PhD Defense by Fangru Wang

Event Details
  • Date/Time:
    • Wednesday December 14, 2016
      1:00 pm - 3:00 pm
  • Location: Architecture West 214 (formerly room 217)
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Summary Sentence: Unveiling the Potential of On-Demand Service and Its Impact on Mode Choice and Transport System Performance?

Full Summary: No summary paragraph submitted.



Under the provisions of the regulations for the degree


on Tuesday, December 14th, 2016
1:00 PM to 3:00 PM

Architecture West 214 (formerly room 217)

Fangru Wang

“Unveiling the Potential of On-Demand Service and Its Impact on Mode Choice and Transport System Performance?”
The Examiners Are:

Dr. Catherine L. Ross, Chair, School of City and Regional Planning

Dr. Patricia Mokhtarian, School of Civil and Environmental Engineering

Dr. Alex Karner, School of City and Regional Planning

Faculty and students are invited to attend this examination.


For years, transport planners and engineers have focused on moving people out of their cars. Although there have been practical initiatives and research identifying strategies and methods   encouraging mode shift to alternative travel modes, the mode shares of driving versus transit and other modes have not changed much since with the automobile began enjoying a dominant role in travel and transport system operations. The vast difference between the mode shares of driving versus alternative transportation modes has not only resulted in the lack of capacity on most American roads and highways, it has spawned the lack of funding for infrastructure construction of all other modes. Subway, bus, paratransit, bike infrastructure, and sidewalks (walking) have all experienced a lack of funding and investment. Many of these alternative modes which may have become principal travel options in cities have languished with particularly devastating impacts for those who cannot afford to drive. Urban accessibility and mobility are impaired, on one hand, by the increasing level of traffic congestion, and on the other hand, by the lack of travel options especially for the physically or economically disadvantaged. .


On-demand ride service, facilitated by the advancing information technology industries, it is a rapidly growing travel mode and is anticipated to acquire much larger market shares. As a form of point-to-point mobility service relying mostly on privately owned vehicles, on-demand ride service shares similarities with both private and public transportation, but also differs from both in many ways. The rise of ride-sourcing reveals new potentials and challenges, destined to have impacts on many aspects of the existing transportation system. In this proposed dissertation, on-demand ride service refers to conventional taxi service and ride-sourcing because they are the two primary everyday travel modes of on-demand ride service. Due to its small mode share, on-demand ride service has not received enough attention in research until recently when it’s rapidly growing market share represented by Uber, Lyft, Wingz and others.  On-demand ride service is beginning to attract increasingly more attention in both practice and academia.


This proposed dissertation sets out to answer three interrelated research questions: (1) what is the role of on-demand ride service in the current transportation system and what is its relationship with other travel modes; (2) why do people choose on-demand ride service compared to other travel modes and how to model this mode choice and (3) what is the potential impact of on-demand ride service on vehicle miles traveled (VMT) and accessibility. Data limitations plague the pursuit of research on this very important topic. Although there are several publicly available data sets that include taxi or ride-sourcing trips, on-demand ride service was not the focus of most regional household travel survey data and little data has been collected locally. The proposed dissertation bases its investigation of the research questions on multiple data sets, like the GPS taxi trip data and several household travel survey data sets, and employs various statistical and data mining approaches to examine the three key aspects of ride-sourcing, aiming to provide original knowledge about on-demand ride service, the multimodal nature of our transportation system, and the potential impact of on-demand ride service on people’s travel behavior and transport system performance.


Additional Information

In Campus Calendar

Graduate Studies

Invited Audience
Phd proposal
  • Created By: Tatianna Richardson
  • Workflow Status: Published
  • Created On: Dec 6, 2016 - 9:45am
  • Last Updated: Dec 6, 2016 - 3:35pm