National Academies Press: OpenBook

Shared Mobility and the Transformation of Public Transit (2016)

Chapter: Chapter 3 - Conclusions: Suggested Opportunities

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Page 38
Suggested Citation:"Chapter 3 - Conclusions: Suggested Opportunities." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2016. Shared Mobility and the Transformation of Public Transit. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/23578.
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Page 39
Suggested Citation:"Chapter 3 - Conclusions: Suggested Opportunities." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2016. Shared Mobility and the Transformation of Public Transit. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/23578.
×
Page 39
Page 40
Suggested Citation:"Chapter 3 - Conclusions: Suggested Opportunities." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2016. Shared Mobility and the Transformation of Public Transit. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/23578.
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Page 40

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38 This research points to actions that public transit agencies and other public-sector entities can take to build on the mobility innovations of technology-enabled shared-use modes. It identi- fies opportunities for cooperation and suggests regulatory enhancements, institutional realign- ments, and forms of public-private engagement that would allow innovation to flourish while providing mobility as safely, broadly, and equitably as possible. The conclusions presented in this chapter highlight the following opportunities identified by the research: • Change performance metrics to make efficient mobility the goal; • Extend fare integration and mobile payment beyond smoothing farebox interactions to goals such as subsidy administration, mode-shift, and gathering ridership data; • Keep information open and widely available for the broadest benefit; • Lay the groundwork for strong public-private partnerships and targeted investments in the mobility system, including public transit and shared modes; • Maintain accessibility and equity as central mandates for urban and regional mobility, especially with an evolving mix of public and private participants; and • Transform public transportation agencies into mobility agencies. Change Performance Metrics • Take a big picture approach to make efficient mobility the goal. Current metrics that focus solely on operational measures such as route ridership, unlinked trips, passenger revenue-miles, or road capacity and congestion are not sufficient for gauging performance in the expanding mobility ecosystem. • Improve metrics to take into account the entire mobility picture. This broader view would include increases in linked multimodal trips and reductions in solo car trips, vehicle miles traveled, and transportation-related climate impacts. Extend Fare Integration and Mobile Payment • Integrate fare payment systems to simplify the subsidy of linked rides. An example of such integration is the Pinellas Suncoast Transit Agency’s pilot to partially subsidize transit-linked ridesourcing trips, or King County Metro Transit’s emergency ride home program. In-app pay- ments could draw from a pool of voucher money established through an agreement between the company and the transit agency that is reconciled on the back end. • Make use of new technologies’ rich data-gathering capabilities. As part of fare integration, transit agencies can partner with aggregators and other mobility providers to more accurately measure transit usage and cross-mode linked trips, since both are measures of trips that aren’t C H A P T E R 3 Conclusions: Suggested Opportunities

Conclusions: Suggested Opportunities 39 taking place in personal autos. Increases in linked trips, both within and across modes, could be a performance goal. • Use Title VI equity analyses relating to fare medium changes to understand how to broadly distribute the benefits of integrated payment and information. Make Information Widely Available • Build in accessibility from the ground up whenever information or payment solutions are pursued. Accessibility can be part of every payment or information system RFP. • Continue to develop common standards for payment, storage of customer information, and privacy. Ideally, public authorities should actually own and maintain cross-modal data in an integrated system. • Ensure data reciprocity from the private sector, which benefits greatly from open public data. A “walled garden” model will not work for ridesourcing companies and other private operators if they expect to take part in a wider mobility ecosystem. Public transit operators, planners, and researchers need these data to understand how people are moving and where intervention may be needed. • Support the development and adoption of shared mobility information standards. The general bikeshare feed specification is already available, but something similar is needed for carshare, ridesourcing, microtransit, and other new modes. • Use open data and APIs, continue improvement of feeds, and encourage private sector innovation. Making contracting more flexible for transit agencies will help ensure they are not locked into a single vendor’s proprietary software and hardware. Cultivate Public-Private Partnerships and Targeted Investment • Explore opportunities and challenges for public transportation as they relate to technology- enabled mobility services. As part of this effort, suggest ways that transit can learn from, build upon, and interface with these new modes. • Hold information-sharing sessions to introduce regional stakeholders to one another and to private industry representatives. Especially when previously unknown business models are entering a region for the first time, much of the groundwork has to do with establishing relationships and trust among players and making sure everyone’s goals are on the table. • Link objectives to local conditions. Seek to understand the true state of the shared mobil- ity landscape before making permanent policy adjustments or entering into long-term agreements. • Map local mobility assets, deficits, and other local needs. Make sure that new or updated services, policies, and investments are directed to where they will have the great- est impact. • Support the establishment of an information clearinghouse. Such a clearinghouse could effectively capture, digest, and disseminate practices regarding public-private partnerships for provision of mobility and related information services, and could also continue to identify areas of need for future research. • Use requests for information to gauge private operators’ capacities and needs before issu- ing requests for qualifications or proposals. Obtaining accurate information early in the process of pursuing public-private ventures will ensure that each party knows what the other needs, can supply, and is prepared to do.

40 Shared Mobility and the Transformation of Public Transit Maintain Accessibility and Equity as Priorities • Address inequities in access to information. Because information is the currency of the new mobility system, the capacity to readily use tools for information, schedules, booking, and payment must be ensured for those who face barriers related to cost, technology, technical knowledge, or disability. • Consider unbanked individuals. People without bank accounts need accommodations related to cost and payment options, especially as fare media and payments increasingly migrate to mobile platforms. In Chicago, Philadelphia, and several other cities, mobility and transit pass programs targeted to lower income residents have successfully used retail outlets to maintain the ability to use cash. These programs have found that lower payment incre- ments and more short-term options can improve access and more widely spread the benefits of transportation investments. • Evaluate the use of new modes to increase transit access in outlying communities. Micro- transit and one-way carsharing can increase transit access, and agencies can conduct targeted outreach to educate residents about first- and last-mile solutions. The suburbanization of pov- erty has resulted in longer commutes, poorer job access, and greater reliance on car owner ship for many of the people who can least afford the associated costs. Emphasize Mobility • Address mobility beyond direct provision of transportation services. By spreading aware- ness and training people how to use the full menu of mobility options to reduce the need for personal vehicles, transportation agencies can further enhance mobility management. • Align goals across agencies. Coordinate transit and transportation operations—along with planning and regulation of bikesharing, carsharing, ridesourcing, shuttles, parking, and curb access—and attempt to align work across all of these regulatory areas with overarching mobil- ity goals. The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency and several agencies in Seattle are transforming themselves into mobility managers, with responsibilities that go beyond a public utility model of transit provision or a streets department. • Create a network of mobility managers at different levels (e.g., regions, municipalities, transit agencies, and large employers). This network can communicate and coordinate mobility needs across departmental, jurisdictional, and public/private lines. • Create cross-agency working groups to regularly bring together multiple entities to develop policies that promote shared goals. Bringing together transit agencies, DOTs, streets departments, business affairs divisions, consumer watchdogs, land-use divisions, planners, and public safety agencies can help these agencies avoid working at cross-purposes in pursuit of similar goals.

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TRB's Transit Cooperative Research Program (TCRP) Report 188: Shared Mobility and the Transformation of Public Transit examines the relationship of public transportation (including paratransit and demand-responsive services) to shared modes, including bikesharing, carsharing, microtransit, and ridesourcing services provided by companies such as Uber and Lyft. The report also explores issues and opportunities and challenges as they relate to technology-enabled mobility services, including suggesting ways that transit can learn from, build upon, and interface with these new modes. A supplemental infographic summarizes the aspects of of the sharing economy and its intersection with transit.

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