Free-floating carsharing and extemporaneous public transit substitution


Justin Tyndall

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

place - north america, mode - car, mode - carpool, mode - rail, planning - integration, technology - geographic information systems, ridership - mode choice, ridership - behaviour


Carsharing, Transit, Mode choice, Sharing economy, Shared mobility


The importance of substitution patterns between public transit and carsharing has been discussed in prior literature. This study provides empirical evidence of significant interaction between the two modes. On November 24, 2015 the public transit rail system in Vancouver, Canada experienced a significant service disruption due to an unforeseen mechanical failure. This study exploits this event as a natural experiment and investigates to what extent the city's largest carsharing service was utilized as a substitute. Extensive carsharing vehicle location data are used to examine how the carsharing network responded to the transit service disruption. Empirical results show a dramatic increase in the use of carsharing vehicles during the transit outage, particularly in areas close to affected transit stations. Through regression analysis, the quantity of vehicle trips accommodated by the carsharing system in response to the outage is estimated to be approximately 800. There is clear evidence of extemporaneous substitution between public transit and carsharing, suggesting the two modes act as parts of an integrated network.


Permission to publish the abstract has been given by Elsevier, copyright remains with them.


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