The Mobility Hub
Your weekly guide to the latest in shared mobility
SUMC News and Announcements
INFRASTRUCTURE IS THE WORD
Have you heard of the new and long-awaited infrastructure bill currently in the planning phase but eventually headed to the halls of Congress? We have and hope Biden’s team and House Representatives pre-register for our upcoming 2021 National Shared Mobility Summit. It focuses on The Big Shift: Building the Infrastructure for Shared Mobility.
Distributed on four consecutive Tuesdays during the month of July, The Big Shift will virtually bring together thought leaders and community leaders, government officials, public, private, and nonprofit sector experts, researchers, innovators, and YOU, to figure out how to shift the system away from racial, social, and environmental injustice and build a sustainable, equitable future.
Event Recap: Accelerating Innovative Mobility (AIM) to Promote Customer-Centric Solutions for All
The National Center for Mobility Management hosted a virtual peer exchange on February 23, 2021, organized in partnership between the American Public Transit Association and SUMC. The peer exchange featured recipients of FTA’s AIM grants, including Kansas City Area Transportation Authority, who will be implementing precision docking for their bus rapid transit service, and the Minnesota Department of Transportation, who will be launching a MaaS platform to integrate rural and urban services in their state. Attendees discussed ways that AIM projects can advance customer-centric improvements through innovation in transit financing, system design, and service.
This week we’re featuring webinars, because ideas are best when shared.
The Chicago Council
March 18, 4 – 5:30 PM CDT
We know how to build an inequitable city—the reality of the present day has been exposed by COVID-19 and continuing injustices. But we have no reference point for equitable urban life.
“Pursuing Equity,” part of the Pritzker Forum on Global Cities, will explore the relationship between inequality and urban space, equity in crisis response, and global approaches to pursuing equity. The program features such transportation leaders as Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg, LA Metro CEO Phil Washington, Bloomberg Principal and former Commissioner of the NYC DOT Janette Sadik-Khan, and LA Mayor Eric Garcetti. Tickets are free.
Tomorrow: Leadership for Sustainability with Bruce Hull
March 5, 12 – 1:30 PM CST
Addressing environmental and sustainability challenges takes more than business-as-usual approaches. Bruce Hull, a Senior Fellow at Virginia Tech, discusses how to tackle these “wicked problems” by blending systems thinking with leadership techniques. He even wrote a book on the subject. This event is in partnership with the Maryland Department of Planning and the Smart Growth Network.
Reversing Car Dependency
International Transport Forum (ITF)
March 16, 9 – 10:30 AM CDT/ 16:00-17:30 CET
The ITF, an intergovernmental “think tank” for transport policy made up of 62 member countries (including the United States) will discuss the findings of their report of the same name, which looks at how governments can encourage citizens to use alternatives to private cars, regardless—and this is the clincher—of how they are powered (electric, hydrogen, gasoline) or who drives them.
Who do we innovate for? Seniors, people with disabilities, and those who live in rural areas are not as well-served by the latest high-tech mobility offerings (think e-scooters) as by good old-fashioned “sidewalks and pedestrian-centered road design.” Streetsblog explores.
Removing the highways that destroyed Black communities, homes, and lives isn’t enough to remove their impact. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg and others are looking for ways to right those wrongs.
Inequity is so interwoven with our policies and regulations in transportation that a fair system based on need will take complete dismantling and rethinking of our system. Grist points out yet another advantage for the affluent in the latest mobility hot topic: EV tax credits.
A new ridehailing competitor has entered the mix for the luxury set—without higher fees for high demand. The Daimler-backed Blacklane offers on-demand chauffeur service to New Yorkers with plans to tackle 20 more cities by the end of the month and go electric.
Yet another one-stop-shop app for all your needs emerges in the Middle East, where mobility platform Careem, following the move of its Asian rivals, is offering a plethora of mobility services alongside food delivery, mobile payments, and shopping.
Santa Monica and the Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator are ready to tackle emissions and congestion from last-mile deliveries with a new zero-emissions delivery zone that prioritizes EV vans, e-cargo scooters, and small delivery bots with help from curb management company Automotus.
Bikesharing & Micromobility
Micromobility leader Lime is touting a new e-bike with a slew of updates, including a more powerful motor, a swappable battery, and a $50 million investment to scale up electric bikeshare by 2022 to 50 more cities worldwide.
The LADOT’s data-sharing requirements will live on in LA after a US District Judge in California dismissed a lawsuit that alleged the Mobility Data Specification, which gives the agency real-time vehicle data from micromobility companies, violated constitutional privacy rights.
A “significant” number of e-scooter riders in DC use the service for transit access, found a new study out of Florida Atlantic University that examined scootersharing and the built environment in the nation’s capital.
Highly-ventilated, frequently cleaned, and mask-mandated public transportation options are some of the safest indoor spaces, yet transit still gets scapegoated as a COVID-19 spreader. Now, Transportation for America is calling for the CDC to set the record straight and push for more vaccinations in transit-accessible areas.
For Chicago, with its 3rd largest public transportation system in the US, a COVID-19 outbreak among transit workers would be devastating. Streetsblog breaks down how CTA, Metra, and Pace are handling things with infection numbers, risks, and precautions.
Once again, electrifying personal automobiles without substantial mode shift won’t be nearly enough to offset climate change. Hear the argument this time from railway engineer and writer Gareth Dennis on this latest episode of MarketScale TV.
Autonomous delivery bots from Startup Serve Robotics want to navigate your sidewalks delivering food and every day supplies, and you have Uber’s acquisition of Postmates X to thank.
This story from BBC highlights the importance of accessible mobility tech and how the little computer in your pocket (plus a little AI magic) may hold the key to helping people with visual impairments better navigate our currently socially-distanced environment.
Indiana’s new Future Mobility District initiative calls itself a collaborative effort to expand mobility options in the state and they’re backing this up with two six-month self-driving shuttle pilots in Indianapolis and Fishers connecting users to IndyGO’s Red Line transit.
The Bloomberg CityLab 2021 conference boasted some impressive names (including Vice President Kamela Harris), but we’re focusing on Secretary Pete who emphasized his “Fix it First’ motto when taking on the country’s infrastructure backlog while looking ahead to building spaces that would effectively serve a sustainable future.
Petaluma, California is betting on electric as it becomes the first US city to ban any new gas pumps and stations, allowing only the addition of EV charging plugs and other alternative-fuel facilities. Existing gas stations, however, can keep on pumping.
Vienna’s aspern Seestadt development community transformed a barren airfield into a green innovation-creating hub that makes walking and biking a priority, showing that when a city is built with the human experience at its core, everyday life exemplifies urban sustainability.
Project Funding Opportunities
RFP: Shared Scooter Pilot Program
City of Boulder, CO
Deadline: March 24, 2021
RFP: Low or No Emission Grant Program Competitive Funding Opportunity
Federal Transit Administration
Deadline: April 12, 2021
RFP: MNIT/MnDOT MaaS
Minnesota Department of Transportation and Minnesota IT Services
Saint Paul, MN
Deadline: April 22, 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.