Share or Solo? Individual and Social Choices in Ride-Hailing

67 Pages Posted: 1 Oct 2020 Last revised: 13 Dec 2021

See all articles by Ming Hu

Ming Hu

University of Toronto - Rotman School of Management

Jianfu Wang

City University of Hong Kong

Hengda Wen

University of Toronto - Rotman School of Management

Date Written: August 16, 2020

Abstract

Ride-hailing platforms offer riders pooling services to share rides with other riders. The introduction of shared rides mitigates the driver shortage and reduces rider wait times, especially in rush hours, but it may compromise riders' privacy, space, and security. We study a queueing model in which riders wait for drivers and choose whether to join the queue and if joining, whether to take a shared or solo ride without observing the real-time system congestion. In the case of a shared ride being chosen, the rider may need to wait for another fellow rider to carpool. We analyze and compare the choices by decentralized riders and the centralized social planner of joining rates and sharing probabilities, under First-In-First-Out (FIFO) and Priority-For-Sharing (PFS) service disciplines. We discover that, under the FIFO discipline, self-interested riders in equilibrium always under-share, compared to the socially optimal solution. This leads to under-join behavior by riders due to thinner effective system capacity compared to that of the socially optimal system. In contrast, under the PFS discipline, riders may over-share to gain priority over solo riders, regardless of the negative sharing externality. Nonetheless, in equilibrium, the social planner can induce decentralized riders to achieve the socially optimal joining rate by charging a toll and to achieve the socially optimal sharing probability by appropriate social (e.g., educational), monetary, or priority schemes. Lastly, we conduct a numerical study with the ride-hailing data of Chicago in August 2019. Comparing the empirical sharing behavior with the socially optimal solution from our calibrated model, we observe that the practical sharing fraction for trips originated from residential areas (resp., downtown) is smaller (resp., greater) than the imputed socially-optimal one during morning rush hours, and vice versa during evening rush hours.

Keywords: Sharing Economy, Ride-Hailing, Ride-Sharing, Queuing Economics

Suggested Citation

Hu, Ming and Wang, Jianfu and Wen, Hengda, Share or Solo? Individual and Social Choices in Ride-Hailing (August 16, 2020). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3675050 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3675050

Ming Hu

University of Toronto - Rotman School of Management ( email )

105 St. George st
Toronto, ON M5S 3E6
Canada
416-946-5207 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://ming.hu

Jianfu Wang

City University of Hong Kong ( email )

Kowloon
Hong Kong
Hong Kong

Hengda Wen (Contact Author)

University of Toronto - Rotman School of Management ( email )

105 St. George st
Toronto, ON M5S 3E6
Canada

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