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Open AccessArticle

Exploring the Relationship between Ridesharing and Public Transit Use in the United States

by Yuanyuan Zhang 1,2 and Yuming Zhang 1,*
School of Management, Shandong University, Jinan 250100, China
Stern School of Business, New York University, New York, NY 10012, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(8), 1763;
Received: 24 July 2018 / Revised: 11 August 2018 / Accepted: 14 August 2018 / Published: 16 August 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Transportation-Related Air Pollution and Human Health)
Car travel accounts for the largest share of transportation-related greenhouse gas emissions in the United States (U.S.), leading to serious air pollution and negative health effects; approximately 76.3% of car trips are single-occupant. To reduce the negative externalities of cars, ridesharing and public transit are advocated as cost-effective and more environmentally sustainable alternatives. A better understanding of individuals’ uses of these two transport modes and their relationship is important for transport operators and policymakers; however, it is not well understood how ridesharing use is associated with public transit use. The objective of this study is to examine the relationships between the frequency and probability of ridesharing use and the frequency of public transit use in the U.S. Zero-inflated negative binomial regression models were employed to investigate the associations between these two modes, utilizing individual-level travel frequency data from the 2017 National Household Travel Survey. The survey data report the number of times the respondent had used ridesharing and public transit in the past 30 days. The results show that, generally, a one-unit increase in public transit use is significantly positively related to a 1.2% increase in the monthly frequency of ridesharing use and a 5.7% increase in the probability of ridesharing use. Additionally, the positive relationship between ridesharing and public transit use was more pronounced for people who live in areas with a high population density or in households with fewer vehicles. These findings highlight the potential for integrating public transit and ridesharing systems to provide easier multimodal transportation, promote the use of both modes, and enhance sustainable mobility, which are beneficial for the environment and public health. View Full-Text
Keywords: ridesharing; public transit; 2017 NHTS (National Household Travel Survey); ZINB model ridesharing; public transit; 2017 NHTS (National Household Travel Survey); ZINB model
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Zhang, Y.; Zhang, Y. Exploring the Relationship between Ridesharing and Public Transit Use in the United States. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15, 1763.

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