Vice President, Transit Solutions at Routematch
New technologies and emerging trends have shifted the way in which people determine how and when they get to where they need to go. The impact this has on public transit is significant, and as a result, these forces are shaping the future of mobility technology for transit agencies.
Some of you may have noticed the discussion coming out of the annual South by Southwest conference in Austin earlier this month, about how so many attendees arrived in town expecting to use Uber or Lyft to get around but discovered both have been banned from the city. The stories and tweets poured in from frustrated people trying to figure out how to navigate a big city without their ridesharing lifeline they’d gotten so accustomed to having.
The Institute of Transportation Studies at the University of California—Davis conducted a survey on three major mobility trends: autonomous, electrified, and shared-use. The majority of survey participants believe that driverless vehicles will make up over 20 percent of the vehicles purchased in the US by 2040.
The transportation industry is rapidly evolving as public and private transportation sectors work together to offer more multimodal trip options for commuters. In the United States, we’re witnessing the rise of new technological advancements that are fueling the growth of these partnerships and the expansion of mobility options. But have you ever wondered what’s happening across the pond?
This infographic from the New Orleans Regional Transit Authority (RTA) provides a cool look into their timeline for developing an ambitious 20-year Strategic Mobility Plan for the region. These are the types of long-range plans that major cities are going to have to tackle more and more in the coming years, as technology advances, and demand for viable transit gains steam among those who are living and working in the cities.
As city populations grow and people — along with businesses — demand more transportation options, many automobile companies are starting to plan for what the future might bring with their business. At Ford, CEO Mark Fields is looking 15 to 20 years ahead, and he isn’t seeing automobiles as being a major part of the urban transportation landscape. He says Ford needs to adjust its thinking, and invest in new technology to remain a player in the industry.
While public transit agencies have often partnered with employee benefits firms like WageWorks and Zenefits in order to allow employees to pay for their commutes with pre-tax dollars, it’s only recently that ride-sharing services are starting to jump into the fray as well. Lyft has rolled out this benefit, starting in New York, Boston, Miami, and Seattle, and the company is hoping to expand out to more cities. Lyft is hoping to attract more riders to the service through the program.