New App Offers One Stop For Subway, Ride-Hailing, Bike-Share And Carpooling (1-7-19)

HERE Technologies’s mobility division has launched an app for a variety of transportation. (Fredrick Kunkle/Washington, D.C.)

A tech company launched an app Monday that offers public and private options to help people get around, including subway, buses, bike-share, ride-hailing companies and even temporary carpooling arrangements using a person’s social network.

The SoMo app — short for social mobility — is the work of HERE Mobility, a division of HERE Technologies specializing in GPS-related applications. Liad Itzhak, a senior vice president with the company, said the app launched in 15 cities around the world, including Los Angeles, with plans to add about five cities a month.

Itzhak said the app intends to make it easier for users to get from one place to another by presenting the widest array of options.

“What we have created with the app is the complete opposite approach in the current market,” Itzhak said.

Read Full Story Here (via The Washington Post)

Seven Things To Know About Our Last Smart Cities Collaborative Meeting Of 2018 (12-12-18)

Last week in Atlanta, Georgia we wrapped up our second cohort of the Smart Cities Collaborative with the fourth meeting of 2018. Once again, staff representing cities, counties, transit agencies and other public sector agencies from 23 cities gathered together to share their experiences and learn how others are using technology and new mobility to become better places to live.

Here are seven things we learned or heard last week:

Read Full Story Here (via Transportation for America)

5 of the Most Accessible Cities in the United States (11-29-18)

Two pretty young women on handicap scooters. Sisters enjoying their mobility on an afternoon ride through the neighborhood.

According to the most recent statistics, about 12.8 percent of the population in the United States has a disability of some kind. Seniors are especially affected by disability, with 41.4 percent of the disabled population being 65 years of age and older.

Despite the numbers of those with disabilities, the battle for disability rights is still a huge issue. Some disabled people feel the communities in which they live are not doing enough to become more accessible. According to one survey, 20 percent of the respondents living in New York City said they face barriers when trying to access buildings or transportation. There are however, some cities throughout the country that are doing their best to provide access for those with disabilities.  Here are five such cities.

Read Full Story Here (via Global News)

Bikeshare, Scooters, Cars, Trains, Bridges: One Agency to Rule Them All (11-30-18)

A bus at San Francisco’s new bus terminal, opened this year. In San Francisco one agency controls nearly every form of transport within city boundaries. Lorin Eleni Gill/AP

The current management of transportation in American cities is, to put it mildly, balkanized. Powers to regulate, tax, and allocate budgets for modes like transit, automobiles, and taxis are divided across numerous transit authorities, state agencies, and city departments. The predictable result: organizational friction and confusion about who is ultimately responsible for achieving policy goals such as equity, safety, and the reduction of pollution and congestion.

This situation is not sustainable, especially in an era when new mobility services like ride-hail and scooters have made the pursuit of regional mobility goals more challenging—and more important—than ever before. It’s time to consider a dramatic step: consolidation of all mobility oversight into a single regional authority.

Read Full Story Here (via CityLab)

A Lot Of Cities Want Roboshuttles, Including D.C. But Will They Work? (11-25-18)

Olli, an automated shuttle, stands outside the offices of Local Motors in National Harbor, Md., on Nov. 20. The vehicles run about 10 mph and are seen as a gateway to greater automation. (Michael Robinson Chavez/The Washington Post)

From the Mall to Lincoln, Neb., planners across the United States are pushing slow-rolling roboshuttles as a way to dip their toes into greater automation.

The stubby, bread-box-looking vehicles go about 10 mph, and boosters say they’re a relatively easy and potentially transformative tool for moving people, even as autonomous cars, trucks and minivans continue their development and rollout. Others counsel caution, raising concerns about safety, oversight and economic viability, and fears about adding congestion to roadways and eliminating jobs.

Read Full Story Here (via The Washington Post)