If combined with public transit and increased in scale, shared modes of transportation—such as ride-hailing, scooter sharing, and bike sharing—can enhance mobility, equity, and sustainability in metropolitan areas, according to a new report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine.
Cities, transit agencies, and shared mobility providers should collaborate in goal-setting, experimentation, testing, and implementation, the report says.
The Role of Transit, Shared Modes, and Public Policy in the New Mobility Landscape recommends deliberate and strategic measures in order to realize the full benefits of shared services. These measures include providing travelers with real-time or near real-time information on combinations of available price and service offerings, smartphone applications that simplify the process of arranging and paying for the use of multiple transportation modes for a single trip, and more public sector coordination of services across modes and jurisdictions.
The report recommends steps to help bring about this transformation, starting in urban cores with historically robust transit service but also with the aim of increasing the value and viability of transit and shared mobility services more broadly across regions.
“Both shared modes and public transit have been severely disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic,” Gary C. Thomas, recently retired president and CEO of Dallas Area Rapid Transit and chair of the committee that wrote the report, said in a statement. “However, both should resume their potential to serve consumers and society as the country recovers.”
The report highlights some significant barriers to achieving increasingly integrated transportation services, such as the need to systematically gather and share information on the service offerings and real-time performance of shared mode options, particularly from the private ride-hailing companies that provide the majority of shared mode trips. Fragmented local governance can limit the public sector’s ability to overcome these obstacles and to put in place regional strategies for service integration.
More information and the full report can be found on the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine website.
SOURCE: National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine