Shared Mobility Research and Analysis

SUMC contributes to the broader understanding of the mobility landscape and draws out operational lessons and best practices from mobility innovations around the world. SUMC has produced original research for the Federal Transit and Federal Highway Administrations, the Transportation Research Board, and a number of public, private, and nonprofit clients.

If you are interested in learning more about our research program, or are interested in getting involved as a partner or client in future research projects, please email Director of Research and Consulting Colin Murphy at colin@sharedusemobilitycenter.org.

SUMC research projects include:

Towards the Promise of Mobility as a Service (MaaS) in the U.S.

With support from the Toyota Social Innovation Team, SUMC prepared a brief to describe Mobility as a Service, which integrates multimodal transportation options into a single interface, with a single payment mechanism, to enable seamless and environmentally sound mobility. This policy brief presents a simple, non-technical overview of MaaS and provides examples to foster widespread understanding of the concept, its benefits, and what is needed for it to be achieved.

West Dallas Mobility Needs Assessment

A local philanthropic organization approached SUMC to identify mobility needs and solutions in West Dallas, TX, a low-density, low-income, predominantly Black and Hispanic area undergoing rapid gentrification. After extensive research and community engagement, SUMC provided a needs assessment with recommendations to the private sector and philanthropy to advance equitable, sustainable, and innovative solutions.

Village of Bedford Park Last Mile Study and Mobility Action Plan

SUMC worked with the Antero Group and the Active Transportation Alliance to develop a Last Mile Study and a Last Mile Mobility Action Plan for the Village of Bedford Park, IL, an industrialized Chicago suburb whose 30,000 daily commuters who face last-mile mobility challenges on existing transit networks. In 2018, the Village launched an initiative to better understand the area’s mobility challenges, and develop, test, and implement effective solutions.

Equity and Shared Mobility Services: Working with the Private Sector to Meet Equity Objectives

Equity and Shared Mobility Services communicates best practices for public-private partnerships that support low-income and transportation-disadvantaged communities by putting equitable mobility initiatives into practice. This paper is beneficial for those 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.

Objective-Driven Data Sharing for Transit Agencies in Mobility Partnerships 

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 MOD Sandbox program and beyond, this paper supports the transit agencies in the decision-making process by providing useful tools to guide data-sharing discussions to an agreement that provides secure and useful data.

When Uber Replaces the Bus: Learning from the Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority’s “Direct Connect” Pilot 

The Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority was the first public transit agency to sign a service provision contract with a private transportation network company to provide subsidized first/last-mile connections to transit stops. This 2019 case study details the reasons why the agency took this step, how they responded to internal and external challenges as the pilot developed, and lists lessons learned with recommended actions for pilots going forward.

Mobility Hubs: Where People Go to Move

SUMC’s 2019 guide 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, global references from sites, and conceptual examples in the Twin Cities.

Electric and Equitable: Learning from the BlueLA Carsharing Pilot 

In 2015, the City of Los Angeles was awarded a grant from the California Air Resources Board to pilot electric vehicle car sharing in low-income Los Angeles communities. With SUMC as lead technical partner, the pilot proved successful in a historically-steadfast car culture, reducing GHGs and providing a new mobility option to Angelenos before developing into the program it is today. This case study analyzes lessons learned in the pilot, which concluded in 2019.

Bay Area Carsharing Implementation Strategy 

SUMC teamed with UrbanTrans in 2018 to produce the Bay Area Carsharing Implementation Strategy, which focuses on specific approaches for growing carsharing membership and usage in the Bay Area. With the goal of achieving GHG emission-reduction targets by reducing vehicle miles traveled and encouraging the use of cleaner fuels, the resulting study is a comprehensive implementation guide supported by insight from workshops, interviews and detailed research.

Global Benchmarking Study on European Shared Mobility Services 

SUMC worked with the Federal Highway Administration to study and report how European cities and agencies have planned, implemented, and supported shared mobility services to create sustainable, multimodal mobility options. The report presents key elements behind successful shared-use mobility programs in Europe as well as case studies and recommendations for how the United States can adapt these practices to advance the benefits of shared mobility at home.

TCRP Report 196: Private Transit: Existing Services and Emerging Directions

While private transit services have operated for decades in many American cities, the business innovations and technological advances that ushered in a new generation of transportation options also created concerns over their safety, equity and other impacts. This SUMC-authored report explores the effects of private transit (mobility) services in the US, and proposes a way forward to account for, regulate, and incorporate private-sector services into municipal planning.

TCRP Report 195, Broadening Understanding of the Interplay between Public Transit, Shared Mobility, and Personal Automobiles

This study by SUMC for the Transit Cooperative Research Program explores the impacts of app-based transportation network companies on the cities they operate in, including on public transit ridership, single-occupancy vehicle trips, and traffic congestion. SUMC’s findings, which build upon the learning shared in TCRP Report 188, were one of the first uses of origin-destination trip data provided by a major TNC. Read more about the study here.

TCRP Report 188: Shared Mobility and the Transformation of Public Transit 

This 2016 study examines the relationship between public transportation and tech-enabled forms of shared mobility such as ridehailing. The report was a groundbreaking look at the opportunities and challenges for transit agencies as they relate to new mobility services and potential actions they may take to promote cooperation with private-sector mobility providers.

Research Summary: Impact of On-Demand Mobility Services on Public Transit

SUMC completed a research summary for the American Public Transportation Association based on information generated as part of TCRP Report 188. The summary draws from a 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.

The Shared Mobility Toolkit

SUMC released an interactive Shared Mobility Toolkit & Report in 2016 to help cities expand bikesharing, carsharing, and other forms of shared mobility throughout their regions, including in disadvantaged communities where transportation options are lacking. The complementary Toolkit Report provides an overview of each tool along with policy recommendations, trends by city size and type, and shared mobility growth scenarios for the project’s 27 participating cities.

Shared-Use Mobility Reference Guide

SUMC was a pioneer in the growing Shared Mobility landscape of 2015 with the introduction of the first Shared-Use Mobility Reference guide, designed to help government, business, and community leaders prepare for the changes taking place in cities across the nation. The guide includes recommended definitions for shared modes of transportation, updates on the latest industry trends, an evaluation of changing local government roles, policy choices, and more.

For more information on SUMC’s research work, please contact us.