Sustainable self-organized ridesharing initiatives as learning opportunities

Sharon Shoshany Tavory, Tamar Trop, Yoram Shiftan

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review


Many commuters still travel to work alone, in their private vehicle, causing negative externalities, including economic inefficiencies and environmental impacts. Nonprofit ridesharing is considered one of the sustainable modes to mitigate those effects. On multiple occasions, ad-hoc ridesharing-between-strangers has been shown to turn the expensive drive-alone commuting habit and achieve more sustainable results - by serving the demand of road users, while reducing the vehicle-miles travelled. Where organized ridesharing gains limited success, self-organized ridesharing (SORS) initiatives - which grow organically by reacting to strains and opportunities, had been shown in different contexts to draw substantial participation. However, the literature had treated these occurrences as anecdotal, un-replicable, context specific phenomena. Thus, limited theoretical and practical knowledge is offered, especially of the influential earlier stages. The presented research postulates SORS follows repeated emergence patterns, which can be externally and systematically influenced for better ridesharing solutions. Based on synthesis of existing literature, the research offers a descriptive framework for SORS analysis, which enables exploration and design of initiatives. The framework was validated through evaluation of seven case studies from around the world. The cases were explored using mixed methods approach, relying mainly on social-network data mining, supplemented by semi-structured interviews and observations. By merging knowledge areas of Sharing Economy, Grass-root Innovation and Practice Theory in Multi-Level-Perspective transition analysis, the framework allows explanation of different occurrences. Specifically, several repeated patterns are revealed: (a) activists and activist-less types; (b) the favourable commuting "line" structure which relies on choke-point transport geography, demand concentration and available public transport backup; (c) participants' arena support; (d) emerging sense-of-community which provides additional resiliency; and (e) emergence process structure. The findings support improved policy decisions and recommendations for technology design. Through these enhancements, SORS techno-social processes can be stimulated, resulting in increase of ridesharing uptake.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAIIT 3rd International Conference on Transport Infrastructure and Systems,TIS ROMA 2022 - Conference Proceedings
EditorsGiuseppe Cantisani, Michela Le Pira, Stefano Zampino
Number of pages6
ISBN (Electronic)9781713870913
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2023
Event3rd International Conference on Transport Infrastructure and Systems, TIS ROMA 2022 - Rome, Italy
Duration: 15 Sep 202216 Sep 2022

Publication series

NameTransportation Research Procedia
ISSN (Print)2352-1457
ISSN (Electronic)2352-1465


Conference3rd International Conference on Transport Infrastructure and Systems, TIS ROMA 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 The Authors. Published by ELSEVIER B.V.


  • ridesharing
  • self-organization
  • shared mobiliy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Transportation


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