The Shared-Use Mobility Center (SUMC), a national nonprofit organization that works to foster cooperation in shared mobility, announced the selection of six public transportation agencies to receive free technical assistance to develop mobility-on-demand (MOD) projects through its MOD On-Ramp program. Independent evaluators from both public agencies and private firms, in consultation with the Federal Transit Administration (FTA), selected six projects from a pool of 28 proposals from around the country. Projects from the following six agencies were selected:
- Capital Metro-Austin Public Transit (Austin, TX) – Electric/Autonomous vehicles
- The Maryland Department of Transportation Maryland Transit Administration (Baltimore, MD) – Microtransit
- IndyGO - Indianapolis Public Transportation Corporation (Indianapolis, IN) – Mobility hubs
- Tompkins County Social Services (Ithaca region, NY) – Mobility-as-a-Service/Integration
- The Memphis Area Transit Authority (Memphis, TN) – First-last mile
- The San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit District (San Francisco Bay Area, CA) – ADA Paratransit
The On-Ramp program, part of a partnership with FTA, provides public transportation agencies and other transportation providers with MOD concepts with expert assistance to develop business plans and other project-building strategies. The selected participants will engage in a yearlong process that will assist with project development through supported engagement, peer mentoring, research, and other activities.
Participants will receive support to:
- Conduct workshops in their communities to determine local mobility needs and set parameters for projects;
- Participate in a national community of practice with peer agencies and related experts as well as access to in-person workshops;
- Utilize research and analysis from SUMC and other experts;
- Collaborate one-on-one with peers and identify resources to meet challenges; and
- Develop feasible MOD business plans.
“We need to continue to innovate in public transit to find new ways to improve and expand transportation options for all," says SUMC Executive Director Sharon Feigon. "Shared mobility partnerships can test out new technologies and creative ideas that have the potential to improve customers’ rides and increase efficiencies for agencies. New pilots are one of the best ways to develop new service models."
About the Selected Projects
- Capital Metro-Austin Public Transit is working to address the challenges of sprawl, congestion, and changing travel patterns in the region. They are examining shared, electric, and autonomous vehicles to connect to high-frequency/high-capacity transit service and to provide transportation for riders with disabilities.
- Maryland Department of Transportation is developing a plan for microtransit to better connect high-opportunity job centers in the suburbs and low-income residential populations in the city.
- Indianapolis Public Transportation Corp. is developing strategic plans for integrated mobility hubs in a series of “mobility districts,” selected according to their urban typology. Each plan will focus on connecting hubs to their existing transit network.
- Tompkins County Social Services serves a largely rural area in the Ithaca metropolitan area. The county’s Way2Go community mobility education program, to both reduce solo driving trips and provide equitable transportation access to its residents, is proposing a Mobility as a Service pilot.
- Memphis Area Transit Authority plans to develop a demand-responsive service to transport riders from their doorstep to arterial routes in selected corridors of the city. The program seeks to improve service to both people in disadvantaged neighborhoods and paratransit riders.
- Bay Area Rapid Transit is aiming to create an on-demand wheelchair accessible vehicle ride-hailing service. The rides would be staged at BART stations, and would provide either short, single-leg trips, or first/last mile trips to the stations.