Research Project Spotlight

Hands hold a phone that displays a generic ride-sharing app

Getting from one place to another – transportation – is a major part of every person’s life. Changes are happening in urban areas across the country and around the world and congestion is on the rise. With the added costs of fuel, wear-and-tear on vehicles, and the value of the time lost to congestion, estimates put the monetary cost of congestions at $3 billion in the United States.

In looking at what is driving this change in congestion, this STRIDE project seeks to look beyond the historical drivers by looking at the behavior of Millennials and Gen Xers – a group that makes up between 150 and 170 million people in the US. The behavior of this group is different than those in other generations; these individuals tend to be more adaptable to technology use in daily lives when compared to members of previous generations. Data shows that younger Americans do not travel as much as previous generations. There has been a consistent dip in driving among workers aged 25 to 54. Since 2007, this drop in the usage of private vehicles has resulted in approximately 100,000 drivers annually switching to other modes of transportation. However, with the rise of ride-hailing services, the shift away from the private mode of transportation didn’t entirely go to public transportation.  Specifically, researchers at the University of Florida and the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill are looking at travel supply and demand in the southeastern United States and how ride-hailing effects this supply and demand.

Dr. Abhinav Alakshendra (University of Florida)

The need to look at the role of ride-hailing in terms of congestion is increasing as new evidence suggests these services increase congestion despite previous beliefs that it would reduce the congestion. However, the idea that ride-hailing services could increase access to transportation also needs to be explored.

This project seeks to understand the usage of ride services among Millennials and Generations X in the Southeastern region, focusing on North Carolina and Florida. From the perspective of transportation planning, it is critical to identify and understand the changing pattern and the mobility needs of the largest group of Americans – Millennials and Gen Xers.

STRIDE Project E2: Establishing a Dual Generational Modality Dataset: Comparing the Ride-Sharing Adoption Trends and Perspectives of Consumers from Two Generational Cohorts, Millennials and Gen Xers

Research Team: Dr. Abhinav Alakshendra (University of Florida), Dr. Ruth Steiner (University of Florida), and Dr. Allie Thomas (University of North Carolina Chapel Hill)

The Southeastern Transportation Research, Innovations, Development, and Education (STRIDE) Center is the 2016 USDOT Region 4 (Southeast) University Transportation Center (UTC) housed at the University of Florida Transportation Institute (UFTI).