Seattle’s Expanded Mobility Portfolio: an evaluation of two commute-focused pilot programs
Lewis, Elyse O'Callaghan
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This thesis explores two cases of private enterprise in the Seattle commuter mode share market: UberHOP and the Employer Shared Transit Stop (ESTS) pilot program. UberHOP is a service similar to vanpooling with fixed pick-up and drop-off locations in the primary commute direction during peak hours, but leverages Uber’s ridesourcing platform to replace fixed departure schedules with riders matched in real time. The results of an intercept survey and count data found that many UberHOP riders made UberHOP their primary form of commute mode, and riders predominantly replaced public transportation modes rather than personal vehicles. Although UberHOP services were cancelled in Seattle in August of 2016, with larger rider densities per trip, the UberHOP model can be profitable and environmentally sustainable. Through the ESTS pilot program, the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) and King County Metro (KCM) identified nine bus stops within the City of Seattle for stop-sharing with private shuttles that serve employees of (and are operated by) Microsoft and Seattle Children’s Hospital. Through an analysis of real-time transit performance data, the study found that, on average, bus transit reliability has not been impacted by the ESTS pilot program. Based on these cases, it is recommended that public transit agencies engage with private transportation services to ensure quality, sustainable commute options for citizens.
- Civil engineering