The Shared-Use Mobility Center (SUMC) was founded in 2014 with first-year startup funds from the sale of IGO CarSharing, a social venture that started at the Center for Neighborhood Technology and that first brought carsharing to the Chicago region. IGO’s CEO and founder, Sharon Feigon, now serves as SUMC’s executive director.
As a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, SUMC continues IGO’s mission to make it possible to live well without owning a car. We do that by bringing together a wide range of interests – including government agencies, private sector operators, community groups, and academics – to share best practices, conduct research, and to serve as a testing ground to expand the public benefits of shared mobility.
Expanding Shared Mobility for All
Urban mobility is changing faster today than at any time in recent history. The past year alone has seen a surge of new developments, from the launch of innovative first/last mile partnerships to the emergence of autonomous vehicles and the introduction of a first-of-its-kind challenge from the federal government to help cities rethink transportation.
Despite the great progress being made, however, in many cases the benefits of new services such as bikesharing, carsharing, and ridehailing still haven’t reached residents of every age, demographic,and income level. And they have not yet scaled to their full potential.
SUMC was established in 2014 to help address these concerns. Now in our fourth year, we have experienced the same rapid growth as the shared mobility industry. We have doubled our staff, opened a second office in Los Angeles, and launched several groundbreaking projects to help cities better understand and realize the benefits of shared mobility.
In the last several years, our work included partnering with the Urban Sustainability Directors Network to launch a first-of-its-kind Shared Mobility Toolkit, completing a Transportation Research Board study to help shed light on the relationship between shared mobility and transit, launching our Mobility on Demand (MOD) Innovation and Knowledge Accelerator (IKA) program with the US Federal Transit Administration, and completing two action plans to provide real strategies to help take 100,000 cars off of the road within the next five years in Los Angeles County and Minneapolis-St. Paul region. In addition, we’ve worked with our public and private partners to pilot new carsharing concepts in disadvantaged communities in Los Angeles and our hometown Chicago.
While we are proud of the progress we’ve made in just four short years, we also realize that much more must be done. We look forward to working with our partners in the year ahead to learn, experiment, innovate, and help make our cities work – and move – better for everyone.