The rapid growth of transportation network companies (TNC) in the US has prompted some researchers/planners to predict a future marked by coordinated services provided by TNCs and transit agencies that would benefit TNCs, transit agencies, and people at large. However, it has also led others to predict the annihilation of conventional public transit by TNCs because of the convenience of the latter. It has thus become important to examine how conventional transit and TNCs can coexist and be mutually beneficial.
The impact of TNCs on conventional transit is likely to be greater in NJ than most other states because (a) more people use transit in NJ than other states, and (b) NJ includes many suburban communities where transit is available but is not always convenient. The need for understanding the impacts of TNCs on conventional transit in NJ is immediate because a delay may cause a significant erosion of transit ridership. That erosion may eventually lead to service reduction of in some areas, which in turn may adversely affect current riders who cannot afford to use TNCs. On the other hand, transit can also take advantage of TNCs and integrate their services for last-mile/first-mile trips.
Open data sources to analyze the effects of TNCs on conventional transit are currently non-existent. It is therefore important to generate a dataset of current and potential TNC users that can be used to examine when TNCs serve as a complement and when they serve as a substitute of conventional transit. The findings of the study will help to re-orient transit service (in terms of service area, time of service, service frequency, route configuration, etc.) and to identify areas for coordinated service between transit and TNCs.