Where to? Origins and Destinations of TNC and Transit Trips Based on Mobile Devices

Over the past decade, the rapid development and adoption of mobile computing and telecommunications technology has begun to disrupt established business models based on providing mobility services that were previously available primarily through the public sector (particularly public transit agencies) or that were privately provided through households’ and firms’ directly-owned and operated vehicles. Transportation has entered an era of immense change, with many transportation network companies (TNCs) both complementing and competing with public transit. To best serve their communities, public-sector transportation agencies need better information about the degree to which these new mobility services complement or substitute publicly-provided fixed-route mass transit service. A lack of information on TNC usage is a significant barrier to efficient transportation planning and decision-making. This project will address the need for detailed TNC use data by developing a method to identify TNC trips, TNC drivers, and TNC passengers based on mobile device data. Development of this method and the results attained from application to a case study region will help determine how equitable the use of ride share is, by comparing how TNC drivers and passengers differ in terms of transit richness (transit service density) and in terms of transit supportiveness (housing and employment density). Additionally, results from the project will measure complementarity and competition among TNC and public transit providers by determining what trips were taken via TNC that could have been served with existing transit service. The results of this research will provide a wealth of insight on how cities and public transit are impacted by the rise of TNCs.