Urban Mobility

Examining microtransit’s impact, testing of AVs in California, and the fast growing expansion of the rideshare market

Welcome to Move Forward’s weekly news wrap-up, featuring the mobility stories you don’t want to miss. Today’s topics include the impact of microtransit on traditional transportation services, AV testing in California, and the fast developing rideshare race.

Examining the big picture of microtransit:

Industry thought leader Jarrett Walker shares his thoughts on microtransit in a new blog post, explaining that while transit agencies should use microtransit apps to improve efficiency and customer experiences, they should not adopt an entirely new business model.

Human Transit: “Microtransit: What I Think We Know” by Jarrett Walker, February 23, 2018.


Driverless cars underway in Cali:

This week, California officials announced that the state will allow fully autonomous cars to test on public roads without safety drivers. California’s DMV Director said in a statement, “This is a major step forward for autonomous technology in California. Safety is our top concern and we are ready to begin working with manufacturers that are prepared to test fully driverless vehicles in California.”

The Verge: “California green lights fully driverless cars for testing on public roads” by Andrew Hawkins, February 26, 2018.




Street mapping standards:

Smart Cities Dive reports that the National Association of City Transportation Officials (NACTO) and the Open Transport Partnership have launched a platform for mapping features of cities’ streets. Known as SharedStreets, the platform standardizes street-level GIS data to make any public or private source’s information compatible and easily exchangeable, which will allow for cities to better prepare for transportation tech advancements.

Smart Cities Dive: “NACTO, Open Transport Partnership launch standardized transportation data platform” by Katie Pyzyk, February 26, 2016.


Are self-driving cars the answer?:

An interactive article from The New York Times examines the current congestion and mobility problems facing cities, describing how automated vehicles may actually add to crowding and create further issues. One solution, the author notes, is to instead place people at the forefront of mobility, and design infrastructure that emphasizes transit and other modes of transportation.

The New York Times: “Automated Vehicles Can’t Save Cities” by Allison Arieff, February 28, 2018.


Uber looks to evolve:

Politico’s “Women Rule” podcast features an interview with Rachel Holt, vice president at Uber and general manager of the company’s U.S. and Washington operations. During the segment, Holt discusses how Uber’s overall business plan and culture have changed, citing data-sharing initiatives, efforts at reducing impaired drivers, and Uber’s “180 Days of Change” campaign (which aims to improve its driver experience) as signs of positive growth.

Politico: “Uber: We’re moving away from “antagonistic relationship” with cities” by Reena Flores, February 28, 2018.




The ridesharing race is well underway:

Wired examines the rapid proliferation of ridesharing companies, as the market has grown to include a number of providers besides Uber and Lyft, all who are working to develop technology and services that outlast their competitors. “Another reason for the rush into ride-sharing: Everyone involved in building the future of mobility wants in on this vision, and they want to make discoveries about what needs to change themselves, by making their own observations and collecting their own data.”

Wired: “The Ride-Hailing Business Is Now Way Bigger Than Uber and Lyft” by Aarian Marshall, February 28, 2018.


Using EVs to cities’ benefit:

In GreenBiz, two industry experts comment on the growing “electrification of mobility”, specifically pinpointing three ways that cities can benefit from the proliferation of electric vehicles. “The electrification of mobility is poised to support cities’ ambitions and provide customers with cheaper, safer and greener urban mobility.”

GreenBiz: “3 ways that cities can unlock the benefits of electric vehicles” by Joseph Scalise and Joseph Herger, March 1, 2018.


Please note that this article expresses the opinions of the author and does not reflect the views of Move Forward.