Does Ridehailing Use Affect Vehicle Ownership or Vice Versa?

Does Ridehailing Use Affect Vehicle Ownership or Vice Versa? An Exploratory Investigation of the Relationship Using a Latent Market Segmentation Approach

Principal Investigator: Irfan Batur, Associate Research Technologist, School of Sustainable Engineering and the Built Environment
Co-Principal Investigator: Ram M. Pendyala, Director and Professor, School of Sustainable Engineering and the Built Environment
Project Duration: 12 months
​Project Budget (Federal UTC Funds): N/A
Project Budget (Cost-share): N/A
Institution: Arizona State University

This research project presents an examination of the inter-relationship between household vehicle ownership and ridehailing use frequency. Both variables constitute important mobility choices with significant implications for the future of transport. While it is generally known that these two behavioral phenomena are inversely related to one another, the direction of causality is rather ambiguous. Do vehicle ownership levels affect ridehailing use frequency, or does the adoption and use of ridehailing services affect vehicle ownership? If ridehailing services affect vehicle ownership, then it is plausible that a future of mobility-as-a-service would be characterized by lower levels of vehicle ownership. To explore the degree to which these causal relationships are prevalent in the population, a joint latent segmentation model system is formulated and estimated on a survey data set collected in four automobile-oriented metropolitan areas of the United States. The latent segmentation model system recognizes that the causal structures driving mobility choices of individuals are not directly observed. Model estimation results show that 58 percent of the survey sample follow the causal structure in which ridehailing use frequency affects vehicle ownership. This finding suggests that there is considerable structural heterogeneity in the population with respect to causal structures, and that ridehailing use does indeed hold considerable promise to effect changes in private vehicle ownership in the future.

Research Products and Implementation

​Final Report