet those goals? Are there other goals or issues that ought to be addressed? Or alternative policies or forms of the regulations that might better meet the stated goals? I would like to explore policy networks as a component of this project.