, Volume 21, Issue 1, pp 47–69 | Cite as

Psychological benefits from vanpooling and group composition

  • Erik Ferguson
  • Kevin Hodge
  • Kathryn Berkovsky


Prospective carpool satisfaction varies with respect to carpool size, acquaintanceship and gender composition, at least for carpool arrangements of 2–4 members. It is not known whether such variations apply in the same kind or to the same degree for vanpools of 9–15 members. A study of 15 vanpool programs in Southern California operating over 700 vanpools with more than 8,000 members was used to test for such effects. Five measures of retrospective vanpool satisfaction were derived from 40 vanpool benefit items using factor analysis in LISREL. The five perceived vanpool satisfaction factors included reliability, social, relaxation, economic and environmental benefits. Variations in these five benefit factors were analyzed with respect to vanpool group composition using difference of means tests and correlation analysis. Perceived vanpool reliability showed the largest statistical association with most of the group composition variables studied, perhaps because it was better identified in the analysis in terms of the total number of individual items loading on it. Gender had the largest statistical association with most of the vanpool benefit factors, perhaps because it was most clearly identified with individual vanpool members in the data. Based on this analysis, it appears that perceived vanpool benefits are qualitatively as well as quantitatively different than perceived carpool benefits. Vanpool program marketing strategies may need to be rethought and recast based on these research findings.

Key words

marketing program management psychology vanpooling 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Bagozzi RP (1984) A prospectus for theory construction in marketing.Journal of Marketing 48: 11–29.Google Scholar
  2. Bailey JM (1982) Comparative commuting costs: vanpooling, carpooling, and driving alone.Transportation Research Record 876: 33–38.Google Scholar
  3. Cox BE (1983)The Value of Travel Time. Report No. ISSN 0111-0756. Wellington: National Roads Board.Google Scholar
  4. Dobson R (1976) Uses and limitations of attitudinal modeling. In: Stopher PR & Meyburg AH (eds)Behavioral Travel Demand Models (pp 99–106. Lexington, MA: Lexington Books.Google Scholar
  5. Dueker JK & Levin IP (1976)Carpooling: Attitudes and Participation. Technical Report No. 81. Iowa City: Center for Urban Transportation Studies, Institute of Urban and Regional Research, University of Iowa.Google Scholar
  6. Dueker KJ, Bair BO & Levin IP (1977) Ridesharing: psychological factors.Journal of Transportation Engineering 103: 685–692.Google Scholar
  7. Dumas JS & Dobson R (1979) Linking consumer attitudes to bus and carpool usage.Transportation Research A 13: 417–423.Google Scholar
  8. Ferguson E, Carlson M, Van Hein J, & Nissalke T (1991) Psychological benefits from vanpooling and management attitudes toward ridesharing in Southern California.Proceedings of the 6th International Conference on Travel Behaviour, Quebec, Canada, May.Google Scholar
  9. Hartgen DT & Bullard K (1993) What's happened to carpooling: 1980–1990 trends in North Carolina. Presented at the 72nd annual meeting of the Transportation Research Board, Washington, DC, January.Google Scholar
  10. Hensher DA (1976) Use and application of market segmentation. In: Stopher PR & Meyburg AH (eds)Behavioral Travel Demand Models (pp 271–280). Lexington, MA: Lexington Books.Google Scholar
  11. Johnson C, Sen AK & Galloway J (1979) On tolerable route deviations in van pooling.Transportation Research A 13: 45–48.Google Scholar
  12. Kodama M, Pankratz J & Moilov M (1991) Ventura freeway vanpool support program.Transportation Research Record 1321: 21–25.Google Scholar
  13. Kumar A & Moilov M (1991) Vanpools in Los Angeles.Transportation Research Record 1321: 103–106.Google Scholar
  14. Levin IP (1982) Measuring tradeoffs in carpool driving arrangement preferences.Transportation 11: 71–85.Google Scholar
  15. Levin IP & Gray MJ (1979) Evaluation of interpersonal influences in the formation and promotion of carpools.Transportation Research Record 724: 35–39.Google Scholar
  16. Louviere JJ & Kocur G (1983) The magnitude of individual-level variations in demand coefficients: a Xenia, Ohio case example.Transportation Research A 17(5): 363–373.Google Scholar
  17. Misch MR & Margolin JB (1981)Guidelines for Using Vanpools and Carpools as a TSM Technique. National Cooperative Highway Research Program Report 241. Washington, DC: National Research Council, Transportation Research Board.Google Scholar
  18. Novaco RW, Stokols D & Milanesi L (1989)Objective and Subjective Dimensions of Travel Impedance as Determinants of Commuting Stress. Report No. UCI-ITS-WP-89-3. Irvine, CA: Institute of Transportation Studies, University of California, Irvine.Google Scholar
  19. Tretvik T (1993) Inferring variations in values of time from toll route diversion behavior. Presented at the 72nd Annual Meeting of the Transportation Research Board, Washington, DC, January.Google Scholar
  20. Ulberg C (1989)Psychological Aspects of Mode Choice. Report No. WA-RD 189.1. Seattle, WA: Washington State Department of Transportation.Google Scholar
  21. Valk PJ (1980) Evaluation of the Commuter Computer vanpool program.Transportation Research Record 778: 32–38.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • Erik Ferguson
    • 1
  • Kevin Hodge
    • 2
  • Kathryn Berkovsky
    • 2
  1. 1.Graduate City Planning ProgramAtlantaUSA
  2. 2.School of PsychologyGeorgia Institute of TechnologyAtlantaUSA

Personalised recommendations