What We’re Reading: New Year, New Ideas

Author: Andrew Carpenter

Published: January 4, 2018

Welcome to a new year of mobility management! Though the new calendar sadly does nothing to alleviate the challenges of helping people move, there are abundant ideas and innovations swirling around that mobility managers can learn from and adapt to their own communities’ needs.

With that in mind, we’d like to start off by asking that if you know of any promising practices and ideas, or if you’d like to highlight news from your community, please reach out to us!

Here’s a new way – or perhaps one that helps articulate “common knowledge” – to think about American geography, which can directly translate into visualizing regional mobility. Considering many rural and suburban mobility managers depend on regional connections, this focusing on regional hubs rather than the usual city hub can help to develop a broad sense of area patterns. Therefore, it can offer new ideas around opportunities for potential partnerships as communities work on programming for their stakeholders.

Another development in maps directly helps people with visual impairments navigate transit services. The San Joaquin Regional Transit District has launched Talk to Me Maps, which provide braille, large-print, and talking pen features that help riders familiarize themselves with the service, such as where they can board their buses.

Studies into the influence of transportation network companies’ (TNCs) new dominance within mobility and transit continue to appear. A new paper out of the University of Kansas has concluded that cities with a strong Uber presence have lower rates of ambulance use. This implies that ridehailing services have a role to play in reducing barriers to health care. As such, it makes sense that there is an influx of businesses hoping to address this specific market. One such example is the launch of SafeTrip, an app for on-demand health care transportation, that offers increased training for its drivings around patient safety, and allows for payment directly with your health insurance. According to a press release, this is the first of its kind, and creates a significant opportunity to address barriers patients face in reaching preventive care.

Finally, an important – and easily replicable –  addition to bike infrastructure is coming to New York City: a bike valet in Times Square. While some cities have pop-up versions of this service, creating a permanent valet is an important step. Having a secure space for bikes is as important as safe infrastructure to reach a destination. Services like this legitimatize and support bicycle commuting, particularly for lower-income people who tend depend more on bikes to reach work. This improves travelers’ options to reach their destinations and signals to travelers that biking is an accessible option for everyone.


Image Credit: uncoolbob, Flickr, CC

We’d love to hear from you!

Have more mobility news that we should be reading and sharing? Let us know! Reach out to Andrew Carpenter (carpenter@ctaa.org).