The growth of carpooling: Insights from a social media investigation

Maria Vincenza Ciasullo, Gennaro Maione, Carlo Torre, Orlando Troisi


Purpose. The work aims to highlight and analyse empirical data about the motives leading people to resort to innovative travel systems and, more in detail, carpooling, in order to foster a major awareness about the reasons of its success, such as money saving, comfort, curiosity, environmental sustainability, etc.

Methodology. The study is based on a big data analysis, performed by implementing an IT tool (Twitter Crawler) to collect in real time people’s tweets about carpooling, by considering the hashtags used by them in a specified time span (four months).

Findings. The analysis shows that the main reason for which people declare to use carpooling is money saving, although there are also other important motives, such as curiosity, desire to make friends, chance to use innovative technologies, opportunity to travel with a high level of comfort, etc.

Practical implications. The work offers insights for both scholars and practitioners, suggesting deepening, on one hand, the motives leading people to resort increasingly to alternative travel systems, and, on the other, the importance to become aware about the opportunity of using smart technologies also in travel context to efficacy and timely respond to changing market needs.

Originality/value. In order to respond to the research question, skills of different areas, business management and information technology, have been synergistically combined for developing and implementing an IT tool able to identify, select, collect and categorize automatically people’s tweets about carpooling.


Smart Technology; Smart travel systems; Big data; Big data analysis; Twitter Crawler; Carpooling

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