June 10, 2014

Group launches center to promote 'shared-use' mobility

A team of transportation groups have joined forces to create a new center dedicated to expanding mobility options through the integration of shared-use transportation options.

The Shared-Use Mobility Center (SUMC), which will be headquartered in Chicago, was put together by a a team led by the Center for Neighborhood Technology the Transportation Sustainability Research Center of the Institute of Transportation Studies at the University of California, Berkeley, and the Transit Center.

The announcement was made at the Innovations in Mobility Public Policy Summit taking place in Washington, D.C.

RELATED: Transportation aggregating app launches in D.C.

The organization is a center of excellence dedicated to achieving universal, affordable and sustainable mobility in urban and metropolitan regions of the U.S. through the efficient sharing of transportation assets among peers and through third-party operators. The center is focused on expanding U.S. mobility choices for people and communities by enriching and integrating shared-use mobility services through collaboration and innovation.

To achieve its goals, the SUMC will focus on three objectives: build broad awareness of the value of shared-use mobility to contribute to new transportation solutions; explore, develop and help accelerate models for shared-use mobility that work for everyone; and work with industry, cities and other governmental agencies to craft policies, programs and standards that demonstrate the potential of shared-use mobility.

"Swelling urban populations, increased availability of innovative new transportation options and a reduction in overall car driving are fundamentally reshaping how people get in, out and around cities," said Sharon Feigon, the Center's Executive Director, and the former CEO of IGO CarSharing. "Our goal is to help all stakeholders create mutually beneficial systems that are sustainable, equitable and effective."

The Center has two initial policy initiatives, including a policy working group and an equity working group. The Policy Working Group is developing a playbook for local government, which will explore innovative approaches to developing policy and incentives around shared mobility. It will also seek to create new approaches for addressing controversial issues, such as safety regulations and use of public space, as well as tackling standards, mode definitions, and common technological platforms.

The Equity Working Group is developing a guidebook that highlights successful projects and includes policy and other recommendations for creating successful shared mobility strategies that can meet the needs of low-income households, people of color, older adults, and disabled individuals. The extent to which shared mobility can address environmental and social concerns has not been fully explored, and the SUMC is focused on addressing this.


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