Autonomous Vehicles and their potential to shift transit ridership in urban areas

Project Details
Author(s) Andrea Hicks, University of Wisconsin - Madison
Co-Author(s) Soyoung Ahn, University of Wisconsin - Madison
CTEDD Funding Year 2018 General RFP
Project Status In Progress
UTC Funding $69,806
End Date September 14, 2019


Autonomous vehicles present a unique opportunity to increase safety, roadway capacity, and even extend services to people with disabilities. At the same time, their potential impact with respect to decreasing transit ridership of established systems has not yet been well studied, along with the corresponding sustainability implications. Increased transit ridership decreases the number of vehicles on roadways and decreases the environmental impact of passenger transportation. However, It is often less convenient compared to a personal automobile with respect to convenience. The use of personal autonomous vehicles, may decrease transit ridership, due to their greater flexibility and similar recoupment of transit time. This would potentially increase the number of transit riders who will switch to autonomous vehicles, and shift the environmental impacts of an area s transportation.
The proposed work seeks to evaluate the potential for current transit riders to switch to utilizing personal autonomous vehicles for commuting in an urban area, and the corresponding shifts in roadway usage and environmental impacts. The Chicago metropolitan area will be utilized as a case study as it ...encompasses a broad geographic area and has an established and highly utilized mass transit system which includes buses and both above and below ground rail . Correspondingly, data from the Chicago Metropolitan Statistical area Household Travel
Survey will be utilized to parameterize an agent based model, along with environmental impact categories such as energy consumption, and criteria air pollutants. The proposed work addresses Focus Area 1, and in particular the theme of smart land use, and transportation designs and policies that enhance transit ridership , in particular through forecasting the potential decrease of transit ridership and corresponding transportation and environmental impact of the use of autonomous vehicles. Policy scenarios will be investigated relevant to autonomous vehicles with respect to shifts in
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Subjects#: Automated Vehicle, Environment, Quantitative Analysis, Transit