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467303-1 Report Abstract

Promoting the Sustainable Community: The Application of Geographic Information Systems in Ridesharing

Gregory C. Han and C. Michael Walton, University of Texas at Austin, August 1996, 106 pp. (467303-1)

The Clean Air Act of 1990 mandated that areas classified as “severe” non-attainment must impose commuting restrictions on major employment sites. The mandates were recently put on hold and states were given the option of implementing the mandates. The previously required mandates demanded that organizations employing over 100 employees survey their work sites to obtain information on commuter mode usage, develop plans to reduce vehicle occupancy (usually in the form of transportation demand management (TDM) techniques) to meet regional target occupancy rates, and maintain those occupancy rates the employer would be penalized financially and/or criminally.

Currently, there are only a handful of urban areas that fall under the “severe” non-attainment classification. However, because the classification of “severe” non-attainment brings considerable economic penalties with it, cities currently not classified as “sever” non-attainment are continuously trying to find ways to reduce air pollution. Voluntary trip reduction strategies for work sites have been adopted by these cities as a way to control vehicular ozone levels.

The specific problem that this study addresses is the problem of forecasting rideshare demand for the work trip to an employment site. A major employer in the Austin area of Travis County has expressed interest in developing ridesharing systems to curb demand for parking and therefore will be used as a case scenario for the application to innovative demand forecasting techniques.

Keywords: Rideshare, Carpool, Vanpool, Commuter, Geographic Information Systems (GIS), Clean Air Act

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Reference Report #467303-1