Welcome to Move Forward’s weekly news wrap-up, featuring the mobility stories you don’t want to miss. Today we’re sharing news on why Pittsburgh is leading the nation in ridership numbers, the expansion of dockless bike sharing, a new map that shows transit trends across the country, and how city planners can connect people to new opportunities.
FTA moves towards AV research:
The Federal Transit Administration has released its Strategic Transit Automation Research (STAR) Plan, a five-year research agenda for investigating the use of autonomous vehicles in transit, specifically for buses.
Smart Cities Dive: “FTA unveils research plan for autonomous transit” by Katie Pyzyk, December 14, 2017.
Pittsburgh leads the nation in ridership:
As public transit in the U.S. struggles to grow, some cities are successfully bucking this trend by focusing on a strong rider experience. CityMetric examines this strategy in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania – a city whose ridership numbers are 92% higher than the rest of the country – and shares key insights from the city’s Port Authority and government.
CityMetric: “Pittsburgh is bucking the US trend on transit ridership numbers. How’s it doing it?” by Brian Zanghi, December 15, 2017.
Fatal crash spurs infrastructure discussion:
An Amtrak train making its inaugural run on a new service from Seattle to Portland derailed on an overpass, killing at least three people and injuring more than 100 others. After the incident, President Trump tweeted that the crash shows the need for increased spending in infrastructure across the country.
The New York Times: “Amtrak Train Traveled at 80 M.P.H., Far Over Limit, Before Derailing” by Kirk Johnson, Richard Perez-Pena, and Niraj Chokshi, December 18, 2017.
Dockless bike-sharing expands:
This summer, Seattle permitted three private companies to deploy almost 9,000 bikes throughout the city, creating the nation’s second largest shared bicycle fleet. Slate reports that fleets of dockless bikes have expanded throughout the entire country, and “promise to permanently alter the way people move around the American city.”
Slate: “Docks Off” by Henry Grabar, December 18, 2017.
Ridership map shows transit trends:
The Transit Center has created an interactive National Ridership Map that explores transportation trends in the country’s largest metropolitan areas. Initially, the Ridership Map highlights findings in Chicago and New Orleans, and there are plans to expand this research to more cities in 2018.
Transit Center: “A New Ridership Map To Explore Transit Trends, Locally” by Staff, December 18, 2017.
2017’s smart trends:
Katie Pyzyk of Smart Cities Dive explores the year’s most prominent smart city trends. On her list, Pyzyk cites ride-sharing, dockless bike-sharing, deliberate city development, and P3s among the year’s most influential smart city trends.
Smart Cities Dive: “A look back at the top trends that shaped cities in 2017” by Katie Pyzyk, December 19, 2017.
Connecting people to opportunity:
In an Op-Ed piece for City Lab, two researchers at the Brookings Metropolitan Policy Program explain how urban planners can connect more people to new opportunities, such as jobs, schools, health care facilities, and sources of entertainment. In particular, the researchers believe that urban planners have a duty to provide growing urban populations with improved accessibility through various modes of transportation.
Next City: “How Urban Planners Can Connect More People to Opportunity” by Adie Tomer and Annibel Rice, December 20, 2017.
Please note that this article expresses the opinions of the author and does not reflect the views of Move Forward.