Publication Detail

What Influences Travelers to Use Uber? Exploring the Factors Affecting the Adoption of On-Demand Ride Services


Research Report

National Center for Sustainable Transportation

Suggested Citation:
Alemi, Farzad, Giovanni Circella, Susan L. Handy, Patricia L. Mokhtarian (2017) What Influences Travelers to Use Uber? Exploring the Factors Affecting the Adoption of On-Demand Ride Services. Institute of Transportation Studies, University of California, Davis, Research Report UCD-ITS-RR-17-53

Emerging transportation technologies and shared-mobility services are quickly changing the way individuals travel, in particular in large urban areas. Among other effects, shared-mobility services expand the set of transportation alternatives available for a trip, allow for more flexibility in travel schedules, and provide access to transportation without incurring the costs of auto ownership. Among the most controversial and rapidly growing shared-mobility services are on-demand ride services, such as those offered by Uber and Lyft. Young adults, or millennials, are often reported to be among the most frequent users of these services. Still, the factors affecting the adoption of these services, and the impacts that the use of these services has on passenger travel (including the use of other modes) are still largely unclear. This paper investigates the factors affecting the adoption of on-demand ride services among millennials, i.e. young adults 18 to 34 years old in 2015, and the members of the preceding Generation X, i.e. middle-aged adults 35 to 50 years old, in California. Using data collected in fall 2015, the authors analyze the circumstances under which individuals are more likely to use on-demand ride services and the travel patterns associated with using these services. Not surprisingly, the authors found that increased land use diversity and centrality are associated with higher adoption of these services. Respondents that report higher numbers of long distance trips and have a higher share of long distance trips made by plane are also more likely to use these services.
Presented at Transportation Research Board 96th Annual Meeting, Washington, DC, January 8-12, 2017