Smart Cities, Smart Mobility

Planning for Shared Mobility, just released by APA, brings together real-world examples of shared mobility policies and best practices from cities across the United States.

When we began writing this report in late 2014, the shared mobility landscape was very different. Microtransit services were just coming on the horizon, and most jurisdictions did not formally recognize ridesourcing services. Today, microtransit services are quickly expanding their reach, and ridesourcing services such as Uber and Lyft are now common household names.

Early in our research effort, we looked for cities employing advanced technologies and developing policies that reflect the ever-changing transportation landscape. We selected eight of the most innovative to feature as case studies.

As our report was nearing completion, the U.S. Department of Transportation announced its Smart City Challenge, a $40 million grant, matched by $10 million from Vulcan Inc., to help one mid-size city become the first jurisdiction to fully integrate innovative technologies such as shared mobility, smartphone applications, automated and connected vehicles, and smart sensors into the transportation network.

Of the eight cities we profiled, six were Smart City Challenge applicants: Austin, Texas; Columbus, Ohio; Portland, Oregon; San Francisco; Seattle; and Washington, D.C. Four of these six — Austin, Columbus, Portland, and San Francisco — were selected to be among the seven finalists, and in June 2016, Columbus was named the winner of the Smart City Challenge.

Planning for Shared Mobility highlights the innovative ways that these and other cities are adapting to changes in our transportation ecosystem and incorporating the latest trends into planning and urban policy. For more on what's happening in a city near you, we encourage you to read the detailed profiles included in the report.

About the Authors

Adam Cohen is a shared mobility researcher at the Transportation Sustainability Research Center at the University of California, Berkeley.

Susan Shaheen co-directs the Transportation Sustainability Research Center of the Institute of Transportation Studies at the University of California, Berkeley, and is an adjunct professor in Civil and Environmental Engineering at UC Berkeley.

Top image: Smartphone user calling for a ride. Thinkstock photo.

August 15, 2016

By Adam Cohen, Susan Shaheen