In Progress
Principal Investigator
Project Dates
1/1/2024 - 12/31/2024
Approximate Project Cost

"Towards a Safe, Healthy and Efficient Gig Transportation Workforce" is a research initiative that addresses the heightened safety and health risks faced by the gig transportation workforce, particularly in Massachusetts. The gig economy, characterized by independent contractor roles and piece-rate payments, poses unique challenges to drivers/riders, including higher anxiety, fatigue, risk-taking behaviors, and lack of federal regulation protections. This project aims to enhance the overall well-being of gig drivers/riders by focusing on three main objectives: understanding their economic, safety, and health status; developing a decision support system (DSS) prototype to aid in making informed scheduling decisions; and engaging disadvantaged communities in the design and testing of this DSS.

The research involves a collaborative effort between faculty members from Civil and Environmental Engineering and the School of Public Policy, combining expertise in driver behavior analysis, operation optimization, community outreach, and socio-technical ecosystem studies. The research plan includes conducting a literature review, focus groups/interviews with gig drivers/riders, designing and testing a DSS prototype, and final reporting.

The project methodology combines qualitative and quantitative research methods, including focus groups and surveys. The DSS prototype will be designed to help gig workers balance economic gains with safety and health considerations, potentially transforming how gig work is conducted and perceived. The community engagement aspect ensures that the DSS is user-friendly and effective for the target audience.