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
Meet the 2021 U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT)
The Biden Administration (it feels good to say that) announced key members of USDOT leadership, today. This comes on the heels of recent appointments to both the Secretary and Deputy Secretary positions. Many of the names on this team are friends and colleagues, all are experienced and diverse candidates that truly bring a high level of proficiency to their roles—which is needed as the office works to rebuild the economy, fight climate change, and eliminate racial inequity in how communities are built and served by transportation.
Pete Buttigieg, Secretary of Transportation
Polly Trottenberg, Deputy Secretary
Amit Bose, Deputy Administrator, Federal Railroad Administration
Ann Carlson, Chief Counsel, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
Florence Chen, Special Assistant for Policy
Casey Clemmons, Special Assistant, Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration
Steve Cliff, Deputy Administrator, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
Christopher Coes, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Transportation Policy
Nuria Fernandez, Deputy Administrator, Federal Transit Administration
Robert Hampshire, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology
Maurice Henderson, Senior Advisor
Danielle Hirshberg, Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations
Justine Hong, Director of Executive Secretariat
Robin Hutcheson, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Safety Policy
Subash Iyer, Chief Counsel, Federal Transit Administration
Meera Joshi, Deputy Administrator, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration
Tatjana Kunz, Special Assistant for Policy
Lucinda Lessley, Deputy Administrator, Maritime Administration
Diana Lopez, Senior Advisor to the Administrator, Federal Railroad Administration
Irene Marion, Director, Departmental Office of Civil Rights
Edward McGlone, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Congressional Affairs (House)
Philip A. McNamara, Assistant Secretary for Administration
A. Bradley Mims, Deputy Administrator, Federal Aviation Administration
Carlos Monje Jr., Senior Advisor and Acting Chief of Staff
Allie Panther, White House Liaison
Alex A. Peña, Special Assistant to the General Counsel
Carol A. (Annie) Petsonk, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Aviation and International Affairs
Stephanie Pollack, Deputy Administrator, Federal Highway Administration
John Putnam, Deputy General Counsel
Will Rasky, Special Assistant for Governmental Affairs
Courtenay Raymond, Director of Scheduling and Advance
Andrew Rogers, Chief Counsel, Federal Highway Administration
Laura Schiller, Chief of Staff
Michael Shapiro, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Economic Policy
Sophie Shulman, Deputy Chief of Staff for Policy
Dani Simons, Assistant to the Secretary and Director of Public Affairs
Charles Small, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Intergovernmental Affairs
Mohsin Syed, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Congressional Affairs (Senate)
Charlene Wang, Special Assistant, Federal Highway Administration
Victoria Baecher Wassmer, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Finance and Budget
Vinn White, Senior Advisor for Implementation
Laurence Wildgoose, Assistant Administrator for Policy, International Affairs, and Environment, Federal Aviation Administration
“The experience, talent, and diversity of the appointments to the USDOT send a strong signal that this is not your grandfather’s automobile agency. It is SUMC’s mission to move to a multimodal transportation system that works for all and we are enthusiastic that these folks will advance the creation of that system. They have what it takes to build back better with justice and integrity. The lessons that we have learned during the pandemic—especially about the needs of essential workers—and the equity lessons from the civil rights awakening have positioned the country to re-make our infrastructure to better suit our community needs. In the near term, Congress needs to provide flexible stimulus funds to allow creative rebuilding, and in the longer term, revamp transportation revenues and funding formulas to support a sustainable and equitable transportation system that doesn’t rely on access to a car.”
—Ellen Partridge, Policy and Strategy Director, SUMC
New Transportation Coordination Library from FTA and its TA Centers
The Technical Assistance Coordination Library (TACL) was created to improve interagency resource coordination between the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) and its five technical assistance centers. It allows for greater access and findability of resources that can be used for research, practice, operations, planning, and other purposes. (Citing TACL documents is encouraged!) The FTA-funded TA Centers participating in this ongoing work are:
- National Aging and Disability Transportation Center (NADTC)
- National Center for Applied Transit Technology (N-CATT)
- National Center for Mobility Management (NCMM)
- National Rural Transit Assistance Program (National RTAP)
- Shared-Use Mobility Center (SUMC)
Curb Space Managers: Roll up your sleeves for Coord’s 2021 Digital Challenge
The Digital Challenge invites three cities or other curb managers to try out a free curb space management pilot program to better manage vehicle loading and offer more flexible options for shared mobility services and residents in their cities. Get the details.
What messages are the public spaces in your city sending? In this latest episode of the Talking Headways Podcast, Jeff Wood chats with ordained Pastor and Professor Sean Benesh about how unwelcoming our spaces can be to non-white people.
Audrey Wennink from the Metropolitan Planning Council emphasizes why employers in Chicago (and really all other cities) who want a diverse workforce have to make sure there are viable transportation options for employees without cars to get there.
Many Asian cities and Mexico City have adopted women-only transit cars as a measure to help women feel safer in their daily travels. Streetsblog asks, should Chicago adopt this practice to address gender inequality in public spaces?
Read an excerpt from “Revolutionary Power: An Activist’s Guide to the Energy Transition,” by Shalanda H. Baker that touches on the ways grassroots clean energy efforts can empower Indigenous people to create an energy system built as a platform for environmental justice.
Reuters reports that Southeast Asian ridehail and delivery giant Grab is considering an initial public offering for the US, signaling confidence in future growth from the mobility market player that has seen healthy revenue bounce back to pre-pandemic levels.
Israeli on-demand mobility outfit Gett has recently closed a round of funding for $115 million to continue focusing on the B2B commercial ridehail sector around the world for streamlined corporate ground transportation.
Microtransit is spreading in Arlington, TX now that the city’s on-demand microtransit service Via Rideshare has expanded citywide, with a new distance-based fare structure that goes into effect February 15.
Minnesota’s SouthWest Transit is joining other agencies in lending a hand to helping people get essentials with half-priced, on-demand rides to grocery stores in the five cities that make up its service area. Read about other agencies lending a hand on the Learning Center.
Bikesharing and Micromobility
How can cities make bikeshare work and why did the Chinese dockless bike bubble pop? BBC takes a detailed look into the global successes and failures of bikesharing systems and the civic strategies that keep people pedaling on two wheels.
Miami-based micromobility startup Bolt Mobility (it was co-founded by Olympic Gold medalist Usain Bolt!) has scooped up players Gotcha and OjO after acquiring Last Mile Holdings and securing 48 new markets to operate shared bikes and scooters in the US.
Denver’s Department of Transportation and Infrastructure is getting ready to announce an updated micromobility system next month that will incorporate docked and dockless scooters and bikes—including pedal-assist e-bikes—to the city’s transportation mix. Go Denver!
Cooperation is vital for MaaS, and according to Bird, Europe is rolling ahead with partnerships between e-scooters and transit in the Belgian city of Antwerp and with Spain’s Globalvia.
Railcar reinforcements are on the way to Chicagolands’s Metra with snazzy features like better accessibility, more comfort, and “the addition of the most advanced HVAC system available”—all to replace the commuter rail’s poorly-aging transit cars.
Officials in the Bay Area will decide later this month how $975 million in federal pandemic relief funds will be allocated to various local transit agencies to keep them afloat and avoid drastic service cuts that would hurt transit-dependent riders the most.
Kudos to the Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada for being the #1 most cost-efficient bus-only transit system in the US, according to new data from the National Transit Database on the top 50 transit systems (by rides) in the country.
There’s new software in the research phase from Detroit tech consortium Tome Software (which includes Ford, Trek Bicycle, and Bosch) that would let e-bikes and e-scooters talk to surrounding vehicles so riders have increased safety on the road.
Microsoft is creeping into the autonomous vehicle market with a new long-term strategic investment that includes GM and self-driving arm Cruise to collaboratively strengthen software/hardware engineering, cloud computing, and partner ecosystem projects.
Thanks to a science fair project by middle-schooler Holly Thorpe, the Miami-Dade County Public Schools district has decided to transition their diesel school buses entirely to the electric variety, according to CleanTechnica.
One transit pass to ride them all (in Brussels at least). The city has unveiled the Brupass for riders that will allow a single ticket to enable trips for regional rail, bus, trams, and metro on four operators in the city.
The mental warmup or unwind of the typical job commute has gone by the wayside because of the ongoing pandemic, but CNN reports that the rise of the “fake commute”—filled with mid-morning walks or daily bike jaunts—reintroduces a mental health refresh to the ritualistic regimen for those that currently work from home.
Learn about the ways the automobile has dictated how our societies function and why we need to design a system that works for people, “not to mention salmon, forests, climate change, entire ecosystems, and the future of the planet”, in The Urbanist.
Cars tear through the center of Paris’ grand avenue, the Champs Elysées, but Mayor Anne Hidalgo wants to give the iconic street a car-free makeover, turning it into an “extraordinary garden” more hospitable to pedestrians and cyclists alike.
The Bloomberg Philanthropies Mayor Challenge is going global starting in 2021 so all cities can showcase their innovative urban solutions that aim to tackle health, climate, economic recovery, equitable growth, and civic governance issues brought on by the Covid-19 crisis. Learn more on SmartCitiesWorld.
Requests for Proposals, Inquiries, and Information
RFP: Paratransit Management Services
Pioneer Valley Transit Authority
Deadline: February 5, 2021
Human Service Transportation and Transit Service Coordination Plan
Ventura County Transportation Commission (VCTC)
Deadline: February 22, 2021
South SH360 Corridor Development Strategy
City of Arlington, TX
Deadline: February 23, 2021
RFP: Paratransit Demand Response Services—ADA Complementary “ARide”
Ann Arbor Area Transportation Authority (TheRide) (AAATA)
Ann Arbor, MI
Deadline: March 3, 2021
Did someone forward this to you? Sign up for our newsletter here.