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This policy brief summarizes some of the key findings from a comprehensive literature review (submitted for publication) on the impact of shared mobility services and GHG emissions.
The growth of app-based ridesharing, microtransit, and TNCs presents a unique opportunity to reduce congestion, energy use, and emissions through reduced personal vehicle ownership and increased vehicle occupancy, the latter of which is largely dependent on the decisions of individual travelers to pool or not to pool. This research provides key insights into the policy levers that could be employed to reduce vehicle miles traveled and emissions by incentivizing the use of pooled on-demand ride services and public transit. We employ a general population stated preference survey of four California metropolitan regions (Los Angeles, Sacramento, San Diego, and the San FranciscoBay Area) to examine the opportunities and challenges for drastically expanding the market for pooling, taking into account the nuances in emergent travel behavior and demand sensitivity across on-demand mobility options.
In 2020, the microtransit company. “Via” partnered with Jersey City to provide on-demand car rides to underserved communities whose mass public transit routes had been canceled due to low ridership during the 2020 Covid-19 pandemic. The company aims to complement existing transit which operates comprehensively and frequently in the central areas of Jersey City. Via offers rides outside of this well-served district but not within to minimize competition with public transit. The same company launched in Arlington, Texas in 2017. Arlington, which was the largest city in America without a public transit system, opted to contract Via to provide an alternative transportation mode to driving in a personal vehicle. The on-demand service offers point-to-point rides within Arlington and connections to intercity train stations to Dallas-Fort Worth.
Vehicle sharing services (bikeshare, carshare, and e-scooters) offer the potential to improve mobility and accessibility for disadvantaged populations. This article reviews research related to equity and vehicle sharing, focusing on race/ethnicity, income, gender, age, and disability. We find evidence of disparities in use of shared vehicles, which is only partly explained by lack of physical proximity. Some studies reveal additional barriers to use, particularly for bikesharing.
The Handbook provides methods to quantify GHG emission reductions from a specified list of measures, primarily focused on project-level actions. The Handbook also includes a method to assess potential benefits of different climate vulnerability reduction measures, as well as measures that can be implemented to improve health and equity, again at the project level.
Many studies have noted that denser and more accessible environments with higher level-of-service (LOS) tend to encourage higher levels of walking and bicycling activity. As streets are increasingly designed to facilitate safe cycling through built environment interventions, little has been done to evaluate perceptions of safety on different typologies, particularly one vs. two-way corridors. Theory would suggest that many individuals frame their commutes based in-part on the perceived safety of the environment, yet little research looks at varying street design and this perception. This study uses a moving camera approach to evaluate the perceived cycling comfort for drivers and cyclists on different roadway designs (multi-lane, one way; two-way, bidirectional street; single-lane, one-way).
Automobile-dependent planning has changed automobiles from a luxury into a necessity. Excessive vehicle costs leave many households without money to purchase essential food, shelter and healthcare. They need more affordable transportation options.
Bike share systems are expanding efforts to be more equitable and accessible to everyone by offering adaptive bicycle options to people who might otherwise be unable to ride. These systems tend to range from the inclusion of electric bikes and standard trikes into the existing systems to offer a more full range of adaptive bicycle options for use at rental locations. Surveys of residents living in several low-income communities of color (n = 1,885) are used to explore the potential need for adaptive bike share options in urban locations. A national survey of cities and bike share operators (n = 70) is used to document the prevalence and basic models of adaptive bike share programming currently in place. Interviews conducted with bike share representatives in select cities with adaptive bike share programs provide context and details on how specific programs operate. Finally, interviews with adaptive bike share participants (n = 5) in Portland, Oregon, help to illuminate users’ experiences, including the perceived value and potential improvements for adaptive bike share.
This dissertation work addresses three fundamental bikeshare equity problems. Chapter 2 examines whether bikeshare systems have targeted specific populations. Chapter 3, extends knowledge about how to estimate bikeshare ridership in underserved communities. This research fills a gap by analyzing the current utilization rates of bikeshare systems among disadvantaged populations. Chapter 4, develops a destination competing model to estimate destination choices and analyze spatial patterns.
AARP Public Policy Institute, RAND Corporation and Urbanism Next collaborated to better understand the ways in which shared mobility and AVs will be impacting older adults. Through a review of literature, interviews with public and private sector players in this arena, and a roundtable with over 25 experts from around the country, the project team developed a framework that identifies a range of factors around new mobility and AVs that will be affecting older adults’ mobility, independence and safety. The framework is a guide for governments and private sector companies to help them think broadly about impacts, understand barriers, and can serve as an internal checklist to guide future policy, research and development.
Using experience from working on the Knight AV Initiative, Urbanism Next created this white paper to provide a foundation for public sector agencies to approach autonomous vehicle deployment and policy with a focus on equity. This report outlines ways that public agencies can identify community needs and shape deployment to ensure that AVs will be accessible for all.
In this report, the Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) evaluates the second e-scooter pilot project conducted in Portland, Oregon. PBOT used data and feedback from the community to evaluate the e-scooter pilot project, specifically evaluating "the potential for e-scooters to advance equity, ease traffic congestion and reduce climate-harming emissions."
Urbano has been developed by Cornell University and other organizations. This software has some special features like download geospatial data, import and aggregate data, lookup and modify metadata, routing in different modes, analyze amenities and streets, integrated cad workflow, etc. Also, is useful to quantify urban parameters like amenity demand, streetscore, amenityscore and walkscore. It has a friendly interface to visualize different urban planning parameters.
Make pedestrian ways, particularly sidewalks, first class members of an open data transportation network. The OpenStreetMap (OSM) project has made available extensive, user-contributed open data on transportation networks, providing the basis for many use cases and downstream activities, including rich analytics, travel route optimization, city planning, and disaster relief. Sidewalks in the built environment have generally been treated an addendum to streets, failing to serve people with limited mobility.
"The City of Santa Monica designed a pilot program to test shared electric scooters and bikes operated by private companies, using a flexible approach that could be responsive to community needs, technological advancements, and a nascent and evolving industry."
"This report aims to identify policy issues related to the use of AVs that will have a bearing on public health and to identify research topics that will support informed decisionmaking related to AVs and public health."
What are transportation options for people with disabilities in San Francisco and how have these options been impacted by TNCs?
"NACTO research in seven cities shows that pairing bike share with protected bike lanes encourages riding, increases the visibility of people on bikes, and reduces overall biking risk."
This report explores how smart mobility technologies can address the current and future needs of transportation disadvantaged communities. It looks at the barriers different communities experience regarding access to smart mobility technologies, and potential solutions to overcoming these barriers.
This survey estimates how many U.S. households do not have a bank account or are “underbanked,” and provides insights that may help these consumers within the banking system.
Uber is developing an aerial taxi and looking to partner with cities who will allow testing of its upcoming all-electric vehicles.
This report explores peer-to-peer carsharing, its impacts on travel behavior, and how it can be incorporated with other shared mobility services.
Overall adoption of broadband internet and smartphone ownership have grown quickly over the past thirty years, including for lower-income populations. Still, a gap exists in digital ownership and access between lower-income and higher-income Americans.
Rural Americans are less likely to own home broadband or a smartphone than suburban or urban Americans. This low percentage of adoption may be partly due to a lack of sufficient infrastructure to support high-speed internet.
With the global move towards cashless transactions, many lawmakers have proposed legislation requiring stores and restaurants to accept cash payments due to equitable access and cybersecurity concerns.
This report discusses 761 walkable urban places in the United States' 30 largest metropolitan areas and their impact on social equity and educational attainment, and their economic impact on office, retail, and housing land uses.
Automation of personal and transit vehicles will change the vehicles themselves, but also the right-of-way that governs their use. These changes bring an opportunity to improve transit systems. High capacity transit must become a more attractive mode of transit in order to remain competitive with personal and shared vehicles.
Buffalo has become to first major city to completely remove its outdated minimum parking requirements citywide.
San Francisco’s “parklet” trend of transforming parking spots into small public spaces has mixed reviews among residents. Some people think that they are provide spaces for neighborhoods to come together, while some believe they exacerbate gentrification.
This article studies how emerging “smart mobility” systems will affect equity issues in Portland, Oregon. It suggests that affordable and improved public transit, ridesharing and active transportation could address many transportation challenges.
“This research aimed to look at the future of mobility and MaaS from a perspective of society, to look not only at the challenges to enabling a MaaS ecosystem but the potential direct and indirect effects on the wider transport system and city.”
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration outlines the progression of automated vehicle technology and the ways it will improve safety. The NHTSA released safety guidelines for industry, states, and policymakers in 2017 (Automated Driving Systems: A Vision for Safety), and an expanded set of guidelines in 2018 (Preparing for the Future of Transportation: Automated Vehicles 3.0). Both documents are linked in the NHTSA in Action section at the end of this report.
Sustainable, inclusive, prosperous, and resilient cities depend on transportation that facilitates the safe, efficient, and pollution-free flow of people and goods, while also providing affordable, healthy, and integrated mobility for all people. The pace of technology-driven innovation from the private sector in shared transportation services, vehicles, and networks is rapid, accelerating, and filled with opportunity. At the same time, city streets are a finite and scarce resource.These principles, produced by a working group of international NGOs, are designed to guide urban decision-makers and stakeholders toward the best outcomes for all.
"Private Mobility, Public Interest is a report for public-sector leaders committed to making it easy for their citizens to get where they want to go. We identify actionable short-term opportunities for today’s transit agencies and municipalities to work with emerging mobility providers. This report is an independent analysis built on a foundation of more than 100 interviews with industry representatives from the public and private sectors."
Residential Preference: the social, environmental, and physical preferences that affect a person or family’s choice of residential location (for our purposes, in relation to the urban core and other amenities offered as a part of living in density) The introduction of autonomous vehicles and the comprehensive integration of E-commerce into the urban and suburban fabric will have a widespread effect on the factors the influence a resident’s location preference.
The purpose of the NACTO Urban Bikeway Design Guide (part of the Cities for Cycling initiative) is to provide cities with state-of-the-practice solutions that can help create complete streets that are safe and enjoyable for bicyclists.
The Transit Street Design Guide provides design guidance for the development of transit facilities on city streets, and for the design and engineering of city streets to prioritize transit, improve transit service quality, and support other goals related to transit.
Metro data enables deep analysis of cyclist and pedestrian activity including popular or avoided routes, peak commute times, intersection wait times, and origin/destination zones. Metro processes this data for compatibility with geographic information system (GIS) environments.
An equity atlas is a tool that consists of a number of maps which show the relationships between different determinants of health and well-being and the geography of a region. By providing a visual depiction of disparities, equity atlases can play a powerful role in guiding policy, planning, and strategic investments to create more equitable communities.
Open-access scenario planning package that allows users to analyze how their community's current growth pattern and future decisions impacting growth will impact a range of measures from public health, fiscal resiliency and environmental sustainability.
CoAXs uses open data and free software to enable users to test new transportation scenarios in real time. Users can activate and deactivate selected hypothetical and existing transit routes; examine effects of changes such as in bus speeds or frequencies; and explore the impact of these changes on different locations in a region. Great example of work done in Boston.
BikeAble can use mapping technology to model the low-stress bike route options available from any origin to any destination. Doing this for a large number of origins and destinations allows us to aggregate the results to show not just how connected one household is to key destinations, but how well connected an entire community is.
The Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) report provides a preliminary analysis of an E-Scooter Pilot Program conducted in Portland, Oregon, from July 2018 through November of the same year. The report includes ridership data, public perception and concerns, areas for improvement, and proposed next steps for implementing e-scooters in Portland.
This report evaluates the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority's "The RIDE" pilot project. The pilot project, which is still in operation today, is an example of a public-private partnership, where the MBTA subsidizes ADA paratransit rides provided by Uber, Lyft, and Curb their traditional ADA paratransit customers. The analysis and modeling in the report is based off of data provided by the MBTA stretching from the pilot's start date in October 2016 through March 2018.
This report categorizes and summarizes efforts that are already underway in cities across the world to rethink curb management, to outline the key takeaways from the one-day workshop that involved city staff from Portland, Seattle, and Vancouver, and to identify major research gaps.
"This report represents an important contribution to the emerging understanding of the connections between transportation and public health. It contains 8 chapters entitled: Health effects of transportation policy; Transportation authorization 101: a backgrounder; Public transportation and health; Walking, bicycling, and health; Roadways and health: making the case for collaboration; Breaking down silos: transportation, economic development and health; Sustainable food systems: perspectives on transportation policy; Traffic injury prevention: A 21st-century approach. This report was written for community leaders, policymakers, funders, practitioners, and advocates interested in an overarching strategy to promote active living and to build healthy communities of opportunity."
The New Mobility Playbook is a set of plays, policies, and strategies that will position Seattle to foster new mobility options while prioritizing safety, equity, affordability, and sustainability in the transportation system.
The Transportation Authority’s “Emerging Mobility Evaluation Report” provides the first comprehensive look at the rapidly evolving emerging mobility sector in San Francisco. The report outlines the range of services operating in San Francisco, covering everything from ride-hail services to autonomous vehicles and microtransit to scooter sharing. In the report, the Transportation Authority evaluates how these services and technologies align with the city’s 10 Guiding Principles related to collaboration, safety, transit, congestion, sustainability, equitable access, accountability, labor, disabled access, and financial impact.
This Blueprint outlines a vision for cities in a future where automated transportation is both accepted and widespread as part of the built environment. It is a human oriented vision for the potential of city streets, intersections, and networks-one in which automation can serve the goals of safety, equity, public health, and sustainability.
The former mayor of Portland, Oregon, outlines what a smart ride-hailing tax looks like for American cities. He discusses how the City should price the TNCs and other shared mobility to ensure the urban equity and affordability goal. He provided six ideas for the full-benefits of a tiered ride-hailing tax and addresses likely downsides.
This framework offers planners and community advocates a step-by-step guide to a more community-centered transportation planning process that focuses on the mobility needs of communities and puts affected communities at the center of decision-making. Offers a process for how to prioritize transportation modes/mobility options that are the most equitable and sustainable.
The findings of a study on ride-sharing in 2 major U.S. cities, Boston and Seattle. Results found patterns of discrimination based on names of riders.
"This brief provides a framework for public agency stakeholders considering shared mobility public-private partnerships, to ensure that new partnerships are built from the beginning to include people with disabilities, including people in wheelchairs. While written with TNCs in mind, many of the discussions can be adapted for projects centered on other shared modes, such as microtransit or carsharing. Ultimately, planning for people with disabilities and seniors early in the process can help assure beneficial, accessible, and equitable service for everyone."
Local governments, municipal planning organizations, and transit agencies are understandably circumspect in their actions to regulate autonomous vehicles. Policymakers must strike a delicate balance between crafting forward-thinking regulations and being so quick-to-act that decisions are rendered obsolete by the changing marketplace. In this case, however, it is crucial that metropolitan actors do not fall behind the wave of technological progress—now is the moment to envision their ideal land use and transportation scenarios.
This Electric Vehicle Strategy focuses on electrification of the public transit system, shared vehicles and the private automobiles that remain in use, which is one of many strategies the City is taking to reduce carbon emissions from the transportation sector. This strategy also seeks to maximize the benefits of air quality and affordability for low-income residents and parts of Portland that are the most dependent on private vehicles.
"Ridehail services nearly eliminate the racial-ethnic differences in service quality. Policy and platform-level strategies can erase the remaining mobility gap and ensure equitable access to ridehailing and future technology-enabled mobility services."
The researcher examined six jurisdictions: three in Canada and in from the United States. In helping frame the issue for B.C. and—more specifically— the Vancouver metropolitan area context, the researcher conducted primary research to understand the accessibility challenges in the regional context and to help frame the topic of accessibility within the for-hire sector.
This is an overview of how the Portland Climate Action Plan was revised to include the equitable disparities that existed in the first one. It lays out the process strategies, budget considerations, and people that were involved and brought along for the process.
The Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC) has, through scenario planning, already begun to consider the effects that emerging technologies such as AVs and accelerated broadband might have on travel patterns. This report moves another step forward. It identifies and explores transportation technology trends, their potential impacts, and their policy implications, both generally and those specific to the Atlanta region. The result is intended to help support the Atlanta region in developing a regional transportation technology program to prepare for and take advantage of technology innovations in support of the region’s goals.
A study was done to see how location to transit impacts the amount you spend on transportation in a year - this article explains the findings.
This article is a review of Adonia Lugo's book: "Bicycle / Race: Transportation, Culture, & Resistance". The book talks about issues of race and class in bicycle culture. It is a call to refocus bicycle-planning beyond physical infrastructure to include human-infrastructure that centers on the stories and identities that shape how, where, when, and why we travel.
Cyclists, particularly women, face risks. Separation of cyclists from vehicular traffic reduces encroachments and can address the well-founded concerns women have about safety. Other counties and municipalities can learn from the plans being implemented in Hennepin County and Minneapolis and do more to encourage and protect cyclists—especially women and girls.
The Seattle Department of Transportation is currently conducting a study to determine how best to implement congestion pricing equitably. The article mentions other cities as cases and scholars' suggestion to discuss how to make congestion pricing more equitable.
The immense mobility needs in black and brown neighborhoods are the result of systematic, significant and sustained disinvestment. Here's what the mayor can do to reverse the damage.
The article discusses how new technology in transportation can achieve equity by leveraging technology. Strategies include defining boundaries, eligibility, and subsidies.
On May 10, 2017, Mayor William Peduto charged 120 National Summit on Design & Urban Mobility delegates with the following challenge: “we must develop and carry-out a new social compact for mobility in cities. Now is the time to address mobility to ensure that we serve and support core community values of equity, inclusiveness, sustainability, and collective advancement. A social compact with shared and autonomous mobility providers ensures that these services do good for communities while these businesses do well in cities.
Technology is transforming transportation. The ability to conveniently request, track, and pay for trips via mobile devices is changing the way people get around and interact with cities. This report examines the relationship of public transportation to shared modes, including bikesharing, carsharing, and ridesourcing services provided by companies such as Uber and Lyft. The research included participation by seven cities: Austin, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle and Washington, DC. The objective of this research analysis is to examine these issues and explore opportunities and challenges for public transportation as they relate to technology-enabled mobility services, including suggesting ways that public transit can learn from, build upon, and interface with these new modes.
"Dockless bike share systems present an opportunity for cities to expand access to bike share by lowering costs and geographic barriers, but also create additional challenges in the areas of maintenance, parking, and right-of- way management. Most dockless providers are also private, venture-capital funded entities, representing a significant departure from current public and non-profit approaches. Other cities have encountered challenges in securing cooperation from these operators in areas such as data transparency. This raises a key question: To what extent can cities use contracts and governance to exchange use of the public right-of-way for operating requirements that advance equity, accessibility, innovation, and other goals? Using case studies from other U.S. cities and drawing insights from the wider “smart mobility” literature, this research presents recommendations for regulating dockless bike share in cities and ties these approaches to the implementation of Nice Ride Minnesota’s dockless pilot. "
Warren Logan, a Bay Area transportation planner, has new ideas about how to truly engage diverse communities in city planning. Hint: It starts with listening.
This doctoral dissertation analyzes the impacts of ridesourcing on several areas of transportation including: efficiency in terms of distance Vehicles Miles Traveled (VMT) versus Passenger Miles Traveled (PMT) – and travel times, mode replacement, VMT increase, parking, transportation equity, and travel behavior.
Chicago’s pilot electronic-scooter program is proving to be a hit with low-income residents who have few transit choices in their far-flung neighborhoods.
Equity is a complex topic – is a bike share system equitable if bikes are available in all neighborhoods, if anyone who wanted to could afford to ride or have a membership, or only if ridership reflects the demographics of the city? In this report, we seek to identify ways for cities and bike share systems to have these conversations with meaningful data. The report is a resource to help cities navigate the range of actions that have been implemented to make bike share systems more equitable, examine successful strategies employed by other cities and systems, and understand how those systems are measuring and articulating their successes (and challenges).
"This report consists of nine chapters. Chapter 2 describes the effects of technology on transportation in general, the innovative services relevant to this report, what is known about the use of these services, and their potential impacts. Chapter 3 explains the existing regulatory structure of the taxi, sedan, and limousine industries and the challenges to that existing structure presented by the rise of TNCs. Chapter 4 presents an economic framework for address- ing those challenges. Chapters 5 through 8 then review specific issues facing shared mobility services: Chapter 5 examines labor and employment issues; Chapter 6 addresses personal security for drivers and passengers and safety for the public; Chapter 7 reviews insurance issues; and Chapter 8 looks at issues of access and equity. Chapter 9 presents the overall conclusions resulting from this study and the committee’s recommendations for policy makers and regulators who must consider whether and how to regulate these new services to serve public policy goals, and outlines research needs."
This Strategic Plan is designed to help the East-West Gateway Council of Governments (EWG) to better position itself to prepare for emerging transportation technologies in its planning and investment decision making processes.
A review of legislative debates in these states finds that action was stymied by a range of issues related to driver background checks, service to disabled persons, fair treatment of drivers, competitive impacts on the taxi industry, and whether app-enabled ride services should be regulated by state or local governments. This blueprint for TNC and taxi regulation includes recommendations on five key issues that stymied approval of TNC bills in big-state legislatures this year.
As a result of transportation challenges faced by rural areas, public agencies, non-profits and companies are collaborating in new ways to leverage emerging technology and service models to improve mobility options for rural and small-town residents. The following examples demonstrate just a few of the ways public agencies and multi-sector partnerships are working to close mobility gaps in small and rural communities.
Driverless vehicles will likely have a huge impact on our future; however, it is the government’s actions (now and in the future) that will determine how they are integrated into society and if the impacts are largely positive or negative. The intent of this guide is to outline the role of government in the integration of driverless vehicles in society and present the information that local and regional governments need to inform planning and decision-making – now and in the future.
Forth, a Portland-based mobility group, will receive funding for the Clean Rural Shared Electric Mobility (CRUSE) Project from the U.S. Department of Energy for Advanced Vehicle Technologies Research. The CRUSE Project seeks to demonstrate that round trip plug-in electric vehicle (PEV) carsharing can serve rural communities while benefitting low income residents and local businesses. This project will bring the carsharing model to rural communities, where private investment might otherwise never go.
In many countries the revenue from gasoline taxes is used to fund highways and other transportation infrastructure. As the number of electric vehicles on the road increases, this raises questions about the effectiveness and equity of this financing mechanism. In this paper, we ask whether electric vehicle drivers should pay a mileage tax.
Seniors need transportation alternatives more than ever, but many are intimidated by ride-hailing apps." This article explores how transportation network companies are providing transportation options for seniors.
In the 1960s, countercultural icon Timothy Leary popularized the phrase, "turn on, tune in, drop out," to describe the idea of using LSD and other psychedelic drugs to detach from society and achieve a higher level of thinking. Later in his life, he argued that the personal computer was the "LSD of the 1990s"—at that time having no inkling how much automation and augmented reality would play in our society, or how autonomous vehicles might change the way we connect with others. Might automated vehicles (AVs) be one of the ways that humans "tune in, turn on" and disconnect for the next few decades?
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