As more autonomous vehicles hit the city streets, governments must keep in mind that not all urban areas are favorable for such advanced technology.
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.
After raising more than $1 billion in venture capital, transit startup Grab is introducing private buses in to compete with Uber in Southeast Asia. Their “Grab Coaches” are initially available in Singapore, and are targeted to large groups that would need multiple standard vehicles. It’s interesting to see new ride-sharing options starting to pop up around the world, and Grab still has a lot of room to expand further.
While everybody seems to be talking about the approaching reality of self-driving cars, some are looking a little further over the horizon to a topic of even more sci-fi dreams over the years — flying cars. Will they happen? Some major technology companies are putting a big bet on the answer being Yes, and Uber is joining that group.
While technology can be a powerful solution to many problems cities and their transit agencies encounter, the mobile app can’t be looked at as the Holy Grail of solutions to what plague the cities of the world when it comes to issues involving traffic congestion, walkability, safety, and mobility options. Transit Center says these cities need to do more than just buy or “tech” their way out of their issues.
The Rocky Mountain Institute thinks we’re on our way to “peak car” soon, and car buying is going to start declining by 2020. They cite factors like economic benefits to not owning a car, electric vehicle ownership growing, and the number of car-free Americans continuing to go up. And, of course, expanding transit systems and ride-sharing services are a big part of reaching this goal.
At Routematch, we’re all about encouraging multi-modal trips, whether that’s via trains, buses and paratransit vehicles, or car sharing and bikes. With bicycles, they not only have the advantage of being good exercise, but they’re efficient, zero-emission transportation that takes another car off the road. But sometimes, it can be difficult to read bicycle path maps for a city and get a feel for the path they’re following.
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.
When huge events take place in a major city, that’s when public transit tends to make its present fully felt to lots of people who might normally not use it, including those from out of town and citizens of the city itself. The recent Women’s March in Washington, DC (and many other cities) was no exception to this. With crowd estimates of between 500,000 and 1 million people in DC and 2 million-plus in other cities like New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco, the event was a massive showing by any measure.