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Sustainability assessment of carpooling and ridesharing in the pandemic era

Tarasi Dimitra

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Year 2020
Type of Item Master Thesis
Bibliographic Citation Dimitra Tarasi, "Sustainability assessment of carpooling and ridesharing in the pandemic era", Master Thesis, School of Environmental Engineering, Technical University of Crete, Chania, Greece, 2020
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Urbanization, climate change, high energy consumption, and the rising travel demand present formidable challenges to the modern world and require not only an integrated urban and transport planning but also a swift towards sustainable mobility. Aiming to limit the use of private vehicle and implement low cost environmentally friendly transport policies, ridesharing (e.g., carpooling, public transit) seems to be a viable solution. The present study performs a sustainability assessment of carpool systems on university campuses and further a carpooling SWOT analysis. Moreover, in the midst of the pandemic, this thesis examines the COVID-19 impact on urban mobility, sheds light on the subsequent changes on citizens’ travel habits, and creates a typology of indicators. The findings demonstrated that although a significant share of citizens has already reduced private car use and opt for alternative and sustainable transport modes (walking, cycling, public transport), the under research cities (Chania and Rethymno) remain car-centric. On the other hand, the slight increase in “green transportation” detected during curfew, subsided alongside the lifting of the confinement measures, and car dominance reemerged.Another crucial parameter concerning urban mobility is safety. The sharp decline in public transit ridership revealed that passengers have safety concerns, and they are skeptical or even reluctant to use the bus. The feeling of insecurity was also prevalent regarding carsharing. This study highlights that safety is a parameter of utmost importance in the design of sustainable, effective, yet resilient transport systems.

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