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Research Projects

STATUS: In Progress YEAR: 2023 TOPIC AREA: Transportation planning, policy, and finance CENTER: PSR

Investigating Heterogeneity in Private Vehicle Ownership, Preferences Towards Alternative-Fuel Vehicles, and Adoption of Shared Mobility Options

Project Summary

Project number: UCD-23-DG-1
Funding source: USDOT
Contract number69A3552348309
Funding amount: $51,992
Performance period: 1/1/2024 to 12/31/2024

Dissertation Grant - Project Description:


Emerging technologies have been transforming the transportation sector, leading to a wider range of vehicle options and mobility alternatives. However, the recent COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted people's activity travel patterns and is likely to have long-lasting impacts. Despite the State of California's efforts to promote more sustainable travel, there is still a need for larger-scale behavioral changes to reduce car dependence, encourage multimodal travel, and electrify both privately-owned and shared vehicles. This dissertation aims to address these research gaps by proposing four research topics. The first two topics examine the factors that influence private vehicle ownership and fuel type choice. The latter two topics investigate how shared mobility, such as ride-hailing services like Uber and Lyft, impacts the travel patterns of riders and the vehicle usage of drivers. More importantly, the study will estimate various mixture models to identify the heterogeneous effects of these factors on subpopulations that differ by socio-demographic traits and geographic contexts. Preliminary findings suggest that there has been a growing trend in vehicle ownership during the pandemic, highlighting the need to decrease car reliance. At the same time, the study identifies a considerable untapped potential to increase the market share of alternative fuel vehicles (AFV) in California. Exposure to AFVs and current user experience have been found to encourage AFV adoption. Ridehailing users are found to be more likely to be multimodal travelers. Ridehailing drivers may have varying motivations and barriers to adopting AFVs, which should be taken into account when designing transport policies.



Xiatian (Summer) Iogansen
[email protected]


Giovanni Circella
[email protected]