User Identification of and Attitude Toward Dynamic Ridesourcing Services

TitleUser Identification of and Attitude Toward Dynamic Ridesourcing Services
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2017
AuthorsMargo Dawes, Jinhua Zhao
Conference NameTransportation Research Board 96th Annual Conference
Conference LocationWashington, D.C.
Keywordspublic attitude, Ridesourcing, Transportation Network Companies (TNCs), user identification

Media coverage of ridesourcing services such as Uber and Lyft has described a rivalry between new technology and the established taxi industry. Individual users and non-users of ridesourcing may have more nuanced perspectives, but policymakers have had little guidance on how to best represent these interests. This study uses a standardized questionnaire distributed across the United States by an online survey company to understand individual attitudes toward Uber, Lyft, and ridesourcing technology in general. The survey asks respondents if they identify as users or non-users of ridesourcing, why or why not, how they rank Uber and Lyft among their other travel modes, and their attitudes toward the companies and toward the technology in general, among other questions. The survey returned 394 completed questionnaires from the most populous 15 metropolitan statistical areas in the U.S. with a response rate of 27%. Analysis of the results includes descriptive statistics, bivariate correlation analyses of relationships between variables, and logistic regressions to identify factors that impact user identification and attitude. The findings indicate that about 70% of respondents use some form of ridesourcing, mostly for special-purpose trips such as avoiding driving while intoxicated and getting to and from the airport. There are relationships between transportation needs and user identification and attitude, but demographics are the best predictor of user identification, which in turn predicts attitude, which can predict individuals’ policy preferences. The study suggests potential for policymakers to leverage constituent perspectives to change aspects of ridesourcing that have low public approval.