Ridesharing services such as Uber and Lyft have become an increasingly important mobility service in many cities, but how do they impact existing transportation services, and what do public decision-makers and urban planners need to know? Professor Robert Goodspeed and his team are studying this new transportation landscape, with special focus on individuals with limited transportation choices.
Local ridesharing trips collected in study
Proportion of survey respondents without a vehicle available to them
Proportion of survey respondents who think transit frequency is an extremely important reason to use ridesharing service instead of transit
To investigate that issue, this pilot project is collecting survey responses from ridesharing users in Washtenaw County to investigate users’ demographics, typical destinations, and choice to use ridesharing over other options available to them. In addition to analyzing the resulting survey data, we will analyze the trip data to understand what neighborhood characteristics are correlated with ridesharing use. A special focus of the analysis will be places and individuals with limited transportation choices.
Collecting travel data to help Benton Harbor improve travel options for residents, with the goal of increased employment participation and retention.
Facilitating an on-demand, seamless, and efficient mobility service for the Benton Harbor community, especially among low-mobility families.
Rethinking how transit infrastructure can expand access to food, health, learning, and mobility services by creating multimodal hubs.
The project aims to reduce energy use of vehicular travels by incentivizing individual travelers to adjust travel choices and driving behaviors.
A major source of bridge deterioration requiring constant maintenance is mechanical expansion joints installed between adjacent simple span bridge decks.
Mapping detailed geographies of digital access and exclusion across Detroit’s neighborhoods.
Assistant Professor of Urban Planning
Robert Goodspeed, PhD, AICP, is an Assistant Professor of Urban Planning at Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning at the University of Michigan. His research interest is in the use of new technology to improve the planning process, and involves mixed-methods studies of innovative urban planning practice, the use of GIS to develop novel methods and measurements, and theoretical analysis of sociotechnical practices like crowdfunding and smart cities. As a result of his scholarly and applied work in this area, he was named a Leading Thinker in Urban Planning and Technology by the website Planetizen. He teaches graduate courses in geographic information systems (GIS), collaborative planning, and scenario planning. He holds a Ph.D. in urban and regional planning from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, an M.C.P. from the University of Maryland, and a B.A. in history with high honors and high distinction from the University of Michigan. His dissertation, which examined the use of planning support systems in spatial planning, received the 2013 Donald Schön Award for Excellence in Learning from Practice from the Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning. Prior to pursuing a Ph.D., Goodspeed worked as a research analyst at the Boston Metropolitan Area Planning Council, where he was involved in planning-related mapping, data analysis, and community indicators projects.
Assistant Professor of Information
Assistant Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science
Tawanna is an Assistant Professor at the University of Michigan’s School of Information and holds a courtesy appointment with the Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Department. Tawanna earned her Ph.D. in Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) from Carnegie Mellon University. She now leads the Social Innovations research group, an interdisciplinary group of individuals whose vision is to design, build, and enhance technologies to solve real-world problems affecting marginalized groups and individuals primarily in the U.S. Our projects aim to address unemployment, environmental sustainability, and technical literacy by fostering social and sociotechnical capital within these communities.