Uber, Bike-Share and More Are Factors in Tomorrow’s Transit Agency

Uber, Bike-Share and More Are Factors in Tomorrow’s Transit Agency

BY JOSH COHEN SEPTEMBER 8, 2016 In St. Petersburg, Florida — a city of about 257,000 residents sitting on the Gulf Coast next to Tampa — people have just a few options for getting around town. They can, of course, drive personal cars, walk or bike; catch a bus operated by the Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority (PSTA); or hire taxis and Ubers. From February to August this year, the last mode choice on that list was likely the cheapest, most efficient option for accessing the bus. In an effort to encourage transit ridership and alleviate the impact of service cuts brought on by budget woes, PSTA was subsidizing 50 percent of the cost of taking rides with Uber, United Taxi (the local cab company) or Care Ride (a paratransit service) if those rides were connecting to the bus. That sort of partnership between public transit agency and ride-hailing company isn’t yet common, but examples are popping up around the country as cash-strapped municipalities look for ways to supplement their bus and rail routes and better serve low-density areas with so-so transit ridership. Those in favor of the arrangement say taking advantage of new technologies and service providers is a win-win for forward-looking transit agencies. Skeptics caution that the things that make companies such as Uber and Lyft profitable are incompatible with transit agencies’ obligation to provide quality, convenient, equitable service. To read the full article, visit:...
Car sharing on campuses improves quality of life, takes cars off the road

Car sharing on campuses improves quality of life, takes cars off the road

By Andy Murdock, UC Newsroom Friday, September 2, 2016 You don’t need to be a rocket scientist to figure out why UC Berkeley has designated parking areas for Nobel Laureates: if there’s one thing harder to snag than a Nobel prize, it’s a parking space on a UC campus. This is not just a UC issue: The experience of parking on college campuses across the country can often involve circling and circling in hopes of finding someone leaving, expensive permits or parking meters, or long walks from distant overflow lots. “Traffic and the lack of parking are growing problems on college and university campuses as student car owners continue to outnumber available parking,” said Susan Shaheen, co-director of UC Berkeley’s Transportation Sustainability Research Center (TSRC). To read the full article, visit:...
Driving Down GHG Emissions with Carsharing

Driving Down GHG Emissions with Carsharing

Drive, ride or share? It’s a question more people are asking themselves as transportation options are rapidly evolving. But what does it mean for road congestion and the environment? In the first-ever North American one-way carsharing impact study, the Transportation Sustainability Research Center (TSRC) reveals that car2go has a substantive impact on improving urban mobility and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. To read the rest of the article, visit...
In shadow of Uber and Lyft, car sharing tries to shape a future in Tampa Bay

In shadow of Uber and Lyft, car sharing tries to shape a future in Tampa Bay

By: Justine Griffin, Friday, January 8, 2016 The first time Ray Chiaramonte saw a Zipcar in Tampa Bay was just a few weeks ago, in the parking lot at WestShore Plaza. He noticed the car-sharing company’s bright green decal and Zorro-like “Z” symbol on the side of the vehicle. “I remember thinking to myself, ‘Wow, we finally have this here in Tampa,’ ” said Chiaramonte, the executive director of the Tampa Bay Area Regional Transportation Authority. Car-sharing companies have been in Tampa Bay since before anyone was using the words Uber or Lyft. But the rollout of the business model — which lets users rent a car by the hour or the day usually online or through an app — has been slow to catch on. To read the rest of the article,...
City of the future is closer, calmer than you think

City of the future is closer, calmer than you think

Marco della Cava, 12:28 p.m. EST November 13, 2015 SAN FRANCISCO – The city of the future has had countless fantasy blueprints, from The Jetsons’ pleasant hive of automated efficiency to Blade Runner’s dystopian tangle of urban chaos. But the reality is the city of future is closer than you think, as tech companies and automakers floor the pedal on projects ranging from cars that drive themselves to apps that aggregate transportation options. Conversations with mobility experts here and abroad paint a picture of an urban revolution that is already underway in a patchwork of cities from Seattle to Stockholm. “The main thing with automated and connected tech is to make sure it’s reliable first,” says Chris Hendrickson, director of the Traffic21 Institute at Carnegie Mellon University. “But the opportunities for change are impressive.” To read the rest of the story,...