Understand Time-Intensive Data Requirements for Valid Carpool Verification and Enforcement at Transit Station Parking Lots.

Independent Evaluation Results from San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit Integrated Carpool to Transit Access Program Pilot.

Date Posted
09/29/2023
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Identifier
2023-L01193

Mobility on Demand (MOD) Sandbox Demonstration: Bay Area Rapid Transit Integrated Carpool to Transit Access Program Evaluation Report

Summary Information

The Federal Transit Administration's (FTA) Mobility on Demand (MOD) Sandbox Demonstration Program offers a real-world platform for integrated MOD strategies with local partnerships. This study included the independent evaluation results for the Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) Integrated Carpool to Transit Access Program pilot project in San Francisco, California. The project aimed to address carpool parking at stations by using a carpool matching platform to match drivers and passengers with similar station destinations into carpools, through a smartphone app. The pilot program initially launched at the Dublin/Pleasanton BART station in January 2017 and expanded to 17 stations. The evaluation of the pilot demonstration ended in April 2019, and the project ended shortly thereafter. Expert interviews with project personnel were also conducted to reveal lessons learned on implementation and policy.

  • Understand time-intensive data requirements for valid carpool verification and enforcement. In this pilot, the vendor found it challenging and time-intensive to meet the data requirements for verifying valid carpools and enforcement. Furthermore, BART required more detailed trip data, but the vendor had a privacy policy and technical limitations, such as the need for the app to remain open, which hindered data collection after a match.
  • Distinguish parking spaces for traditional and app-based carpoolers with clear markings. App-based carpool users occasionally parked in spaces reserved for traditional carpoolers and received citations due to the lack of a paper permit, as the app-based carpooling operates electronically. This caused some carpooler confusion in which the vendor had to verify the carpools so BART could reverse the tickets.
  • Clearly define a valid carpool, perceived carpool violation, carpool verification and share this definition with enforcement authorities. The app-based carpooling program was a learning experience for all stakeholders about who is carpooling, how they carpool, and the types of enforcement and verification issues.
  • Be aware of potential issues in sharing private or sensitive proprietary information. During the pilot, BART received a request for potentially sensitive data like carpooling routes and match rates. While sharing this data posed no user privacy issues, and BART isn't obliged to disclose sensitive user data, it highlighted the need for careful data sharing with public agencies.
  • Develop in-house add-on carpool functionality to the smartphone app rather than depending on a third party for carpool matching. This is important in order to have a financially self-sustaining app, serving the users conveniently, without the need to switch platforms due to any issues with renewing contracts with third-party providers for carpool matching functionality.
  • Make the carpooling app inclusive and attractive for users with disabilities. While well-intentioned, in this project, the app was not able to provide a component accommodating users with disabilities. Future updates should allow for accommodations like requesting vehicles with wheelchair access, space for collapsible wheelchairs, or service animals.
     

Mobility on Demand (MOD) Sandbox Demonstration: Bay Area Rapid Transit Integrated Carpool to Transit Access Program Evaluation Report

Mobility on Demand (MOD) Sandbox Demonstration: Bay Area Rapid Transit Integrated
Carpool to Transit Access Program Evaluation Report
Source Publication Date
02/01/2020
Author
Martin, Elliot; Adam Cohen; Ziad Yassine; Les Brown; and Susan Shaheen
Publisher
Prepared by ICF and University of California, Berkeley for USDOT Federal Transit Administration
Other Reference Number
Report No. 0156

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