Ridesharing: Past, Present, and Future

Project Area(s): 
Innovative Mobility

Since the late-1990s, numerous ridematching programs have integrated the Internet, mobile phones, and social networking into their services. TSRC researched ridesharing systems from the past, present, and future, and categorized ridesharing’s evolution into five phases: 1) World War II car-sharing (or carpooling) clubs; 2) major responses to the 1970s energy crises; 3) early organized ridesharing schemes; 4) reliable ridesharing systems; and 5) technology-enabled ridematching. While ridesharing’s future growth and direction are uncertain, the next decade is likely to include greater interoperability among services, technology integration, and stronger policy support. In light of growing concerns about climate change, congestion, and oil dependency, more research is needed to better understand ridesharing’s impacts on infrastructure, congestion, and energy/emissions.

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