Revolutionize Ridesharing to Make Transportation Manageable

The U.S. Census Bureau recently reported that Americans' travel time from home to work has reached record highs — a problem that's only projected to increase if we don't find innovative solutions. And commuting time isn't just a problem for businesses and their employees, but also for any of us who need to get from point A to B in the most efficient manner possible. Thankfully, researchers have found that recent innovations in mobility-on-demand systems, specifically ridesharing, can successfully tackle the most common problems related to commute times and revolutionize how we get to where we need to go quickly, comfortably, and on time.

The Problem of Getting from A to B

Whether you're a local politician, an HR professional, a school administrator, or anyone else in a community leadership role, you've likely seen the impact that a lack of reliable transportation has on the people around you.

Unmanageable, Inconvenient Transporation: The Biggest Commuter Complaints

According to numerous studies, some of the most common transportation issues that people complain about include:

Transportation challenges in the United States, particularly in underserved and rural areas, significantly impact people's ability to access work, education, healthcare, and other essential services. This has implications for everyone — but workers, students, the elderly, and those with disabilities or other mobility concerns are especially affected.

How Unmanageable Transportation Impacts the People Around You

Many rural and underserved areas have limited or no public transportation options, resulting in what's known as "transit deserts." There are many factors, but much of it comes down to how a quarter of American commuters don't have access to a car, paired with a lack of access to buses, trains, or other forms of public transit. The result? The commute to work, school, or medical appointments becomes onerous or, for some people, practically impossible.

Regardless of whether your community or business is in a transit desert, how this plays out can take many forms.

1. Access to Jobs, Employee Satisfaction, and Other Business Implications

Without reliable transportation, workers will struggle to access employment opportunities located outside their immediate vicinity. Urban planners warn that this leads to unemployment or underemployment, perpetuating economic disparities in these regions. And poor transportation or commuting solutions have measurable negative outcomes even for those who aren't in transit deserts. For employers, improved transportation options improve critical business KPIs like employee satisfaction.

2. Unaffordable Transportation Costs

For those who rely on personal vehicles in areas without other options, the cost of owning and maintaining a car can be a significant financial burden. The U.S. Bureau of Transportation Statistics warns that this is particularly challenging for low-income individuals, such as students or senior citizens, as well as families who may struggle to afford transportation expenses.

3. Limited Access to Healthcare Services

When there are sparse transportation options, accessing healthcare becomes challenging, especially for elderly individuals with mobility issues or chronic conditions. This lack of access often leads to delayed medical care and exacerbated health disparities.

4. Isolation and Social Exclusion

Limited transportation options contribute to social isolation, particularly among the elderly and individuals with disabilities who may have difficulty traveling independently.

Addressing these transportation challenges requires comprehensive strategies that prioritize equitable access to transportation services in underserved and rural areas, but also nationwide. That's where ridesharing and other mobility-on-demand innovations can help.

What Exactly Is Ridesharing?

As its name suggests, ridesharing is where individuals share a ride in a private vehicle. But we're not talking about traditional taxi services. The Federal Transit Administration defines it succinctly, saying it "involves adding passengers to a private trip in which driver and passengers share a destination. Such an arrangement provides additional transportation options for riders while allowing drivers to fill empty seats in their vehicles."  

Depending on the ridesharing provider, users simply:

  • Use a ridesharing platform or app to request a ride, which matches them with nearby drivers who are available to provide a ride along a similar route
  • The driver picks them up at your specified location, such as home or a designated pickup point like a central transit hub (e.g., a subway station or bus depot)
  • The driver transports them to their destination, whether it's a workplace, school, home, or another location (easily solving the last-mile connection problem that plagues so many commuters)

Not only do studies show that dynamic ridesharing can help address key environmental concerns like congestion and air pollution, but it also:

  • Saves users money by sharing the cost of transportation with others rather than hailing a traditional taxi
  • Provides convenient booking and more convenient, faster A-to-B transportation
  • Offers increased flexibility, since it's not limited to fixed stops and fixed schedules like more traditional carpooling or public transit

But ridesharing isn't without its faults. For instance, popular consumer ridesharing apps like Uber or Lyft can still be too pricey for some riders, and there is often a lack of drivers in key areas at specific times. That's why HR professionals, school administrators, and other community leaders are partnering with savvy ridesharing platforms that offer forward-thinking ways to overcome these typical shortfalls.

Where Ridesharing Can Fall Short

For ridesharing to truly solve the aforementioned issues with American transportation systems, you obviously need a cohort of both drivers and riders who are going the same route, with the flexibility to book a trip exactly when you need it. Included with that, other common pitfalls include rider concerns about safety and worries about scheduling conflicts.

A recent study in Manhattan, New York — where residents and tourists certainly know a thing or two about transportation costs, congestion, and commute time — concluded that for ridesharing to address transportation concerns, a more dynamic, real-time approach is necessary.

That's where SHARE Mobility's real-time solutions come into play, making trips more manageable and smooth for all commuters. Our solutions have a range of accessibility options for people with mobility concerns, plus smart, data-driven route and program management, rider booking and ticketing features, and professionally trained drivers. In a systematic review of more than 80 transportation studies, these were all key factors in ensuring ridesharing truly addressed the problems we see in American transportation.

The results can be dramatic. In one case study, a company in Louisville, KY, struggled with all the previously cited problems with transportation and how it affected their employees. After adopting our platform, they saw a boost in employee retention, eliminated lack of transportation as a barrier in the hiring process, and even noted an increase in positive work culture.

SHARE for an Easy Ride for Everyone

If you recognize the systematic problems with existing public transit and general transportation in your city or town, we invite you to be part of the solution and rethink how people travel. Contact our sales team today to explore SHARE Mobility's innovative ridesharing solutions. With these innovations, you can address the pervasive barriers to transportation and the headaches that your workers, students, or community members experience when trying to get from point A to point B quickly, effectively, and economically.

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