Welcome to the Shared-Use Mobility Center’s weekly guide to the most impactful news, thought-provoking articles and innovative technologies that are shaping our transportation future. We believe in sharing information, just like sharing cars, bikes, and scooters, so if there’s anything additional you’d like to see, just drop us a line.
SUMC News and Announcements
Sharon founded the Shared-Use Mobility Center in 2014, a first-of-its-kind public interest nonprofit dedicated to achieving equitable, affordable, and environmentally sound mobility for all. Under her leadership, SUMC has run pilot projects and provided technical assistance in dozens of cities across the US, convened the leading Shared Mobility Summit in North America annually since 2014, and is currently supporting close to 100 projects nationwide.
While Sharon has been at the heart of everything SUMC has done, her accomplishments here are but the latest in a lifetime devoted to social justice, innovation, entrepreneurship, and the public good. What’s next? Read Sharon’s message about her changing role on the SUMC Blog.
Walking should not be a crime. Yet, as the Atlanta Bicycle Coalition shows, pedestrian street laws in Atlanta disproportionately target Black Americans and have not reduced the number of pedestrian fatalities.
“It’s a vicious cycle: the ability to be employed depends on the ability to actually get to your job, but right now, marginalized communities don’t have access to reliable transportation”. Jalopnik shows how mobility is a fundamental part of civil rights.
When hiring people from historically disadvantaged areas, there are programs that aim to help workers with limited mobility options. Read about them in Crain’s.
Housing and transportation are the two biggest drains on the American household budget, but as this policy proposal from Denver shows, equitable transit-oriented development is an efficient, clean, growth-oriented remedy for the high costs of both.
The General Services Administration in the US has awarded an $810 million federal contract to Lyft and Uber to offer ridehailing services to public agencies, expanding the mobility options of 4 million employees and contractors across the country.
India has set new guidelines in the country that cap the surge pricing ridehail companies can charge during peak hours, mandate that drivers have insurance coverage from the companies, and instate a 12- hour work shift maximum.
Cash payments will have an extra level of verification and safety for Uber trips in Mexico, Argentina and Chile as part of a new partnership with the ridehailing company and authentication platform AU10TIX.
Ridership demand is up and hitting key metrics for New Jersey and Via’s microtransit program that connects target communities to local amenities in transit-light areas to the tune of 78% growth since the first quarter of the year.
Bikesharing and Micromobility
Streetsblog USA Editor Kea Wilson took an e-cargo bike for an extended 30-day spin to test its usefulness against her rarely-used Toyota, citing the advantages and pitfalls of relying on only two (assisted) wheels for day-to-day activities—and she didn’t touch her car once.
A new study from mobility analytics firm Streetlight Data found that with the current bike boom in many US cities, smaller cities like Grand Rapids, MI and Dayton, OH maintained higher percentages of growth through September.
Nearly a decade ago, ridehailing companies took off in US cities with an ‘act first, ask questions later’ approach that local officials have tried hard not to repeat with micromobility options such as e-bikes and scooters, but are these regulations squelching innovation?
Dockless bikeshare adds a flexible, clean mobility option to busy transit hubs that can help reduce auto reliance and replace short-distance trips in dense, traffic-laden cores, according to World Resources Institute (via CleanTechnica).
Proposed budget cuts for rail and bus transit service by DC’s Metro would leave people who rely on public transportation in our nation’s capital struggling to get to work and to essential services. Learn about the agency’s budget constraints and details around the service cuts on Greater Greater Washington.
The South Shore Line commuter rail service that runs from South Bend, IN to Chicago had a bit of a mask compliance dilemma when the policy went into affect for riders, so they improvised and created a “Mask Optional” car to appease those who refused to wear masks. Vice unwinds the story around the railroad agency’s decision and how others reacted.
Congrats to Tulsa Transit for receiving Meals on Wheels’ Community Service Award for using their transit buses and staff for a local food delivery program that helped thousands of residents with food access during the COVID-19 crisis.
The Urbanist looks at the Light Rail Communities program in Snohomish County, WA that wants to address the area’s density by developing affordable middle housing around future Link light rail stations planned between the cities Lynnwood and Everett.
Germany’s rail operator Deutsche Bahn teamed up with Siemens Mobility to develop a hydrogen-powered train—aimed at eventually replacing its diesel offerings—which will be tested between the cities of Tübingen, Horb, and Pforzheim starting in 2024.
Self-driving tech company Gatik will be working with Canadian retail giant Loblaw to deliver food and goods using autonomous box trucks in Toronto at the beginning of 2021, making it first autonomous delivery fleet in Canada.
The informal minibus taxi industry in many African cities is a historic staple that has served congested metros in a way that gives people a low-cost option across town. New tech-enabled solutions, however, work to bring new features to the masses, like on-the-go trip planning and pooled e-hailing, that usually only dwell in traditional ridehail apps.
UK’s Royal Mail will be piloting a hydrogen-powered delivery Ford Transit van over the next year to provide cleaner delivery transit in Aberdeen, Scotland.
During the past year, the streets of New York have seen a paradigm shift in the way space is occupied, with open streets making much-need room for pedestrians and cyclists to enable recreation, protest, opportunities, and a new way of life.
Cambridge, MA making strides to inform the public about the dangers of driving and auto dependency with a new ordinance— a first in the nation—that will add advisory notices on gas pumps. Now, let’s make this standard for all states while covering the many other ills of a car-centric society.
Do you have the “Place Gene”? Director of the Kinder Institute for Urban Research Bill Fulton believes the experiences and emotions people tie to our sense of “place” can guide conscious usage and help city planners engage communities about changes to the lived environment.
While the Philadelphia City Council should be applauded for efforts in improving working conditions for the city’s parking facilities employees, this WHYY opinion piece urges Mayor Kenney to veto the bill because of an addition that would reduce the city’s parking tax which would only make congestion and emissions worse and prioritize driving over transit.
Requests for Proposals, Inquiries, and Opportunities
The SUMC team is growing in exciting new directions! Read about two new Program Associate and Coordinator positions and a third Program Manager position on our careers page.
RFI: Clean Mobility Provider Directory 2.0
Clean Mobility Options Voucher Pilot Program (CMO)
Deadline: December 11, 2020
View presentations from application walk-throughs,
program overviews, forums, and more on the CMO events page.
RFI: Bikeshare in Ithaca
The Center for Community Transportation
Deadline: December 18, 2020
RFP: Microtransit Technology Services
Virginia Department of Rail & Public Transportation
Gloucester County and Town of Wise, VA
Deadline: December 31, 2020
RFSOQ: Las Vegas Medical District Automated Circulator and Connected Pedestrian Safety Program
Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada (RTC)
Las Vegas, NV
Deadline: January 5, 2021
Funding Opportunity: Accelerating Clean Transportation Now Program
Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC)
Deadline: January 8, 2021
Open Call: Climate Smart Cities Challenge
Deadline: January 22, 2021
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