Position Papers
Buliung, Soltys, Habel, and Lanyon
University of Toronto at Mississauga (Canada)
Published in
Submitted by
Peter Midgley, gTKP
Related theme(s)
Urban Mobility
USA and Canada (USC)

The "Driving" Factors Behind Successful Carpool Formation and Use

Sustainable transportation options are receiving increasing attention in cities across North America due to rising commute times, fluctuating fuel prices, and increased awareness of the environmental impacts of transportation choices. Carpooling represents one of many possible alternatives to single occupancy vehicle use for work or school trips. Recent attempts to encourage carpool formation in Canada now include web-based applications that facilitate
connections between potential carpoolers. One such example is Carpool Zone, a service provided by Smart Commute in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA). The service is coordinated regionally by the Smart Commute Team at Metrolinx (the regional transportation planning authority) and is free and open to the public. This paper uses data from Smart Commute to investigate the carpool formation and use process. Results from a logistic
regression analysis of carpool use suggest that spatial accessibility to matches, household auto ownership, and socio-demographics influence carpooling more than proximity to carpool infrastructure and personal attitudes (e.g., concern for the environment, cost, etc.). With respect to policy and planning, the results suggest that increasing shared knowledge about commuting patterns at the home-end of work trips could yield beneficial returns to the carpool formation and use process.