Kowshik, Raghu R., Prasuna D. Reddy, John Gard, Paul P. Jovanis, Ryuichi Kitamura (1994) Real-Time Rideshare Matching Using GIS. Institute of Transportation Studies, University of California, Davis, Presentation Series UCD-ITS-RP-94-19
Ridesharing has long been perceived as a commuting mode which requires a lot of planning and lacks the flexibility associated with other commuting alternatives such as solo-driving. An efficient rideshare matching system is essential to promote ridesharing as a more effective commuting alternative.
"Real-time" ridesharing is defined as a one-time match obtained for a trip either the same day or the evening before. It would allow travelers to review rideshare options, identify best matching riders, reserve rides in advance, register details for immediate travel requests, and help in the formation of carpools at park-and-ride lots while taking real-time demand into account. More important, a real-time matching system will make ridesharing possible for commuters who do not have a regular commute schedule in terms of departure times and destination locations.
This paper investigates ways to increase the flexibility of the rideshare matching system to provide matches not only for origin-destination and work start-time matching, but also en-route pick-up and drop-off of riders. A geographic information system (GIS) based system linked to ridesharing databases, is proposed for implementing such services. Four alternative matching scenarios considered are: driver and rider matched by their origins and destinations; driver and rider matched by rider's origin and destination and the driver's route; driver and rider matched by an overlapping portion of their routes, with the driver dropping off the rider at the end of the drivers' journey; and driver and rider matched by an overlapping portion of the two routes with the rider traveling to the driver's origin to carpool.
The model being developed may be used for three purposes: for simulation, to investigate the critical number of participants required to provide suitable matches, based on some matching criteria and a given spatial distribution of ridesharers; to investigate the effect on the critical mass of participants of varying the matching criteria; and to conduct experiments on how carpoolers select persons to share a ride with. The amount of personal information they need to have, the effect of gender, and varying time and distance inconvenience in the contexts of urgency, trip purpose, multi-person carpools for the purpose of a realtime ride, may also be investigated in the laboratory using this model.