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.
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 new 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 take this step in 2015, today such partnerships 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 transit-TNC partnerships 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 new 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.
Today we have more ways to get around our cities than ever before—from bikesharing to scooters, carshare to ridehailing. But the many benefits of this expanding menu of options can only be realized if they are integrated into a coherent network of efficient transportation options that lets people get where they need to go using whatever mode makes the most sense for them on a particular trip. Enter the mobility hub—a place where people can seamlessly connect with multiple modes of transportation in a safe, comfortable, and accessible environment. This pamphlet by the Shared-Use Mobility Center details the key features, examples, and strategies from around the world that create effective plans for mobility hubs.
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 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 (BlueLA) 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.
The Shared-Use Mobility Center (SUMC) and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) recently released an international benchmarking study for implementing shared mobility services. The team studied programs and projects from across Europe, where many of the “new” mobility practices in the U.S.—like bikeshare, mobility hubs, and Mobility as a Service (MaaS)—have existed for decades.
As the center-point of over a year of research, the team performed a study tour of three European cities that have established and regulated innovative shared mobility projects: Munich, Germany; Paris, France; and Brussels, Belgium. The group met with transportation and mobility experts from transit agencies, mayors’ offices, departments of transportation, universities, shared mobility operators, and regulatory bodies as well as EU representatives to observe and discuss effective strategies for application across the board.
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.
The Carsharing Implementation Strategy documents the development and current state of carsharing in the Bay Area, explores regional challenges and opportunities as they apply to various carsharing business models (round-trip, one-way, and peer-to-peer), presents findings from interviews and workshops with stakeholders in the region, and provides specific strategies to support the expansion of carsharing. The Carsharing Strategy, part of MTC’s Climate Initiatives Program, is intended to identify opportunities to grow carsharing membership and usage in the Bay Area as a method of reducing single-occupancy vehicle trips and vehicles miles traveled, with the overall goal of reducing greenhouse gases. SUMC collaborated with MTC and our colleagues at UrbanTrans North America to author the Strategy.
Private transit services—including airport shuttles, shared taxis, private commuter buses, dollar vans, and jitneys—have operated for decades in many American cities. Recently, business innovations and technological advances that allow real-time ride-hailing, routing, tracking, and payment have ushered in a new generation of private transit options. These include ride-splitting products like UberPool and Lyft Line, “microtransit” services, and new types of public-private partnership that are helping to bridge first-/last-mile gaps in suburban areas. But while they often fill a need, there are often perceived or real concerns over the safety, equity and other impacts of private transit providers.
A new SUMC-authored report published by the Transportation Research Board’s Transit Cooperative Research Program, Private Transit: Existing Services and Emerging Directions, explores the effects of private transportation services in the US, and proposes to transit agencies and jurisdictions a way forward to account for, regulate, and incorporate private transit into their planning.
A new study by SUMC for the Transit Cooperative Research Program finds that peak use of transportation network companies (TNCs) like Uber and Lyft comes on weekends and evenings, not during rush hours when public-transit use is highest. SUMC’s findings were based on one of the first uses of origin-destination trip data provided by a major TNC. This finding was presented in TCRP Report 195, Broadening Understanding of the Interplay between Public Transit, Shared Mobility, and Personal Automobiles. You can read more about the study on our blog.
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 head off congestion and other challenges related to impending population growth, and maintain the region’s affordability, livability and freedom of movement. The plan also features several strategies to help ensure more transportation options reach disadvantaged neighborhoods. For more information, read SUMC’s news release.
Developed with input from numerous regional stakeholders, SUMC’s 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.
To complement its Shared Mobility Toolkit, SUMC developed an interactive shared mobility toolkit for cities. Working in partnership with 27 North American cities through the Urban Sustainability Directors Network (USDN). SUMC launched an innovative toolkit featuring a shared mobility policy database, online benefits calculator and mapping and opportunity analysis tool. The toolkit, which now includes information on more than 50 metropolitan areas, is designed to help cities expand shared mobility throughout their regions, including in disadvantaged communities where transportation options are lacking. You can learn more about the Shared Mobility Toolkit and access the report here.
SUMC completed a research analysis for the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) based on information generated as part of the Transportation Research Board (TRB), Transit Cooperative Research Program (TCRP) Report 188: Shared Mobility and the Transformation of Public Transit which featured the first independent, multi-city evaluation of Uber trip data. The 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. You can find the more in-depth research analysis in full here.
SUMC completed a study for the Transportation Research Board’s (TRB) Transit Cooperative Research Program (TCRP) to examine the evolving relationship between public transportation — including paratransit and demand-responsive services — and new, tech-enabled forms of shared mobility such as ridesourcing. 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. Access the study here.
SUMC created the industry’s first shared mobility reference guide. SUMC developed a comprehensive reference guide to provide government, business and community leaders with an introduction to shared mobility and help prepare them to address the rapid changes currently taking place in urban regions across the nation. The guide includes definitions for new modes of shared transportation, analysis of changing local government roles and policy choices, and recommendatinos for growing shared mobility services in ways to better serve all residents. You can read more about the Shared-Use mobility Reference Guide here.