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Of “white crows” and “cash savers:” A qualitative study of travel behavior and perceptions of ridesharing in Denmark

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  • Nielsen, Jesper Riber
  • Hovmøller, Harald
  • Blyth, Pascale-L.
  • Sovacool, Benjamin K.

Abstract

Based on original research collected through semi-structured research interviews and five focus groups throughout Denmark, this study explores Danish perceptions about ad hoc, acquaintance-based, and organization-based ridesharing (“carpooling”). Using a grounded, qualitative factor analysis approach, it investigates the elements that influence the adoption (and non-adoption) of ridesharing and identifies market segments and business models that may enable planners to overcome existing barriers. The article finds that Danish drivers and commuters appear to be split on the topic. Negative perceptions reported by respondents include lack of availability and difficulty finding rides, viewing ridesharing as unsafe or unsecure, and expectations of social awkwardness, among others. Positive perceptions reported include cost savings compared to public and private transport, greater flexibility of travel times, and the ability to socialize with vehicle occupants. These contrasting views lead us to conclude that existing theories and models of ridesharing behavior may need to be fundamentally rethought, both in Denmark and possibly elsewhere. Our results also suggest that ridesharing efforts framed around climate change or environmental sustainability will not likely be successful in Denmark.

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  • Nielsen, Jesper Riber & Hovmøller, Harald & Blyth, Pascale-L. & Sovacool, Benjamin K., 2015. "Of “white crows” and “cash savers:” A qualitative study of travel behavior and perceptions of ridesharing in Denmark," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 78(C), pages 113-123.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:transa:v:78:y:2015:i:c:p:113-123
    DOI: 10.1016/j.tra.2015.04.033
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