Monday, November 13, 2023
5:15 PM - 6:45 PM
Advancing the Electrification of Carsharing Systems from a Social Equity Perspective
Session ID
Poster Presentations
Ziad Yassine

The electrification of carsharing systems (or short-term access to automobiles) presents an opportunity to reduce transportation-related greenhouse gas emissions and improve air quality in urban areas while increasing the mobility and accessibility for different segments of the population. Carsharing generally increases accessibility by enabling users to reach more distant locations especially in areas with limited public transit connectivity. Such an opportunity can increase individual access to education, employment, healthcare, food, and affordable housing, particularly within underserved communities. From a user perspective, carsharing provides access to a vehicle without the traditional costs and responsibilities that accompany vehicle ownership such as maintenance and private insurance in addition to the relatively sizable financial investment of leasing or purchasing a car (Shaheen et al., 2006). However, there are social equity concerns associated with the deployment of these systems, particularly with providing affordable and convenient access to carsharing services for low-income individuals in underserved communities. This research is demonstrated through a case study evaluation of the potential of BlueLA powered by Blink Mobility, a station-based one-way electric vehicle carsharing service in Los Angeles, to increase accessibility for low-income individuals to essential destinations such as groceries and healthcare services. We employ activity data and user surveys to better understand the spatiotemporal distribution of these services in Los Angeles to calculate the accessibility potential of the 40 BlueLA stations, taking into account travel distance, travel time, and the cost of renting a BlueLA vehicle. The results of this research informs operations and policies to promote more equitable and sustainable mobility strategies, such as carsharing, in underserved communities.

Supporting Document 1