Princeton University Library Catalog

Integrating Social Networks Into Ridesharing Programs

Xu, Zixi [Browse]
Senior thesis
Kornhauser, Alain [Browse]
Princeton University. Department of Operations Research and Financial Engineering [Browse]
Class year:
135 pages
Restrictions note:
Walk-in Access. This thesis can only be viewed on computer terminals at the Mudd Manuscript Library.
Summary note:
Although there are a number of ridesharing programs out there, none of them are successful enough to really popularize this concept. My study first explains what ridesharing is and discusses the economic, environmental, and social benefits of ridesharing. The study then goes on to evaluate the existing ridesharing programs, webbased and mobile-based ridesharing applications in particular, and their strengths and weaknesses. Furthermore, through both literature review and conducted surveys and interviews, this study investigates the social, behavioral, economic, and other factors impacting the decisions people make about whether or not to participate in ridesharing. After looking at the additional technological, institutional, and legal issues, the major obstacles that a successful ridesharing program needs to overcome are summarized. Then improvements to existing ridesharing programs and new solutions to the ridesharing challenge are proposed. The second part of this study gathers data, models the feasibilities of ridesharing trips, and calculates ridematching probabilities in the context of the state of New Jersey. It then goes on to quantify the social, economic, and environmental benefits of a successful widely-implemented ridesharing program based on the data and generated simulation results. The study concludes with how we can take advantage of the huge ridesharing potential and actually realize those promising benefits, and suggests further works that can be done following up this study.