Is ride-hailing a step closer to personal car use? Exploring associations between car-based ride-hailing and car ownership and use aspirations among young adults.

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Abstract

New and emerging ICT-mediated mobility services, such as ride-hailing, are shaping travel behaviours with profound implications for sustainable urban transport and mobility. Despite the growing literature on ride-hailing’s impact on travel behaviour, there is a dearth of evidence on the possible influence of this relatively new form of car-based transport on car ownership and use aspirations. We address this gap in the literature by answering the question: does car-based ride-hailing explain aspirations for private car-based transport among young adults? We mobilise a conceptual model that accounts for the possible influences on car ownership and use aspirations of individuals’ perceived similarities between ride-hailing and private car use; perceived benefits of ride-hailing; attitude toward car ownership and use; attitude toward the environment; as well as socio-demographic attributes. We test this model empirically in a developing country context where there is a growing use of ride-hailing services, especially among young demographics. We found that individuals perceived close similarities between ride-hailing and private car use, and that attitude toward car use (instrumental aspects) and perceived benefits of ride-hailing had a direct positive influence on their perceptions. Car ownership and use aspirations were strongly underpinned by individuals’ experience using ride-hailing as well as the social-symbolic meaning of the private car. We also found a dissonance between individuals’ pro-environmental attitude and their desire for car ownership and use. We conclude that ride-hailing is fulfilling an immediate preference for car-based transport among our study participants. Car-based ride-hailing could therefore be a step closer to realizing personal car ownership and use aspirations. We reflect on the implications for creating sustainable urban transport and mobility futures.

Key words: ride-hailing, car ownership and use, aspirations, young adults
Original languageEnglish
JournalTravel Behaviour and Society
Early online date9 Jun 2023
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2023

Keywords

  • Ride-hailing
  • Car ownership and use
  • Aspirations
  • Young adults
  • Future mobility

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