Urban Mobility

Tech moves transit agencies into the future

Welcome to Move Forward’s weekly news wrap-up, featuring the mobility stories you don’t want to miss. Today, we spotlight an article in Governing focusing on fare collection technologies and comments from moovel CEO Nat Parker. Other topics covered include news of Bill Gates’ investments in a smart city community, how autonomous vehicles could help in the event of a natural disaster, and why rising housing costs are contributing to falling ridership in Portland, OR.


Tech moves transit agencies into the future:

Governing features moovel and CEO Nat Parker in an article focusing on how new technologies are allowing transit agencies to modernize fare collection.

Governing: “Tickets? Puh-leez. There Are Lots of New Ways to Pay Bus and Train Fares” by Daniel C. Vock, November 13, 2017.


Driverless shuttle buses and the future of transit:

Despite the recent driverless shuttle accident in Las Vegas, Wired’s Aarian Marshall believes that self-driving shuttle busses are the future of transportation, especially in car-dependent cities that currently lack infrastructure capacity for public transit.

Wired: “Self-Driving Shuttle Buses Might Be The Future of Transportation” by Aarian Marshall, November 10, 2017.


Bill Gates’ smart city:

Bill Gates’ investment group is creating a smart city community on a 24,800-acre plot of land outside of Phoenix, Arizona. So far, the group has spent $80 million on this project designing a “communication and infrastructure spine that embraces cutting-edge technology, designed around high-speed digital networks, data centers, new manufacturing technologies and distribution models, autonomous vehicles and autonomous logistics hubs.”

Smart Cities Dive: “Bill Gates is building his own smart city in Arizona” by Kristin Musulin, November 13, 2017.


Untitled design (1)


The electric vehicles accord:

A group of environmental nonprofit organizations and businesses have drafted the “Transportation Electrification Accord,” a new document offering information and guidance for policymakers on how to move forward with electric vehicles and infrastructure so that communities will experience economic, social, and environmental benefits.

Smart Cities Dive: “Diverse stakeholders sign Transportation Electrification Accord” by Katie Pyzyk, November 14, 2017.


AVs to the rescue:

Planetizen analyzes how autonomous vehicles could assist with organizing mass evacuations in the event of a natural disaster. In particular, two industry thought leaders evaluate how AV technologies could have potentially saved lives during the recent California wild fires.

Planetizen: “Could Autonomous Vehicles Save Lives in Disasters?” by Michael R. Boswell and William Riggs, November 15, 2017.


Enhanced mobility equals savings:

A new study discovered a correlation between multimodality and income inequality in 148 midsize cities across the country. Specifically, the researchers found that income inequality declined when a high number of commuters used some form of transportation other than single-occupancy vehicles.

Houston Chronicle: “Owning a car is expensive. Having options helps people save money.” by Leah Binkovitz, November 15, 2017.


Infrastructure for the future:

This week, civic innovation leaders discussed the best ways to integrate advanced technology into the country’s new and existing infrastructure during the “Digitizing Infrastructure: Building a Smart Future Symposium.” Specifically, many speakers agreed that all new and refurbished infrastructure — whether a road, a bridge, a rail line — should be developed with a vision for the future, one that includes multiple layers of smart cities technologies.

Government Technology: “Digital Infrastructure Should Be a Part of Any New U.S. Project, Experts Say” by Skip Descant, November 15, 207.


Untitled design (2)


Rising costs, falling ridership:

Recent analysis by TriMet found that declining transit ridership in Portland could be related to rising housing costs, with higher-income residents displacing lower-income residents in neighborhoods that traditionally demonstrate robust transit ridership.

Streetsblog USA: “Rising Rents Lead to Falling Bus Ridership in Portland” by Angie Schmitt, November 15, 2017.