The Mobility Hub
Your weekly guide to the latest in shared mobility
SUMC News and Announcements
See how The Big Shift is gaining momentum
This week we’re excited to introduce two new hosts and discussion leaders for The Big Shift: Building the Infrastructures for Shared Mobility. They will curate key conversations that need to happen to push our system towards equity and sustainability.
In the coming weeks, we’ll be introducing new speakers, discussion leaders, program details, networking opportunities, interactive sessions, and events. We recommend registering now (you get access to all of it) then relaxing as the 2021 Summit comes to life.
Meet our newest discussion leaders:
Principal and Director of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion
Naomi Doerner is a nationally recognized transportation equity strategist with expertise in creating diverse and inclusive strategic planning processes and facilitating institutional change based on equity, diversity, and inclusion goals. She recently served as Seattle’s—and the nation’s—first-ever Transportation Equity Manager and is the co-founder and national co-organizer for The Untokening, a national collective of leaders of color working to advance mobility justice.
Danielle J. Harris
Director of Mobility Innovation
Danielle J. Harris is a passionate advocate for environmental and racial justice. As a city planner mitigating tech’s growing impacts in San Francisco for 10 years, Danielle began to adapt city functions to unlock tech’s benefits. Today Danielle is a thought leader in new mobility, serving as Director of Mobility Innovation at Elemental Excelerator, a cleantech startup accelerator that works to equitably and sustainably advance the transportation industry.
New on SUMC’s Learning Center
Bicycles, scooters, and walks may be healthy for people and the planet, but they’re only as safe as the infrastructure used. Two new overviews on SUMC’s Learning Center describe recent tactical urbanism efforts to make streets more welcoming for active transportation aficionados in Birmingham and Houston. Think pop-up bike lanes, clear wayfinding, and brightly colored streets.
ATA, SUMC, and others ask for an additional $60 billion for public transit
Transit promotes racial equity and effectively counteracts climate change, yet it’s consistently underfunded and underserved. On Earth Day, the Active Transportation Alliance and 22 allied organizations including SUMC sent a letter to the Illinois Congressional delegation asking for a larger investment for operations, electrification, workers, and more. Read the letter.
“Black Americans are exposed to more pollution from every type of source, including industry, agriculture, all manner of vehicles, construction, residential sources and even emissions from restaurants.” The New York Times gives us yet more proof of the deadly realities of racial injustice in this article, which features a new study from the University of Illinois.
More equitable and accessible bikeshare is pedaling ahead in the US with systems like Philadelphia’s Indego, Detroit’s MoGo, and Milwaukee’s Bublr Bikes expanding to lower-income and BIPOC communities with discounted passes, adaptive features, and all-important community outreach.
Cities should not attempt to fix budget woes through traffic fines and fees that unfairly burden those least likely to be able to pay them, victimizing low-income and BIPOC communities with unjust targeting, debt, and worse that exacerbate racial and economic inequities. It’s time we give them up.
Massachusetts Senator Joe Boncore and associate executive director of GreenRoots María Belén Power call on the MBTA to choose fully electric buses for Boston’s Silver Line route to create cleaner air for communities disproportionately affected by pollution and particulate matter.
A new report from the Singapore-MIT Alliance for Research and Technology, MIT, and Tongji University found that in cities, ridehailing increased congestion “by almost 1 percent while the duration of congestion rose by 4.5 percent”.
Carsharing in New York is zooming ahead now that NYC DOT will expand its carshare parking program from the initial 14 pilot zones to areas citywide—after seeing upticks in carshare trips and reductions in personal car use, that is.
Singaporean ridehail company TADA is banking on a driver-friendly model, environmentally friendly electric three-wheelers (tuk-tuks), and an “incentive-based blockchain” to win over patrons from larger competitors in the market like Grab and Gojek.
Bikesharing & Micromobility
We say it again and again, “electrification is not enough.” Here, Lime CEO Wayne Ting and World Wide Fund For Nature spell out how plugging-in is no panacea unless vehicle miles traveled are slashed for both fuel-based and electric cars.
Being a major mobility player in the East and having survived the big bikeshare bubble of 2018, Chinese bikeshare firm Hello Inc. (formerly HelloBike) is now looking for an IPO listing of $100 million on Nasdaq.
Germany-based Wunder Mobility is moving its Wunder Capital subsidiary out of the shadows to officially launch as a venture-funding vessel to help emerging micromobility startups finance their own bike and scooter services.
The University of Illinois at Chicago’s new Taxing New Mobility Report examines the use of taxes, fees, and other financial instruments as means to regulate New Mobility Providers by mapping out the 50 most populous US cities. View on UIC’s Government Finance Research Center site.
FirstGroup has started the process of selling its First Transit (which operates in over 300 North American locations) and First Student (which covers about 1,000 school districts) operations to investment firm EQT Infrastructure for $4.6 billion.
In Chicago, the city is asking for proposals to revitalize the area around the Metra Cheltenham station in the South Shore neighborhood with transit-oriented and commercial development as part of the local INVEST South/West project.
Edmonton, Alberta has a big transit plan underway with the launch of its new on-demand transit system—positioned to be the largest on-demand network in Canada—that will use 57 accessible shuttles to serve 37 neighborhoods and 16 senior residences.
As part of its recognition of Earth Day, the Federal Transit Administration released its Greenhouse Gas Emissions Estimator v2.0. The spreadsheet-based tool estimates the partial lifecycle GHG emissions generated from the construction, operation, and maintenance phases of a project across transit modes—using more emissions data and with a few new user-friendly features.
Lyft’s nearly four-year dream of developing its own self-driving system has come to an end with the company selling its so-called Level 5 division to Toyota’s Woven Planet Holdings wing for $550 million, but thanks to non-exclusivity, Lyft’s joint efforts with Motional and others remain.
Meanwhile, driverless shuttle trendsetter EasyMile has raised a cool €55 million in Series B funding to continue building out networks of autonomous people-and-goods moving shuttles for “commercial deployments in closed-campus environments.”
What can pandemic migration patterns tell us about the population fluctuations of cities? CityLab maps out the data on the “urban exodus” narrative that swept the nation, setting the record straight by highlighting how most movers stayed within the same metro area (a whopping 84%).
A cohort of 27 companies—including IKEA, Sky, Uber, Volvo, Coca-Cola, Lime, and Enel X—are calling on EU governments to phase out combustion engine cars in the continent by 2035 to bolster zero-emission mobility, sustainable infrastructure, and decarbonization.
Not a drop of gasoline by 2040. That’s the plan (which cuts about 37.5 million gallons of fuel) of New York’s Metropolitan Transit Authority, which plans to buy only electric buses by 2028—a big increase to its existing 25.
Project Funding Opportunities
RFP: Center for Pan Asian Community Services Microtransit Program
Center for Pan Asian Community Services
Deadline: May 19, 2021
RFP: Paratransit Operations
Indianapolis Public Transportation Corporation (IndyGO)
Deadline: June 4. 2021
Federal Transit Administration
Notice of Funding
Pilot Program for Transit-Oriented Development Planning FY2021
Deadline: June 21, 2021
New York Clean Transportation Prizes Electric Mobility Challenge
Awards up to $21 million for solutions that transform access to electric mobility options in disadvantaged communities throughout New York State.
Deadline: July 22, 2021