Two doctoral students from the lab, Dan Qiang and Daniel Romm, will attend the 103rd Annual Meeting of the Transportation Research Board in January 2024.  Both will present and discuss their work on different aspects of mobility and transportation.  If you are attending the meeting, please stop by to say hello.  See below for details:

Longitudinal Analysis of COVID-19 Impacts on Urban Transit: A Comparative Study of Subway and Taxi Ridership in New York City

Dan Qiang, Grant McKenzie

Session: Tuesday, Jan 09, 2024 1:30PM – 3:15PM

Abstract: Most studies examining the impact of COVID-19 on transportation focus on the early phase of the outbreak. Consequently, little work has explored changes in transportation across the entirety of the pandemic. Furthermore, most existing work has analyzed travel pattern changes in a single transit mode, with few dissecting and comparing the impacts of the pandemic on various transit modes, particularly in terms of their spatiotemporal distribution at the neighborhood level. Therefore, our study embarks on an exploration of New York City’s transportation changes over a span of four years, from 2019 to 2022. We assess the impacts on different transit modes, and track their respective trip volume changes over time and across various city regions. We also identify socio-demographic characteristics and built-environment features that help explain those changes. Our analysis underscores discernible variations in how COVID-19 has affected different transportation modes, with green taxis showing the most significant alterations. The severity of the pandemic’s impact on different transit modes varies considerably across urban regions; in downtown areas, the subway system suffered the most, while taxis were most affected in suburban regions. Through spatial regression analysis, we found that network density, income levels, work industries, commuting methods, and travel times are the variables most closely correlated with ridership changes. However, a single variable can have vastly different influences on the volume changes of different transportation modes. Our findings will inform post-pandemic transportation strategies, urban planning policy, and help to make cities more resilient in the face of future global health crises.

Moving Forward: Directions for Analyses of Free-Floating Micromobility Systems

Daniel Romm, Grant McKenzie

Session: Monday, Jan 08, 2024 10:15AM – 12:00PM

Abstract: The change in cities’ mobility landscapes has involved the remarkable growth of micromobility systems, including those that take the form of “dockless” or “free-floating” systems, wherein users are not required to access and deposit vehicles at docking stations, but can instead do so at any location, using their smart devices. These systems generate enormously valuable data for understanding micromobility use, and so has emerged a scholarly corpus that analyzes this data. We present eight recommendations for future research to address persistent weaknesses and limitations in this field; broadly: to thoroughly detail methodological and contextual factors, to carefully consider the generalizability of a study, and to attend to the space and place contexts of these systems. These recommendations are intended to encourage the development of this field to obtain increasingly useful insights from the analysis of free-floating micromobility system data.