Virginia Ridesharing Statistics: Methodologies for Determining Carpooler and Vanpool Average Life Bases and the Average Fuel Economy of Commuter Vehicles

Report No: 86-R12

Published in 1985

About the report:

The objective of this research was to investigate methods of computing average life values for carpoolers and vanpools in Virginia. These statistics are to be used by the Rail and Public Transportation Division in evaluating the efficiency and cost-effectiveness of the ridesharing programs it funds. Achievement of this objective required a means of determining what data were needed, how best to collect them, and evaluations to calculate the average life values. In addition, the division wanted a means of developing average fuel economy statistics for commuter vehicles used in this state. A literature search was undertaken, and several alternative methods of collecting and computing these data were explored. The theoretical basis of this study was derived from efforts by the consulting firm of Crain and Associates to develop similar statistics for the city of Los Angeles, California. The Virginia study followed their general approach to the problem but varied significantly in the proposed method of data collection and computation of the statistics. From the information developed, it is recommended that the Department (1) perform a multiyear survey of both carpoolers and vanpool drivers to collect pool participation data, (2) use these data to determine the average number of years an individual remains in a carpool and the average longevity of a vanpool, and (3) annually survey ride sharers to collect miles-per-gallon data from which a statewide average commuter vehicle MPG can be developed.

Disclaimer Statement:The contents of this report reflect the views of the author(s), who is responsible for the facts and the accuracy of the data presented herein. The contents do not necessarily reflect the official views or policies of the Virginia Department of Transportation, the Commonwealth Transportation Board, or the Federal Highway Administration. This report does not constitute a standard, specification, or regulation. Any inclusion of manufacturer names, trade names, or trademarks is for identification purposes only and is not to be considered an endorsement.


  • Howard J. Kittell

Last updated: February 10, 2024

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