The Mobility Hub
Your weekly guide to the latest in shared mobility
SUMC News and Announcements
Get in on the infrastructure conversation. Snag early bird tickets for The Big Shift: Building the Infrastructures for Shared Mobility and envision a more sustainable, equitable system. Rates expire on 4/26 at 12:00 AM CDT.
Interested in sponsorship? (Yay!) Take a look at the options.
Congratulations, Community Transportation Needs Assessment Voucher Awardees!
Twenty-four underserved California communities and tribes received a total of $1.15 million from the Clean Mobility Options Voucher Pilot Program to pinpoint the transportation gaps where they live. Thanks to funding from California Climate Investments, a statewide initiative that puts billions of Cap-and-Trade dollars to work reducing greenhouse gas emissions, strengthening the economy, and improving public health—particularly in underserved communities, this is just the beginning. Next up: Mobility Project Voucher awards (up to $1 million each) to implement clean, shared mobility solutions.
And we’re talking zero-emission carsharing, carpooling/vanpooling, bikesharing/scooter-sharing, innovative transit services, and ride-on-demand solutions!
New on the Mobility Hub: Three briefs with widespread applications
Fresh off the digital printer are brief overviews on microtransit in urban and suburban communities, transit agencies helping riders access the COVID-19 vaccine, and a new bikeshare docking technology. If you want to dive in further to any topic, SUMC’s Learning Center is chock full of policies, pilots, webinars, case studies, and tools to give you 360° understanding.
Find out Where the Sidewalk Ends on May 11 at 12:00 PM CDT
While every trip, regardless of mode, begins with walking or rolling, pedestrian infrastructure is often an afterthought. Join the Metropolitan Planning Council on May 11 to learn about the Chicago region’s pedestrian environment and hear from organizations working to improve walkability and accessibility.
Transportation consultant and historian Sarah Jo Peterson dispels myths about the US interstate highway system—namely that the devastation of mostly Black communities wasn’t the fault of the interstates that tore through them and that urban planners knew these highways would affect urban areas but pushed forward anyway.
Protests about environmental racism in communities of color date back nearly 40 years, but activists and leaders are still trying to end the ongoing waste-dumping and pollution-spewing. Let’s hope by amplifying their voices (and calling out these injustices in the Biden/Harris Infrastructure Plan), people finally pay attention.
Speaking of the American Jobs Plan, Politico describes how the $2.3 trillion bill can make a difference in righting long-standing racial inequity by directing funds to the communities that need it most—with repercussions that go far beyond transportation infrastructure.
Southeast Asian mobility titan Grab is expected to go public via the New York Stock Exchange through a merger with a special purpose acquisition company that speculators believe would value the company at over $35 billion.
Over on the East Asian front, Google has invested 56.5 billion won ($50.1 million) into South Korean taxi-hailing leader Kakao Mobility so the companies can co-develop cloud-based AI tech for each of their services.
In a move you can view as either less ride declines for customers or fewer features for drivers, Uber is considering removing the feature that allows its drivers to see destinations and fares of ride requests.
Bikesharing & Micromobility
Integrating dockless scooters and public transportation starts by getting the modes—and the public and private sectors—to play on the same team or least complement each other’s strengths. Greater Greater Washington explains.
Hey, there’s another one! Yep, you’ll be seeing a lot more green Lime mopeds zipping about DC with the launch of 100 vehicles last week—with a slew of new safety features and in-app education in tow.
Biking in cities always seems like the ‘chicken or the egg’ of transportation—do you build bike lanes first or wait until more cyclists populate the streets? Well, European cities have figured out, over many decades, that if you build the infrastructure, they will ride.
“When I tell friends, jaws drop. “You take the CTA?” Then I tell them to get on board. Chicago needs our butts in those seats,” opines Chicago Sun-Times columnist and proud CTA cheerleader Laura Washington to encourage Chicagoans to save our transit system, one trip at a time.
The New York MTA wants to do better with station accessibility and aims to use zoning policy—developed with the input of transit, disability, and senior advocates—as the main tool by working with developers systemwide to make mass transit available for all New Yorkers.
LA’s transit system was suffering from ridership loss en masse and struggling to compete with car ownership, then the pandemic hit. Now, the city is grappling with the rise in auto dependency and funding woes as it pushes ahead on bus and train expansions to reduce emissions-oozing congestion.
They already lead the world in electric vehicle sales, so it’s no wonder Europe is investing 6.1 billion euros to build an EV battery supply-chain across the continent, resulting in a projected third of global production by 2030.
CleanTechnica talks driverless shop with Cruise’s Senior VP of Government Affairs and Social Impact Rob Grant about the young and experimental nature of autonomous vehicle development—and how new regulatory frameworks keep innovation inching ahead.
Over in the logistics and freight lane, autonomous truck developer Embark popped the lid off of its new tech toolset (the Embark Universal Interface) of self-driving hardware components and dynamic interfaces the company plans to make standard on Freightliner, International, Peterbilt, and Volvo trucks.
Chicago has a lot to gain from President Biden’s Plan, as a central rail hub and public transportation leader in the US that is, and local advocates see the potential to speed up hefty expansions for the ‘L’ and Amtrak networks.
As travel patterns change and different parts of the world flirt with reopening office spaces, consultant on mobility and cities David Zipper asks the uncomfortable question, “what if working at home makes us drive more, not less?”
Ahead of their Walk/Bike/Places conference in June, Project for Public Space chats with author and social psychiatrist Dr. Mindy Fullilove about the restorative effects of vibrant public spaces and healing urban mental health.
Project Funding Opportunities
Oklahoma City’s Embark, a participant agency in the SUMC-led AIM-NNet Innovative Transit Micro Mobility Integration solution workgroup, just released an RFP to procure new electric-assisted bicycles to expand the Spokies bikeshare program. Take a look.
RFP: Electric Assisted Bicycles
Oklahoma City, OK
Deadline: April 21, 2021
RFP: Mobility Hub Concept Design Request for Proposals
April 23, 2021
RFP: Clean Transportation Roadmap
State of Maine
May 6, 2021
20 U.S. cities can receive up to $25,000 each for projects that use art and design as “visual interventions” to improve street safety, revitalize public spaces, and engage community residents. Applications are open until April 30, 2021.