Redefining Transportation Success
By Matt Tingstrom, Program Manager - Planning and Policy, American Public Transportation Association
Experts in carsharing (including peer-to-peer [P2P] and one-way carsharing), bikesharing, and ridesharing gathered with public sector mobility leaders for the Innovation in Mobility Public Policy Summit in Washington, D.C. The Summit provided a forum for the rapidly evolving world of shared-use transportation.
Don't forget baby boomers: While much has been written about how millennials are changing conventional assumptions about transportation and housing preferences, John Martin of the Southeastern Research Institute underscored the challenges that aging baby boomers will pose to the transportation system. Those 65 or older are expected in the coming years to represent a quarter of all drivers in the US.
Redefining success: Linda Bailey, Executive Director, National Association of City Transportation Officials (NACTO), discussed how innovations in mobility require new performance measures and definitions of success. Bailey described how communities can better align these measures to improve mobility outcomes for people rather than vehicles. Pointing to work done by the New York City Department of Transportation, she encouraged municipal leaders to replace or supplement traditional measures, such as vehicle counts, with those that look at broader outcomes, such as accessibility/mobility, public health/safety, economic development, environmental quality, livability, and equity, outcomes on which mobility managers have unique insight.
Finally, Timothy Papandreou, Deputy Director of Sustainable Streets-Planning and Policy, San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency, mentioned that transportation users are evolving towards a perspective where they increasingly are able to say of themselves, "I access a menu of mobility options to meet my needs." The vision presented by many at the Summit was that this menu will be increasingly presented to users on the screen of a mobile app, which several presenters noted poses equity concerns. This underscores the role mobility managers play in pulling together the transportation menu in their communities and making it accessible for disadvantaged users.