Planning Professor Gulsah Akar Awarded Ridesharing Research Grant

 

City and Regional Planning faculty member Gulsah Akar and Professors Rabi Mishalani (PI) and Mark McCord of Civil, Environmental and Geodetic Engineering were awarded a research grant in the amount of $39,852 from the NEXTRANS Center for their project “Investigating the Potential of Employer-based Real-Time Ridesharing”. The NEXTRANS Center is the USDOT Region V Regional University Transportation Center, and covers the states of Indiana, Illinois, Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin and Minnesota. The Center was established in 2007 based on an award from USDOT’s Research and Innovative Technology Administration (RITA) to conduct a multidisciplinary program of transportation research, education, and technology transfer through a Regional University Transportation Center headquartered at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana.

The Ohio State University main campus is an ideal setting for such a study, given that approximately seventy thousand students, faculty, and staff study and work in a concentrated part of the city of Columbus with integrated travel activities taking place throughout the day. The 2011 Campus Transportation Survey conducted for the OSU community reveals that although more than 75% of the survey population indicate that their lives are dependent on having and driving a car, while approximately 60% stated that they are interested in reducing their car use. Such results support the rationale for providing and promoting ridesharing options for the OSU campus. This research will investigate the viability and potential for real-time ridesharing to and from the OSU campus under a variety of incentive and travel behavior scenarios.

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