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
A Message from our Founder & Executive Director
Dear Friends and Colleagues,
At this stressful moment, we want to cheer the gains for transit and addressing climate change as measures were approved across the country in Austin, San Antonio, Seattle, Missoula, Denver, and in California’s San Francisco’s Bay Area.
From Austin’s transit expansion that would double the city’s light-rail network and grow its bus and bikeshare service to Caltrain’s Measure RR that would expand service, increase train frequency, and make the commuter rail system more affordable for lower-income riders, we applaud the transit innovation that continues despite, and because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
We encourage all of us to work together to make sure that temporary pandemic improvements in mobility—initiatives that slow streets and improve pedestrian access, expand micromobility and low carbon transportation, and boost transit to better serve all communities—become long-term solutions. Our work to ensure mobility for all is intricately tied to our work for democracy. Progress is not always easy, but we are making strides.
How States are Moving the Emissions Needle
A webinar and workshop on policy tools to decarbonize transportation
Friday, November 20th, at 10:30 am Pacific/12:30 pm Central/1:30 pm Eastern
Global climate change has already had observable effects on the environment and published evidence points to these changes increasing over time. In other words, we need to act now. The Shared-Use Mobility Center is holding a webinar and workshop focused on state and multi-state tools for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, funding sustainable transportation, and enacting policy change. It features speakers from across the country as well as optional breakout sessions on advancing change in the statehouse, the interaction between state and local government, and funding the efforts needed for change.
Georgetown Climate Center
Manager, Planning and Regulatory Development Section
California Air Resources Board
Our Streets Minneapolis
The Learning Center’s Shared Mobility Funding Strategies Learning Module explores potential funding options available for cities, transit agencies, and NGOs for shared mobility initiatives. Organized by traditional and innovative sources through both government and partnership funding, it offers multimodal examples, along with definitions and links, from cities across the U.S.
Explore the Learning Module.
Events on our radar:
Detroit Community Forum: Building a Strong and More Equitable Future
November 12, 2020, 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM
Project Hometown, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago
Learn more and register
Collaborative Mobility Virtual Conference 2020
November 17-20, 2020
Learn more and register
Measuring, Managing, and Maximizing Transportation Happiness Using Smartphone-Aided Day Reconstruction Method
November 19, 2020, 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM
UIC Urban Transportation Center Fall Seminar Series
Learn more and register
Last month, a group of local organizations in Chicago, including our friends over at Equiticity, held an environmental and racial justice bike ride that toured the North Lawndale and Little Village areas to build solidarity and equitable action for the disadvantaged Black and Brown communities. Read about the event’s activities on South Side Weekly.
With the start of the South Cook Fair Transit pilot program slated to start in January, Streetsblog Chicago catches us up on the support (and opposition) around the plan that wants to prioritize affordable transit options for people on the South Side by reducing fares for Metra riders.
Read about (and watch) the stories of cyclists who navigate physical barriers such as disabilities and systemic barriers like structural racism, misogyny, and mental health issues while pedaling two wheels on Streetsblog USA.
Peace Peloton started as an impulsive biking event in Seattle by local Reginald “Doc” Wilson to build economic reform for the Black community. Months later, the movement has made eleven rides that gather hundreds of cyclists to demonstrate for racial justice and show support for black-owned businesses—and it’s just getting started.
In a 58 to 41 percent split, Proposition 22, that exempts companies like Uber and Lyft from classifying workers as employees per California’s AB5 labor law, has passed in the state, according to The Verge.
A new on-demand ride service called Connecting Across Rowan for Seniors is helping those with limited mobility get to medical appointments using Lyft and Uber trips—and all by phone with the help of California-based transportation solutions company GoGo Grandparent.
Chinese bikesharing startup Hellobike has its sights set on taking on ridehailing giant Didi Chuxing at its own game with initial tests for a ridehail service in multiple cities around the country.
Time to upgrade the pedicab, at least that’s what Oxfordshire-based manufacturer Electric Assisted Vehicles wants to do with its latest design for an ultra-lightweight urban vehicle that uses an electric pedal-assist drive to transport people in a quick, zero-emissions flash.
Bikesharing and Micromobility
The 2020 bike boom brought on by the ongoing pandemic has spurred mass cycling in all parts of the US. Can cities keep the momentum rolling with clean mobility policies? Mobility advocate David Zipper believes so in his latest feature in Bloomberg CityLab.
Dockless scooters are a cleaner, more space efficient alternative to autos for short city trips, but their small wheelbases and upright riding position can be tricky and dangerous for inexperienced riders—but a thoughtful redesign and transit card integration could flip that problem on its head.
DC officials have approved new regulations for dockless e-scooters that include lock-to rules for the vehicles for better sidewalk clutter management and allows for future expansion of “a maximum of 20,000 devices by Oct. 1, 2023”.
Micromobility expert (and SUMC board member) Emily Warren spells out the importance of cities prioritizing safety, pushing innovative tech solutions, and placing access and equity at the forefront to get the formula for dockless vehicles right.
Interested in seeing how transit fared on November 3rd? Check out this updated transportation ballot summary from transportation researcher Yonah Freemark aka The Transport Politic, that covers the most important transportation questions for the US Election by state.
The New York MTA’s innovative Tech Transit Lab program has chosen eight finalists, as part of the lab’s COVID-19 Response Challenge, that offered solutions to merge technology, pandemic response, and public transit to solve key health and safety barriers for essential workers and MTA riders.
Massachusetts public transit service faces $150 million in oncoming cuts as the MBTA’s Fiscal Management and Control Board struggles with lack of investment, but the Public Transit, Public Good Coalition is calling for the state legislature to step in and save the “T” for the essential workers who rely on it.
Eight years after Hurricane Sandy hit the shores of New York and New Jersey, transit agencies like NJ Transit have yet to complete billions of dollars of flood prevention infrastructure projects because of the latest crisis that has rocked the East Coast (and the world): COVID-19.
Autonomous tech company Waymo has unveiled a new set of reports detailing the 6.1 million miles it has covered, with one report citing 18 “contact events” (read: vehicle crash incidents) and 29 near-miss collisions (some recorded in simulations) since January last year.
Ford will take the wraps off of its all-electric cargo van for the commercial market next week at a virtual event. TechCrunch spills the details on the automaker’s electrification strategy and insights.
Great work CapMetro! The Austin, TX transit agency recently demonstrated interoperability across Proterra and New Flyer electric buses and chargers after working closely with the partner OEMs.
Self-reporting crowding in public transit has rolled out to 35 cities in the Transit app to bring a crowdsourced solution to mass transportation rides that is “88 percent as accurate as real-time crowd counters.”
Check out the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning’s latest video featuring the usefulness of its Sidewalk Inventory data resource covering sidewalk quality, safety, and availability on 30,000 miles of roads around Illinois. CMAP’s site gives you more information about the data and ways you can use it to improve your community.
Exercising your right to vote, even by horseback. Learn how one Native American woman started a “Ride to the Polls” initiative in in Navajo County, Arizona to combat the limited access to transportation options for voting while helping turn out the vote for Indigenous rural residents and youth on a ten-mile route—all while on horseback.
How could the evolution of the workspace change during the pandemic? Chief innovation officer at Gehl Architects Jeff Risom believes it would look like a dedicated “fourth space” for cities that intertwines multi-company areas with your local, neighborhood public space with a deep connection to decentralized daily activity.
After years of attempting to create safer walking and street conditions for their community, Reverend Rachel Green in Durham, NC, along with other community members, will now make it a reality on four streets that will be turned into pedestrian-friendly shared streets after receiving a grant from the National Association of City Transportation Officials.
Requests for Proposals, Inquiries, and Information
RFI: RideShare Software
Des Moines Area Regional Transit Authority
Des Moines, Iowa
Deadline: November 9, 2020
RFQ: Buffalo Niagara’s Region Central: Utilizing the Scajaquada Corridor to Create Vibrant and Healthy Communities
Greater Buffalo Niagara Regional Transportation Council
Deadline: November 10, 2020
RFI: Mobility Integration Platforms
Indianapolis Public Transportation Corporation (IndyGo)
Deadline: November 30, 2020
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