The Shared-Use Mobility Center works with cities and regions across the nation to help reduce reliance on private autos, mitigate traffic congestion and emissions, and expand mobility options for all. Drawing on original research, statistical modeling, and decades of experience in shared mobility operations, SUMC’s collection of research and hands-on work serve as a catalyst to help cites establish a vision, set mode shift goals, and chart a path forward toward a more sustainable future. You can learn more about our experience through SUMC’s published work.
The shared mobility industry is in a period of rapid experimentation and change. It is a fertile time to apply the experiments and channel the changes to support low-income and transportation-disadvantaged communities. In this paper, we communicate best practices for public-private partnerships that put equity initiatives into practice and support mobility for all. Equity and Shared Mobility Services is beneficial for any agency or group considering a mobility partnership, and includes a checklist for developing equity objectives, an equity analysis for low-income groups using shared mobility, and case studies with practical recommendations.
A primary challenge in implementing Mobility on Demand (MOD) solutions has been reaching an agreement between public and private partners over data sharing. Drawing on lessons learned from the Federal Transit Administration’s (FTA) MOD Sandbox program and beyond, this paper supports the decision-making process of transit agencies that are considering deployment of MOD or similar integrated mobility solutions in partnership with private-sector mobility service providers.
Based on observations from both inside and outside the Sandbox, approaches are available to agencies to address these challenges, and subsequently, obtain and analyze the data that are necessary to meet project goals. This white paper and the executive summary feature a decision tree to help guide agencies to an agreement that provides secure and useful data.
The Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority (PSTA) was the first public transit agency to sign a service provision contract with a private transportation network company (Uber) to provide subsidized first/last-mile connections to transit stops. A 2019 case study by SUMC and Transit Center details the reasons why the agency took this step, how they responded to internal and external challenges as their pilot developed, and lists lessons learned with recommended actions for pilots going forward.
While PSTA was the first to embark on such a partnership, today they are numerous and are increasing in both variety and scope. The Direct Connect case study is a valuable tool for agencies in any step of the pilot process that illustrates some of the challenges with partnerships between transit agencies and transportation network companies (TNCs) and helps to shape agency approaches for future projects.
New technologies promise new means for people to get around faster, cheaper, and more conveniently. More private companies have entered the marketplace, compelling public agencies to react to ensure that their services serve the public good. How can public agencies evolve to bring different modes together and make transportation systems more connected, complete, and convenient?
Participants from public and private entities addressed these topics at a policy workshop held at the 2019 National Shared Mobility Summit. This SUMC brief draws on that discussion, focusing on the challenges for agencies to integrate modes and how they might approach mobility integration. It is organized into case studies and recommendations with model frameworks to guide public agencies as they move towards more equitable, environmentally sound, and sustainable transportation systems.
This 2019 guide by the Shared-Use Mobility Center serves as a planning and design resource for the creation of mobility hubs—places where people can seamlessly connect with multiple modes of transportation in a safe, comfortable, and accessible environment. Features include strategies for implementation, a breakdown of key design elements and amenities with detailed descriptions, references from sites around the world, and conceptual examples using sites in the Twin Cities.
In 2016, the City of Los Angeles embarked on an electric vehicle (EV) carsharing pilot project through a grant from the California Air Resources Board. The city’s grant proposal, “L.A. Leading by Example: Partnering to Pilot EV Carsharing in Disadvantaged Communities,” was developed with support from lead technical partner SUMC and submitted to CARB in April 2015. It emphasized serving low-income residents and reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.
Although implementing a progressive shared mobility pilot in a historically-steadfast car culture such as LA would prove to be challenging for a variety of reasons, BlueLA EV Carshare has already begun delivering results to Angelenos by reducing GHGs and providing a new mobility option. This case study evaluates lessons learned in Phase One of the BlueLA project, which concluded in spring 2019.
In early 2018, SUMC and the Federal Highway Administration released an international benchmarking study for implementing shared mobility services. The Report reflects over a year of research in which the team performed a study tour of three European cities: Munich, Germany; Paris, France; and Brussels, Belgium—areas with established and innovative shared mobility projects including bikeshare, mobility hubs, Mobility as a Service (MaaS), and other practices considered “new” in the U.S.
Filled with case examples and key findings, the group met with transportation experts from transit agencies, mayors’ offices, departments of transportation, universities, shared mobility operators, regulatory bodies, and EU representatives to observe and discuss effective strategies for application across the board.
SUMC teamed with UrbanTrans to produce the Bay Area Carsharing Implementation Strategy in February 2018. Developed as part of MTC’s Climate Initiatives Program, the Strategy focuses on specific approaches for growing carsharing membership and usage in the Bay Area as a way to reduce solo driving and vehicle miles traveled and meet overall emission-reduction targets. To support factfinding, the research team documented best practices, opportunities, and challenges in carsharing, reviewed relevant policies and studies, interviewed regional stakeholders, and held workshops with public, private, and community representatives.
In 2016, SUMC partnered with regional stakeholders to develop the LA Regional Shared Mobility Action Plan. The Action Plan established a goal for removing 100,000 vehicles from the region’s roads by 2021 and identified associated strategies, actions, and targets for growth in transit ridership, carsharing, bikesharing, and ridesharing. The 2017 Action Plan Scorecard documents progress on these strategies and actions from the past year, describing important milestones along with up-to-the minute data on metrics and goals.
While private transit services such as airport shuttles, shared taxis, and private commuter buses have operated for decades in American cities, business innovations and technological advances that allow real-time ridehailing, routing, tracking, and payment have ushered in a new generation of private transit options. These include ridesplitting products like UberPool and Lyft Line, “microtransit” services, and a variety of public-private partnerships that are helping to bridge first-/last-mile gaps.
A 2018 SUMC-authored report published by the Transportation Research Board’s Transit Cooperative Research Program (TCRP), Private Transit: Existing Services and Emerging Directions, explores the effects of these services in the US, addresses concerns over safety, equity, and other impacts, and proposes a way forward for agencies and jurisdictions to account for, regulate, and incorporate private transit into their planning.
An early 2018 study by SUMC for the TCRP, Broadening Understanding of the Interplay between Public Transit, Shared Mobility, and Personal Automobiles, explores the relationship between TNCs like Uber and Lyft with long-standing modes such public transit and solo driving. Findings such as the fact that peak use of TNCs occurs on weekends and evenings, not during rush hours when public transit use is highest, were based on one of the first uses of origin-destination trip data provided by a major TNC.
With assistance from the McKnight Foundation, SUMC worked with leaders in the Minneapolis-St. Paul region to develop a Shared Mobility Action Plan for the Twin Cities to help scale up shared mobility and public transit to offset congestion and other challenges related to impending population growth, while maintaining the region’s affordability, livability and freedom of movement. The plan also features several strategies to help ensure that more transportation options reach disadvantaged neighborhoods. Specific recommendations in the plan are being implemented by the SUMC-led Twin Cities Shared Mobility Collaborative.
Developed with input from numerous regional stakeholders, SUMC’s 2016 Shared Mobility Action Plan for Los Angeles County is designed to help the region capitalize on its expanding public transportation network and address ongoing challenges related to greenhouse gas emissions and traffic congestion. Following the release of the plan, SUMC has also continued to lead stakeholder engagement efforts in Los Angeles to build support for expanding shared mobility.
In 2016, SUMC released an interactive toolkit to help cities expand bikesharing, carsharing and other forms of shared mobility throughout their regions, including in disadvantaged communities where transportation options are lacking.
Developed in partnership with 27 North American cities through the Urban Sustainability Directors Network, SUMC’s Shared Mobility Toolkit includes a Shared Mobility Benefits Calculator, a Shared Mobility Policy Database, and a Shared Mobility Mapping and Opportunity Analysis Tool. The Shared Mobility Toolkit Report acts as a guide and reference.
SUMC completed a research analysis for the American Public Transportation Association based on information generated as part of the Transportation Research Board’s TCRP Report 188: Shared Mobility and the Transformation of Public Transit, which featured the first independent, multi-city evaluation of Uber trip data. The in-depth analysis draws from a wide variety of sources, including interviews with public officials, a survey of shared mobility users, and an analysis of Uber and transit demand in seven cities.
SUMC completed this pioneering study for the TCRP to examine the evolving relationship between public transportation — including paratransit and demand-responsive services — and tech-enabled forms of shared mobility such as ridehailing. The report covers opportunities and challenges for public transportation as they relate to new mobility services and potential actions that public agencies may take to promote cooperation between public and private mobility providers.
SUMC developed this comprehensive reference guide in 2015 to provide government, business and community leaders with an introduction to shared mobility and help prepare them to address the rapid changes taking place in urban regions across the nation. An industry first, the guide includes definitions for new modes of shared transportation, analysis of changing local government roles and policy choices, and recommendations for growing shared mobility services in ways to better serve all residents.