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Research Projects

STATUS: Complete YEAR: 2019 TOPIC AREA: Public transit, land use, and urban mobility Transportation planning, policy, and finance CENTER: PSR

Public Transportation, Transportation Network Companies (TNC) and Active Modes: An analysis based on 2009 and 2017 NHTS

Project Summary

Project number: PSR-19-34
Funding Source: Caltrans
Contract number: 65A0674, TO-035
Funding Amount: $79,970
Performance period: 5/1/2020 to 6/30/2021


Project Description
To better understand how TNCs likely impacted transit ridership before Covid-19, investigate how Covid-19 affected other modes, and elicit obstacles to a resurgence of transit after the pandemic, we analyzed data from the 2017 National Household Travel Survey, and from an IPSOS survey administered in May 2021 for this project.


Our Results show that TNCs are attracting younger, more affluent, and better educated urban households, many of whom are also served by transit. Lower-income households who reside in core urban areas served by transit are less likely to switch to TNCs. Our analysis suggests that driving but especially transit and TNCs, could see substantial drops in popularity after the pandemic ends or moves to the background like the flu. Many Hispanics, Asians, and women intend to use transit less. Although walking and biking should increase, many Hispanics, African Americans, and Asians plan on walking/biking less.


Key obstacles to a resurgence of transit include insufficient reach and frequency. African Americans and Asians have lingering health concerns, and women are more likely to worry about personal safety. In addition to addressing these concerns, effective transit policies need to be integrated into a comprehensive framework designed to achieve California's social and environmental goals.




Jean-Daniel Saphores
Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering
The Henry Samueli School of Engineering
Irvine, CA 92697-3600
United States
[email protected]