Even though the MIT Commute Survey contains very detailed information on travel habits, many of the drawbacks of this modeling effort actually relate to a lack of detailed information on certain aspects of commute behavior among community members. For example, the model assumed that commuters make direct trips to and from home. In reality, trip chaining is quite prevalent and reduces the number of commuters that can reasonably rideshare. Additionally, intra-week schedule variability is quite common. Commuters may modify their departure times throughout the week based on various home or work commitments. The MIT survey was not sufficiently detailed enough to answer questions about intra-week variability; it only asked for arrival and departures times to/from campus on “a typical day”. Further, this analysis has focused exclusively on a single, large institution. In many ways, MIT’s physical location, community size and transport options are unique. While the results are important for MIT, they may not necessarily transfer to other subsets of the MIT community that did not complete the survey, or to other institutions. In order to gain a better understanding of rideshare potential and relative importance of trip characteristics and human attitudes, similar modeling efforts with organizations of different sizes and in different geographic locations would be desirable.

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