An analysis of casual carpool passenger behavior in Houston, Texas
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In the last thirty years, determined travelers have developed a new method of travel that allows them to receive the benefits of traveling on the HOV lane without forming traditional carpools. This new mode is known as casual carpooling (also known as ??slugging??). Casual carpools are impromptu carpools formed among strangers in order to meet the occupancy requirements of HOV lanes. In this research, survey respondent data from Houston, Texas were used to evaluate the behavior of casual carpool passengers. At the time of this research, there were approximately 500 casual carpool passengers in Houston each day during the morning peak period. These passengers gained time savings of up to 13 minutes over the alternative of driving alone on the main lanes. Statistical models were used to evaluate the factors that influence travelers to choose casual carpooling. The results of the analyses indicated that travelers on commute trips were more likely to casual carpool. The results also indicated that casual carpoolers in Houston made more trips per week, were between the ages of 25 and 34, and hadoccupations that were either professional/managerial or administrative/clerical. Additionally, Houston travelers that had incomes between $25,000 and $35,000 and were between the ages of 55 and 64 were significantly less likely to casual carpool. The research results provided insight into some of the factors that influenced the decision to casual carpool. It is important to understand the types of travelers that casual carpooled, and the information learned in these analyses can be used to better evaluate HOV and HOT lane use and performance. Casual carpool passengers can comprise a significant portion of HOV/HOT lane person movement and should be considered when considering HOV or HOT lane implementation. However, further research in this area is necessary to better understand these travelers.
Winn, Justin Ray (2005). An analysis of casual carpool passenger behavior in Houston, Texas. Master's thesis, Texas A&M University. Texas A&M University. Available electronically from