Tag Archives: transit

IPMI Webinar: Curbing COVID-19 at the Curb, presented by Matthew Darst, Conduent Transportation.

Curbing COVID-19 at the Curb

Matthew Darst, JD; Director of Curbside Management; Conduent Transportation

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Or purchase the entire 2021 professional development series bundle.


How we think about traveling and commuting in the cities where we work and live has changed dramatically with the spread of COVID-19 . We drive less, eschew public transportation, and are less likely to use shared mobility devices.  This new definition of mobility has exacerbated declining municipal revenues. Cities and states face a unique challenge: stimulate local economies and generate revenue all while working to reopen responsibly to prevent new hot spots of infection and protect public health.

Curbside technologies offer unique solutions to help fund government programs while safeguarding the public. Curbside technologies can help monitor and mitigate viral spread, provide economic relief to constituents, and create a path for municipal revenue recovery. Cities have an opportunity to quickly pivot and utilize metered parking, permit parking, citation issuance and processing, and data science to achieve critical municipal goals.

Attendees will:

  • Identify curbside strategies for reducing the risk of contagion, providing relief to customers, and helping fund critical municipal goals.
  • Assess curbside data for its effectiveness as an early indicator of people congregating/flaunting social distancing guidelines, the need for enforcement, and the spread of COVID-19.
  • Detail best practices and measure the effectiveness of amnesty and relief programs for constituents and revenue recovery efforts.

Offers 1 CAPP Credit towards application or recertification.


Presenter:

Matthew Darst, JD; Director of Curbside Management; Conduent Transportation

Matt Darst, JD, oversees Conduent Transportation’s analytics team, helping cities use data to better manage curbside resources to promote social equity, improve pedestrian safety, and increase physical distancing during the pandemic. Prior to joining Conduent, he served in the public sector for 16 years.

Register here.

IPI Webinar: Potential Impacts of City-Level Parking Cash-Out and Transit Benefit Ordinances

On-Demand Webcast: $35.00 for IPMI Members, $85.00 for Non-Members

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The vast majority of employers provide their employees free parking at work, which encourages employees to drive alone. Parking cash-out enables employees to choose cash instead of free, employer-provided parking, substantially reducing the rate at which people drive alone to work. But this has not been implemented broadly. This presentation will provide an overview of cash-out policies; highlight the results of a Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) analysis of six different possible cash-out ordinances, for nine different cities, to estimate their potential impacts; and offer information on the real-world implementation of cash-out policies at the municipal level. A literature review of the impacts of parking pricing and commuter incentives will be shared as part of the presentation.

  • Objectives:
    Inform the audience of the expected benefits of commute pricing incentives to improve parking management, including better utilization of existing parking supply and reduced vehicle-miles traveled in turn leading to less congestion and reductions in air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions and other related externalities.
  • Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of different city-level parking pricing and incentive policies in terms of both implementation challenges and policy impacts.
  • Explore the robust and creative analytical, techniques used to evaluate policy alternatives and how they can take advantage of the work performed in the FHWA project to help with their own analysis.

Presenters:

Allen Greenberg, U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration, has analyzed and advocated for sustainable U.S transportation policy from both inside and outside of government for 25 years. As a senior policy analyst at the Federal Highway Administration, Mr. Greenberg cultivates, develops, and manages transportation pricing pilot initiatives, including many parking pricing projects. Earlier, Mr. Greenberg worked at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and League of American Bicyclists. He holds a Master in Urban and Regional Planning from the University of Virginia and a B.S. in Public Policy and Management from Carnegie Mellon University.

 

 

 

Colleen Stoll, City of Santa Monica, Calif., is the Transportation Demand Management Program Manager for the City of Santa Monica. The TDM program proactively manages congestion, improves air quality, and reduces automobile dependence in Santa Monica. It requires annual trip reduction plans from developers and employers with 10 or more employees. When Santa Monica started the TDM Program over twenty years ago, the number of solo drivers driving to work was 80 percent. Today, that number has been reduced to 62 percent in the mornings, and 58 percent in the afternoons. Last year, that translated to over 12,300 fewer car trips per day.

Case Study: National Review of Public Transit COVID-19 Delivery Programs

woman wearing mask on busBy L. Dennis Burns, CAPP

I was reviewing some literature on transit operations during the COVID-19 pandemic recently and ran across a case study of  transit agencies pivoting to repurposing a portion of their fleets to address COVID-related community needs.

The case study, authored by Al Benedict and Mallory Livingston Shurna of the Shared-Use Mobility Center, and Todd Hansen of Texas A&M Transportation Institute, explores some of the examples of public transit delivery programs that arose in response to COVID-19, and highlights how they operate, who they serve, and how the differing needs of customers and geographic areas influence program design.

An excerpt gives you a good overview of the case study report:

Well before the COVID-19 pandemic wreaked havoc on traditional transportation patterns and services in the spring of 2020, many transit agencies and cities were already pursuing innovative ways to meet the unique needs of customers with mobility difficulties. However, these services have taken on increased importance during the current pandemic, in part because many paratransit-eligible customers are elderly or have health complications that make them more susceptible to the coronavirus. Many agencies have also cut back fixed-route service for the time being, further challenging customers’ ability to access essential services.

The full case study addresses the following topic areas:

  • Customers and Partners
  • Operations
  • Finances and Budgeting
  • Equity Issues
  • Rural Programs

Case Study Conclusions:

Transit agencies across the country have adapted to meet the needs of their community members throughout the COVID-19 pandemic—and food delivery programs are just one example. The programs reviewed here offer a way for transit agencies to provide essential services through food, prescription, and in some cases mail and package delivery.  These services are geared toward the most vulnerable populations, including the elderly and persons with disabilities. The programs reviewed here demonstrate that these programs can be implemented without interrupting existing transit service. Given ridership is down across the country as a result of COVID-19, they often take advantage of a transit agency’s underutilized fleet and help to keep transit drivers and staff employed.

Note: The FTA clarified in June 2020 that agencies can use CARES Act funds – as well as Section 5307 and Section 5311 funds administered as part of the Emergency Relief program – for delivery of essential services through January 2021. Agencies seeking additional resources are also encouraged to look into FEMA’s Public Assistance program for the purchase and distribution of food during the pandemic.  The success of these programs may have a life beyond the COVID-19 pandemic, as there will undoubtedly be an ongoing need for certain populations to continue to access these services where traditional public transit is not a feasible option.

This case study can be downloaded here.

L. Dennis Burns, CAPP, is regional vice president, senior practice builder with Kimley-Horn.

Urban Mobility After COVID-19

More of us are working from home than ever—some with no return to office in sight. Buses and commuter trains are running nearly empty in some markets, cars stay parked for weeks at a time, and the demand for bikes is unprecedented.

COVID-19 has had huge effects on the way people get around, but what might it mean for the future of cities? The City Fix, a publication of the World Resources Institute, has some thoughts:

  • Active mobility (walking, biking, scootering, etc.) will remain popular and cities may decide to widen or create dedicated spaces for those transportation modes, away from cars.
  • Working and learning from home may never go back to pre-pandemic, low levels, which may translate to less traffic, more open space, and less tolerance for crowds on and off roads. This may lead to more taxes for road users who hope to get from place to place on more than two wheels.
  • Transit may shift from scheduled services to on-demand, tailored routes—sort of like Uber but with buses. Startups may play a big role in developing the technologies to make this happen.
  • Nature-based infrastructure becomes a bigger, more visible part of transportation.

Curious about this vision? Read more here. Let us know in the comments—is this an accurate picture?

 

 

Pandemic Travel Patterns Offer Hints About Future

Woman wearing a mask on a busThe world collectively has learned a lot since COVID-19 begin forcing shutdowns and stay-home orders. Experts say that’s true for travel patterns, and the way people shifted theirs during and after lockdowns may offer a glimpse of the future of human transportation.

Bloomberg CityLab says, “The lessons of the great transportation freeze of 2020 could guide future policies as many cities reopen and attempt to build a healthier future.”

Travel declines varied by mode when shutdowns started, says the report. Walking and driving both saw declines but the most drastic was on transit, as local governments and health experts advised people to stay off buses and trains if possible. Today, walking and driving are beginning to bounce back but transit use remains low.

“Bike-share systems around the world gained popularity as commuters fled transit systems: In Beijing, the three largest bike-share systems reported a 150 percent increase in use by May, according to the research firm ITDP. Ride volumes grew some 67 percent on New York City’s bike-sharing system in early March,” the report says, noting that personal bike sales doubled this March over one year prior.

Other findings include environmental effects and the effects of transportation changes and shutdowns on Black and other minority groups.

Read the whole story here.

 

 

A New (Ab)Normal

transportation, parking, curbside COVID-19By Chris Lechner, CAPP

As the U.S. begins to open up in ways large and small, the mobility industry is preparing for a broad range of outcomes. There are two fundamental questions facing all of us:

  • How many people are coming back to our venues?
  • How are they going to get there?

The answers will determine our ability to accommodate mobility demand and allow us to begin to explore policy responses to the new (ab)normal.

We know that many businesses are increasing telecommuting and educational institutions are preparing to extend remote instruction. Many businesses have had to reduce their workforces, and local and state regulations have barred whole categories of activities. Even before formal lockdowns were implemented, many services were already experiencing cancellations of reservations and declining business. All of these factors would indicate that for the vast majority of use cases, total demand for mobility will be down.

Mobility professionals are well aware that most of the approaches to reducing traffic and parking congestion–buses, carpools, vanpools, and rail–require density and close physical contact. If people are unwilling to get onto densely packed modes of transportation or if those transit systems reduce their capacity to provide for physical distancing, people will be forced back into their cars or choose not to make those trips.

The balance between less demand for mobility in total and less demand for shared mobility as a percentage of the whole will dictate what our streets, structures, and curbs look like for the foreseeable future.

Chris Lechner, CAPP, is manager, data analytics and strategic projects, with UCLA Events and Transportation.

Free Online Shoptalk: Mobility Options and COVID-19

Tuesday April 14, 2020: 12:00 PM EST

Access the Recording here

Free Online Shoptalk: Mobility Options and COVID-19

IPMI invites all industry professionals in parking, transportation, and mobility to discuss how the COVID-19 crisis has impacted your various mobility programs and options, including fleet management, transit, and micro-mobility modes. We understand this is an extremely busy time and will record the online shoptalk and distribute to all members and colleagues.  If you have a question or would like to share something that has worked for your organization in advance, please email Fernandez@parking-mobility.org.

 

Moderator:

Robert Ferrin Bio ImgRobert Ferrin, Assistant Director for Parking Services, Columbus, Ohio, oversees the administration, enforcement, operations, and management of public parking for the City of Columbus.

In June 2019 he was elected to the International Parking and Mobility Institute (IPMI) Board of Directors. Robert moved to Columbus in late 2017 from Colorado, where he spent nearly seven years working in various parking leadership roles with the City and County of Denver as their Manager of On-Street Programs and the City of Aurora as their Parking & Mobility Manager. Robert is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, where he earned a Bachelor and Master of Geography degrees.

Case Study: Putting the Pieces Together

By Cali Yang

A winning combination of features makes a transit-oriented development work.

THE WALNUT CREEK TRANSIT VILLAGE IN WALNUT CREEK, CALIF., is an urban mixed-use development that includes studio apartments, retail, restaurants, and public plazas. This is one of the first of many new Transit Villages being planned by Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART). The new South Garage is a five-level, 920-space structure that serves residents, visitors, and BART patrons and features artwork installations created by an award-winning artist.

Putting the Pieces Together

The garage is developed on an existing surface lot and involves access and traffic circulation improvements, including a BART patron kiss-n-ride drop-off, landscaping, and a 2,200 square-foot, single-story BART police building.

The garage is developed on an existing surface lot and involves access and traffic circulation improve­ments, including a BART patron kiss-n-ride drop-off, landscaping, and a 2,200 square-foot, single-story BART police building. The police facility includes administrative offices, a locker room with restrooms, kitchen and dining area, and detention and interview rooms. Included in the project scope are enhanced bike and pedestrian paths and a bus facility expansion with 15 new bus bays for the Central Contra Costa Tran­sit Authority. Other features include a car counting system, provisions for electric-vehicle (EV) charging stations, and bioretention planters in the bus area that collect rainwater from the rooftop.

Location

The Walnut Creek Transit Village is a premier lifestyle center being developed in two phases. With direct con­nection to BART, commuters can easily access various forms of transportation that connect to the entire Bay Area and its major businesses, attractions, and air­ports. Also located near the Transit Village is the Iron Horse Regional Trail, which offers pedestrians, bicy­clists, and horseback riders a safe thoroughfare.

The project is located at an extremely busy com­muter intersection: Ygnacio Valley Road and the exit ramps of I-680 and CA-24. The early involvement of onsite construction and design team members pro­vided a coordinated site logistics and construction management plan. The plan meets the requirements of the City of Walnut Creek and BART and maintains no impact to BART patrons and commuter traffic during peak times. The logistics plan was circulated to all team members and trade partners to help create trans­parency on the requirements of the plan and led to an efficient delivery and pickup schedule without any effects on the project.

Features

The purpose of the Transit Village is to create a gate­way to Walnut Creek’s downtown core and integrate with the city and surrounding communities. The complex features an active street level with public plazas, central paseo, and a hub to encourage residents and visitors to ride public transportation. The garage can be easily accessed by two vehicular entry points and features dynamic wayfinding signage that dis­plays availability of parking for the new and existing  parking facilities. In keeping with the city’s public arts master plan, the garage features several Dan Corson sculptures and art installation pieces mounted to the facade facing the BART station and trackway. Be­cause the Transit Village is a priority public art site, special design features were included with the vision of the garage to ensure the facade was aesthetically complementary to the surrounding neighborhood and future buildings.

The parking facility also features 15 bus bays to accommodate Contra Costa County regional transit buses and the Walnut Creek Trolley Bus. The city trol­ley buses are powered by electric induction motors for which the parking facility provides two charging pads.
The kiss-n-ride patron drop-off is a beautifully landscaped zone to the north of the existing parking structure. This amenity was a relocation of an existing patron drop-off adjacent to the BART station entrance. The zone includes enhanced lighting and pavement materials, as well as seating for BART patrons awaiting pick-up. This kiss-n-ride is also the newly established location for all ride-share pick-ups and drop-offs to the station.

Challenge

The parking garage was developed in stages to mini­mize effects on existing BART operations, as well as pedestrian and vehicular access to the existing facili­ties. This included permitting make-ready work so all of BART’s services could be maintained in operation uninterrupted, relocation of the patron drop-off, and rerouting of the storm drainage of the existing garage to conform to current state requirements. The project program also included the requirement to tie the new facilities into the existing BART infrastructure. An example of this was that the new police facility had to have direct communication from the new facility and could not be tied into or routed through the garage systems. The challenge was that the new garage was between the new police building and the transit station and existing parking structure, which required separate routing of all communication and power feeds to the station, as well as emergency power connections to the existing parking facility gener­ator. This equipment needed to be coordinated and installed without disruption to existing facilities while avoiding the new south garage project.

New overhead high-voltage lines needed to be chan­neled within the existing parking facility, then out and around the south garage, as well as communication trenching through existing pedestrian plazas and fare gate locations without disruption to ongoing opera­tions. These were very difficult challenges as BART is heavily used at this location and has stringent re­quirements for work hours and measures for meeting patron expectations.

Read the article here.

CALI YANG is marketing manager with International Parking Design, Inc. She can be reached at cyang@oc.ipd-global.com.

 

Stop Treating the Symptoms: Curing Traffic Congestion at the Source

By Juan Rodriguez

CONGESTION IS A PROBLEM that routinely plagues cities worldwide. The threats it poses Symptoms Cure Traffic Congestionto society are immense: chronic pollution, crumbling infrastructures, and low quality of life. As major cities search for solutions, they often turn to tactics such as congestion pricing and curbside management—programs that can produce positive results but only treat symptoms of the problem. To cure congestion at the source, cities need to turn to dynamic mobility ecosystem hubs that manage their sources by connecting people with alternate solutions.

Congestion Control through Pricing

London, England, is one of the world’s pioneers in using congestion pricing, which requires motorists to pay fees to drive into the center of the city during busy periods. London implemented congestion pricing in 2002 with the goals of reducing traffic volumes, improving bus ser­vices, and making the delivery of goods and services more efficient. And it has worked.

In 2006, Transport for London (TfL), the government agency respon­sible for the city’s transportation system, found that the surcharge re­duced traffic by 15 percent and congestion—which it defines as the extra time a trip would take because of traffic—by 30 percent. The TfL reports these trends continue today, with traffic volumes down nearly 25 percent compared to a decade ago. That has enabled it to open more dedicated road space for bicyclists and pedestrians.

However, congestion remains a problem due to a number of factors, including one city officials could not have anticipated back in 2002: the influx of transportation network company (TNC) drivers using their cars to work for companies such as Uber and Lyft.
The Conversation news site reports that while the number of cars driven by their owners has fallen, the number of private for-hire vehicles such as TNCs and minicabs is up. Trips by taxis and private for-hire vehicles as the main mode of transportation have increased by nearly 30 percent since the surcharge was implemented. Today, more than 18,000 different private for-hire vehicles enter the congestion charging zone each day, reducing the speed of traffic through the city.

The ripple effects include traffic jams, slower bus service, and falling revenue. Taxis and minicabs (but not TNC vehicles) are exempt from paying the congestion charge, so, not surprisingly, the number of minicab registrations rose quickly—from 49,854 in 2013 to 87,409 in 2017. Last year, TfL experienced its first drop in congestion charge in­come since 2010.

New York lawmakers are evaluating the pros and cons of the London case study as they prepare to make New York City the first U.S. city to implement congestion pricing. Assuming its scheduled December 2020 rollout is not delayed, motorists will pay a toll of around $12 to drive between midtown and lower Manhattan.
The plan passed as part of the state budget earlier this year, but some lawmakers, business owners, community activists, and residents are pushing for a number of exemptions. They see the mandatory surcharge as being akin to a regressive tax that imposes an unfair financial burden on the lower and middle classes, who typically don’t live in the city and have no choice but to make the daily commute.

The plan currently exempts “conges­tion zone” residents who earn less than $60,000 a year, as well as emergency vehicles and vehicles carrying people with disabilities. Other proposals want to extend exemptions to all New York resi­dents, any police officers who drive their personal vehicles into the city, and all electric vehicles.

Whatever the final version of the plan looks like when (or if) it is implemented, the fight for exemptions will continue, the reduction of traffic congestion will be minimal, and the city will face the same issues of lost government revenue London is deal­ing with now.
A recent Quinnipiac University poll found New Yorkers op­pose the congestion pricing plan by a 54 to 41 percent margin. If a majority of New Yorkers are unhappy with the prospect of having to pay extra money to drive their cars, just imagine how they might react to a policy that prohibits them from driving their cars at all.

No-drive Days
That’s the model Mexico City officials created when they imple­mented a “No Drive Day” program. Each weekday is reserved only for cars with specific license plate numbers and letters. The written policy states:

  • Monday: no driving if license plate ends with 5 or 6.
  • Tuesday: no driving if license plate ends with 7 or 8.
  • Wednesday: no driving if license plate ends with 3 or 4.
  • Thursday: no driving if license plate ends with 1 or 2.
  • Friday: no driving if license plate ends with 9, 0, or a letter.

Of course, there are exemptions and exceptions to these rules, particularly for foreigners and Mexican residents who live outside Mexico City. Take this example of a vehicle with Texas license plates that end with the digit 3:

“Thus under the rules above from Monday to Friday, they can­not drive between 5 a.m. to 11 a.m. However, on Wednesday, they have the additional restriction that they cannot drive between 5 a.m. to 10 p.m. The only way they can get around this is to obtain a 0 or 00 sticker should their vehicle be eight years old or newer.”

Americans generally hate having to keep track of what side of the street they must park their cars on depending on what day it is. It’s safe to assume that a proposal for a No-drive Day policy will be met with vehement opposition. However, many are experimenting with restricting parking curbside.

Take It to Curb
Take a moment to think about all the uses for those lips of concrete that separate streets and sidewalks. Drivers looking for parking spots (and struggling to parallel park) fight for limited space with taxis, TNCs, and buses dropping off and picking up passengers, as well as delivery vehicles. The results are frustrating traffic jams and an increased risk of accidents involving vehicles and pedestrians.

Autonomous vehicle manufacturers and tech companies such as Google and Uber are developing solutions to ease that con­gestion and reduce the risk of accidents. Their intelligent route navigation and collision avoidance capabilities will enable much more efficient interactions with other vehicles to reduce the instances of unnecessary starting and stopping and prevent ac­cidents. Still, they won’t solve the congestion caused by stopping curbside to collect or drop off passengers.

Implementing a policy that prohibits vehicles from stopping or parking curbside would be counterproductive and costly. Curbs are one of the most valuable assets a city owns (see the May issue of The Parking Professional for more). Governing mag­azine reports America’s 25 biggest cities collect about $5 billion in car-related revenue. The trouble is even if you widen streets; add new lanes for vehicles, bicycles, and pedestrians; or create dedicated parking zones for passenger or delivery vehicles, curbs remain a fixed asset.

If people stop parking their cars and feeding parking me­ters, what happens to the city services that that money funds? What about the businesses that depend on that traffic to bring customers to their doors? This space needs to be managed more intelligently.
Some cities such as Washington, D.C.; San Francisco, Ca­lif; and Fort Lauderdale, Fla., have tried to strike a balance between keeping curbsides open for vehicles of all kinds and reducing congestion with curb­side management programs built around the concept of shared mobility zones. Curb­side areas are reserved for specific functions, such as only being available to taxis and TNCs during rush hour and only to delivery trucks in the afternoons or overnight.

While cities experiment with ways to ease traffic congestion on the streets, their sidewalks are becoming just as crowded (and dangerous). Pedestrians, joggers, and bike or scooter riders have to avoid one another. The rise of micro-mobility technology com­panies that enable customers to rent a scooter or bike right from their smartphones can reduce the number of cars traveling short distances and provide new first- and last-mile transportation options that encourage more people to use mass transit. Howev­er, they also create safety issues, and the gig charging economy’s general lack of organization encourages riders to park wherever they want, blocking sidewalks.

Even if a city implements congestion pricing, prevents peo­ple from driving their cars on certain days, sets aside portions of curbside areas for different uses, and rolls out fleets of self-­driving vehicles, the effects on traffic congestion will be minimal. There are simply too many cars and trucks on the streets, and increasingly, bikes and scooters cluttering the sidewalks.

A Congestion Cure: The Mobility Hub

These challenges present an enormous business opportunity for innovative owners and operators of parking garages, lots, and other assets. Using technology available today, they can work with their B2B partners to create full-service mobility hubs that enable TNC drivers to get off the streets between fares.

Drivers can pre-reserve parking spaces, navigate to those spaces via their Uber or Lyft driver apps, use their smart­phones’ Bluetooth connections to pay to enter the facility (perhaps at a discount), and quickly leave when summoned by a customer. The entire process would be automated and immediate so drivers won’t need to worry about using a deb­it/credit card, having cash at the ready, or interacting with a parking attendant.
All parties involved benefit when ride-hailing vehicles are not roaming the streets waiting for passengers. Along with relieving traffic congestion, drivers reduce the wear and tear on their cars and save money on gas, riders won’t experience delays, and parking operators grow their businesses by filling otherwise unused spaces.

Parking asset owners can also partner with micro-mobility technology companies to create docking areas for bikes and scoot­ers and even build charging and servicing hubs. The model could resemble what has worked for so long with luggage carts at airports: You pay to unlock the cart, use it to transport your bags to your car or the curb, then get some money back when you return the cart to a designated area.
Parking garages can be the center of the mobility crossroads for all transportation options, making it easy for people to connect with all options that mass transit agen­cies and private sector companies offer. Parking garages can also serve as hubs for charging electric vehicles and even landing areas for delivery drones. Whatever the vehicle and its purpose, users and drivers (and robot pilots) would be able to find and pay for parking quickly and easily.

These benefits should also extend to drivers of commercial delivery trucks. They work on tight deadlines and don’t have time to circle city blocks looking for streetside parking spots, forcing them to double-park and exacerbate traffic congestion. A curbside management program that designates specific areas for delivery trucks may seem like a good idea, but not when you con­sider how many delivery trucks move through a city every day. There simply isn’t enough available curbside real estate.

All of these scenarios are possible thanks to the maturation of cloud computing platforms and internet of things devices that are always connected to the internet. They present the parking industry with a unique opportunity to turn its assets into con­nected mobility hubs and partner with city officials to cure the problems urban traffic and congestion create, not just put a ban­dage on them.

Read the article here.

JUAN RODRIGUEZ is CEO and co-founder of FlashParking. He can be reached at juan.rodriguez@flashparking.com.

 

 

Empowering the Multimodal Journey

By Jon Ziglar

TODAY’S INNOVATIONS ARE FUNDAMENTALLY CHANGING the way people live. We’re Empowering Multimodalhearing more and more about technologies that are autonomous and electric, connected and shared, and on-demand and in real-time. We’ve seen a rise in ridehailing companies like Uber and Lyft, car-sharing companies like Car2Go and Zipcar, bike-sharing and scooter-sharing networks, mass-transit systems, intermodal transportation, autonomous vehicles, alternative fuel, and artificial intelligence. These shifts in the industry have widely affected the way mobility professionals are doing business as their jobs become increasingly integral to the design, management, and operations that provide consumers with multimodal efficiency.

The Mobility Landscape Today’s mobility solutions are enabling people to move around more freely than ever before. As these solutions continue to evolve and expand, it’s not about which mobility player is going to win in the end, but about how all of the available options fit together to create a seamless mobility journey for the consumer. User experience is continually being elevated in every single aspect of our lives, and each mobility player that has disrupted the market in recent years has contributed to the phenomenon we’re all experiencing: a technologically optimized experience with transportation and mobility. By offering users different transportation methods to get from place to place, mobility solution providers are enabling them with the option to choose which method or combination of methods is most convenient. While cars remain the default for many urban trips, other transportation options are a key component of the consumer journey. In reality, some hybrid of these mobility solutions is what’s going to actually make our lives easier. And as the options diversify, the potential for a truly interconnected mobility experience actually becomes more realistic.

The Multimodal Consumer ParkMobile recently conducted a survey with over 500 users to see what mobility services people are engaging with beyond the app. We began our research by defining today’s most common modes of transportation in urban environments: 1) walking, 2) scootering, 3) biking, 4) driving a personal car, 5) ride-hailing (i.e. Uber, Lyft), 6) car-sharing (i.e. Car2Go, Zipcar), and 7) public transit. Our survey results confirmed that users are engaging with all of these modes – proving our hypothesis that consumers across the board are using a variety of mobility solutions to get from place to place in the most efficient way. Today’s consumer is, in fact, multimodal.

Which of these modes are people engaging with the most?

Public Transit

Public transit was the most popular mode of transportation, with 55 percent of respondents engaging with public transit every month. Despite owning a car, 13 percent of respondents actually engage with public transport more than 10 times per month. For their daily commute, many of these consumers drive their car to the nearest public transit station before taking the bus or train to work. This scenario defines a clear intersection between parking and transit: car-owning consumers often use their cars to get to the nearest transit station in the first place, and before they can board the bus or train, their cars need to be parked in the transit lot.

Ride-Hailing

Our survey results showed that 54 percent of our respondents use a ride-hailing service every month. Again, we see that car-owning consumers still engage with alternate mobility services to get from place to place. In this case, the majority of consumers are now engaging with ride-hailing—proving that while consumers may own a car, they still like having the option to request a driver on-demand. Maybe you’re going out to dinner and plan to have a few glasses of wine. Or you’re going to the airport and you don’t want to deal with parking. Ride-hailing provides a good alternative in certain situations even if you own a car. According to a study by the Pew Research Center, roughly two-thirds (64 percent) of regular ride-hailing users (“regular” defined as those who use ride-hailing services on a daily or weekly basis) say they own a personal vehicle. Interestingly, household vehicle ownership has actually increased in the cities where Uber and Lyft are most heavily used. (CityLab)

Bike-Sharing and Scooter-Sharing

In the past few years, we’ve seen an explosion of bike-sharing companies, such as Citi Bike and Divvy, and scooter-sharing companies, such as Bird and Lime, hit cities. Bird is now available in over 120 cities after only two years on the market, and the company’s success has made it the fastest start-up to reach a $1 billion valuation. (QZ.com) Uber recently entered the bike and scooter-sharing space with Jump and a heavy investment into Lime, while Lyft acquired Motivate in July 2018. Even though bike and scooter-sharing services are relatively new to the market, a striking 40 percent of people we surveyed are now using those services every month.

Car-Sharing

Following bike and scooter-sharing services, 31 percent of respondents said that they engage with a car-sharing service on a monthly basis. Car-sharing companies, such as Car2Go, Zipcar, and Turo, are currently on the rise, especially as the traditional concept of car ownership is evolving with the rise of various on-demand mobility services. Turo now offers cars in over 5,500 cities and 300+ airports across the United States, Canada, and Europe. By 2024, it’s predicted that the car-sharing market will be worth $11 billion due to its financial benefits to consumers. (Marketwatch) By moving away from car ownership, consumers eliminate the costs incurred to purchase, insure, and maintain the vehicle over time.

The Intermodal Commute

Interestingly, 70 percent of our survey respondents have used multiple mobility services in a given day. A consumer’s day is now intertwined with several modes of transportation for traveling most efficiently between destinations. For example, you might use public transit to get to and from work. To grab lunch with your coworkers, you might take a bike-share to a restaurant nearby. After work, you might use your personal car to drive to the grocery store, where you’re required to use a parking app to pay for a spot in the deck. Later that evening, you might use a ride-hailing service to grab drinks with a friend. Our research indicates that 48 percent of users have used multiple mobility services when navigating to a single destination—an experience that goes from “multimodal” to “intermodal.” For example, to get to work, you might drive and park your car at the nearby transit station, board the train, get off at the stop six blocks from your office, and then take a scooter-share the remainder of the way. In this example, you engage with three modes of transportation in your daily commute— your personal car, public transit, and a scooter-share. And while this commute does involve multiple touchpoints, it’s the combination of options that ends up saving the consumer the most time and money.

The Demand for Interconnected Technology During the last decade, we’ve become used to doing everything on our phones. We order whatever food we’re craving, map to our next destination, check out various account balances, and communicate with others around the world. Mobile apps have fundamentally transformed nearly every aspect of our lives, and with the steady increase in population density that urban communities have been experiencing, the demand for interconnected technology is greater than ever. By providing access to the many mobility solutions on the market, cities are providing people with a better way to get where they are going, while also enabling them to make a smarter choice around which option or combination of options is most effective for them. REACH NOW, a leading provider of mobile transit evolution of urban mobility and subsequent emergence of Mobility-as-a-Service (MaaS), which is defined as “urban transport solutions that are integrated into a single platform by which users can determine the best route and price across several end-to-end travel services and modes, according to real-time data such as traffic conditions, time of day, and demand.” The result of an effective MaaS initiative is a city that helps people on the move while reducing congestion in the process.

In the very near future, this will become the norm. There will be one app that allows consumers to design the most efficient, customized mobility journey for wherever they need to go. These consumers will be able to access every available mobility service from a single touchpoint, ultimately unifying their entire experience.

Our research informed us that 38 percent of those we surveyed are interested in a feature in their mobile parking app that allows you to reserve a scooter near the location where you are going to park. This shows that users are interested in an interconnected experience where they will be able to utilize multiple mobility services from one place. As the industry moves forward, it is important to consider how we’re creating a cohesive experience for customers. We must partner together to identify opportunities to reduce friction for users by enabling them with an interconnected, one-stop-shop solution for all of their mobility needs. Now and into the future, we should be prepared to keep learning from our users as we dramatically change the way we think about moving people from point A to point B.

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JON ZIGLAR serves as CEO of ParkMobile. He can be reached at jz@parkmobile.io.