Dueling emergencies: Flood evacuation ridesharing during the COVID-19 pandemic

Elisa Borowski, Victor Limontitla Cedillo, Amanda Stathopoulos*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Volunteered sharing of resources is often observed in response to disaster events. During evacuations the sharing of resources and vehicles is a crucial mechanism for expanding critical capacity and enabling inclusive disaster response. This paper examines the complexity of rideshare decision-making in the wake of simultaneous emergencies. Specifically, the need for physical distancing measures during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic complicates face-to-face resource sharing between strangers. The ability of on-demand ridesharing to provide emergency transportation to individuals without access to alternatives calls for an understanding of how evacuees weigh risks of contagion against benefits of spontaneous resource sharing. In this research, we examine both sociodemographic and situational factors that contribute to a willingness to share flood evacuation rides with strangers during the COVID-19 pandemic. We hypothesize that the willingness to share is significantly correlated with traditional emergency resource sharing motivations and current COVID-19 risk factors. To test these hypotheses, we distributed an online survey during the pandemic surge in July 2020 to 600 individuals in three midwestern and three southern states in the United States with high risk of flooding. We estimate a random parameter multinomial logit model to determine the willingness to share a ride as a driver or passenger. Our findings show that willingness to share evacuation rides is associated with individual sociodemographics (such as being female, under 36 years old, Black, or republican-identifying) and the social environment (such as households with children, social network proximity, and neighborly sharing attitudes). Moreover, our findings suggest higher levels of income, COVID-19 threat perception, evacuation fear, and household preparedness all correspond with a lower willingness to share rides. We discuss the broader implications of emergency on-demand mobility during concurrent disasters to formulate strategies for transportation agencies and on-demand ridehailing providers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number100352
JournalTransportation Research Interdisciplinary Perspectives
Volume10
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2021

Keywords

  • COVID-19 pandemic
  • Discrete choice model
  • Flood evacuation
  • Ridesharing
  • Sharing economy
  • Social equity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Transportation
  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Management Science and Operations Research
  • Automotive Engineering

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