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
From our Founder/Executive Director:
Earlier this week, an event came to light that is garnering national attention—and rightfully so. Truckloads of Jump bikes were tossed at a recycling plant. @CrisMoffitt, a Florida entrepreneur, received the videos from a friend who works at the Durham, NC facility.
In the midst of a global pandemic where there is a shortage of bikes large enough to warrant a New York Times feature; where the need for safe, affordable, equitable transportation is larger than ever; in a climate being destroyed and where alternatives to cars are desperately needed; there is no excuse for this kind of behavior. Both Uber and Lime have issued statements: Lime denies responsibility and Uber states, inaccurately, that only older models are being recycled. Regardless, neither company has shown a heart or soul in a time of crisis.
Clearly, this was a situation where expediency outweighed doing the right thing. Often it takes some effort to work out the details and this was a situation that needed that effort. This should get corrected immediately before more bikes are destroyed. Those bikes should be made available to cities, nonprofits, and individuals who need them. The Shared-Use Mobility Center stands ready to help with distribution. Tell Uber and Lime to donate the bikes!
Shared Mobility Benefits Calculator Update
The Shared Mobility Benefits Calculator is already getting a great new addition to reflect how work habits have substantially changed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. You will soon be able to estimate the GHG emissions saved by working from home. Learn more about this helpful tool and try out the calculator here.
CALIFORNIANS: Apply for up to $50K to conduct a Community Transportation Needs Assessment
Assessment applications can be submitted starting on Monday, June 1 at 9 am PT. Recipients can access up to $50K for underserved communities to better understand their mobility needs at this crucial time. Needs Assessments Vouchers may also be used to prepare for a future Mobility Project Voucher application (~$1M; application window tentatively scheduled for Fall 2020). Eligible applicants include CA nonprofits, agencies, and tribal communities. Please see the Clean Mobility Options Voucher Program website for more information.
The ongoing COVID-19 crisis has completely shifted the operations and business models of big startup companies like Uber and Lyft, leading them to a point of ‘sink or swim’ where they need innovative solutions to stay viable.
European ridehail/mobility company Bolt has boosted its valuation to €1.7 billion after a recent funding round from investment firm Naya Capital, with the new funds aimed at increasing ridehailing, dockless scooter, and food delivery initiatives.
Zimbabwean startup Vaya Africa has launched an electric taxi-hailing service and EV charging network in Zimbabwe with a fleet of Nissan Leafs and solar-powered charging stations.
Partnerships and Programs
NACTO’s new best-practices guide is designed to help municipalities develop strong and equitable strategies for street redesign and adaptation in response to the pandemic.
LA County officials have approved a plan for a “Slow Streets” program that will help bring more walkable, bikeable public spaces for better social distancing to underserved and unincorporated communities in the region.
Mobility solutions company Spare has teamed up with Lubbock, TX’ Citibus to launch a paratransit/microtransit hybrid service, that will complement the city’s traditional transit network, giving residents more on-demand options.
Bikesharing and Micromobility
Populus has a new guide too that aims to help cities and micromobility companies manage data-sharing practices and curb space challenges.
A proposed partnership between Austin’s Capital Metro and the MetroBike bikeshare system would bring them under the same transit network, expanding bike options in areas with limited transit access.
BlaBlaCar users in France now have more multimodal options with the edition of a dockless scooter app as part of a new partnership with Swedish micromobility startup Voi.
Tasked with running the New York City Transit Authority as interim head, Sarah Feinberg jumped in at the dawn of the COVID-19 outbreak, but how does her historied experience in the public sector translate for the troubled transit network during evergrowing uncertainty?
Amtrak wrote a letter to Congress stating that the company will need $1.5 billion in additional funding from the government to maintain “minimum service levels” for 2021.
Resilient transportation networks are an important piece of the puzzle for response and recovery strategies that give people better mobility access during crises. Read about equitable transit access for New Jersey on NJ Spotlight.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has given EasyMile the green light to restart autonomous shuttle operations in the US as part of the new Safety Passenger Enhancement Plan for wider self-driving vehicle development.
According to early reports, Amazon is in the late stages of acquiring self-driving vehicle tech company Zoox at less than the startup’s $3.2 billion valuation.
A new project in the UK led by Midlands Future Mobility is creating a route for real-world self-driving vehicle tests on about 300 km of roads around central Birmingham.
NY Mayor De Blasio’s plan to open around 100 miles of the city’s streets to pedestrians for more open, public space will be hitting its 40-mile mark at the end of the month, but this plan doesn’t account for many low-income neighborhoods, according to a map from Trust for Public Land.
Transit consultant and advocate Jarret Walker dives deep into the rapid change of rush-hour ridership in public transportation and how the “fall of the peak” could be a benefit for how transit networks function in the future.
Check out Eno Center for Transportation’s latest feature on Congestion Pricing in the US and how, if used effectively, it can reduce traffic crunches in cities while cutting emissions and roadway deaths for safer and cleaner streets.
Requests for Proposals, Inquiries, and Information
RFP: Request for Proposals for Paratransit Services
Green Mountain Transit Authority
St. Albans, VT
Deadline: June 17, 2020
Email Matt Kimball for RFP at email@example.com
RFI: Transit Technology Assistance
Oregon Department of Transportation
Deadline: July 1, 2020
RFP: Paratransit and Flex Route Services
City of DeKalb
Deadline: July 16, 2020
We’d like to thank the following sponsors for their support of the 2020 National Shared Mobility Summit.
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