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Socially Structured Vanpooling: A Case Study in Salalah, Oman

Journal Contribution - Journal Article

The shared transportation systems of many countries in the Middle East and Arab world are commonly challenged by sociocultural constraints that need to be satisfied to attract people to ridesharing. As an example, in this article, we address the chartered vanpooling problem, which relates to a ridesharing form widely used in many of these countries, and propose the concept of socially structured vanpooling as an accommodation of the sociocultural preferences of riders. The proposed framework aims at improving the social satisfaction of riders by grouping them into socially compatible pools of co-riders who are comfortable using chartered van services. We present the proposed framework through a case study of female students in Salalah, Oman, and implement it as a three-step clustering algorithm consisting of 1) crisp spatiotemporal pooling, 2) fuzzy agglomerative clustering based on riders' social connections, and 3) fuzzy clustering according to riders' preferences. Based on data collected from 500 students, our experimental results show that the proposed framework leads to a better tradeoff between riders' satisfaction and van operators' benefits.
Journal: IEEE Intelligent Transportation Systems Magazine
ISSN: 1939-1390
Issue: 1
Volume: 14
Pages: 242 - 252
Number of pages: 11
Publication year:2022
Keywords:Public transportation, Vehicles, Social networking (online), Time factors, Market research, Urban areas