Research Projects

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Research Projects

STATUS: In Progress 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

Over the last few years, transit ridership has fallen drastically in Southern California whereas Transportation Network Company (TNC) have been expanding tremendously. The decline of transit and the rise of TNCs have a number of adverse consequences, including increases in congestion in urban areas, additional air pollution, and a reduction in the physical activity of people who would otherwise walk/bike to access transit. Due to limited information on TNCs, research on these consequences are few. In this context, this project will cover three key questions related to Transit, TNC and Active Mode based on the 2009 and 2017 National Highway Traffic Safety (NHTS) data:


  1. To what extent have TNCs displaced transit users in California? We will find out the difference between the travel behavior of two transit user groups under the availability/non-availability of TNC services. We will use Propensity Score Matchin Technique to match the user groups based on socio-economic and land use variables.
  2. To what extent does public transportation contribute to active modes in California? Transit is partly an active mode because the first and last mile of transit trips include walking/biking. This dimension of transit has not been yet explored in the context of California. Through a cross-nested logit (CNL) model, we will evaluate this nature of public transportation where transit will be a part of both active and non-active nests.
  3. How can we promote Public Transit? We will analyze transit perception questions in the 2017 NHTS.




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