National Shared Mobility Summit 2019

shared mobility summit

The 2019 National Shared Mobility Summit took place this year between March 5th to March 7th at the Fairmont in Chicago, Illinois. This year the convention explored current trends in ridehailing, car sharing, mass transit the latest in shared mobility options, including micromobility, autonomous vehicles, mobility hubs and the latest technology available. The focus of this years summit was, how we can create a multi-modal transportation network that is cost effective and affordable, efficient, inclusive, accessible and sustainable.

Every year the leading experts in mobility gather to equip themselves with the knowledge of the latest research, policy advances and mobility pilots/experiments. They collaborate with the professionals in the industry and leaders in government and tackle the tough mobility issues and attempt to identify solutions and opportunities.

Continue reading to learn about some of the main issues and solutions in shared mobility, explored at this years conference. To read our highlights from the first ever North American, Micromobility Conference in Richmond, California that took place this year, click here.

2019 National Shared Mobility Summit, CHICAGO

shared mobility summit 2019


A recurring topic throughout the panel sessions at the Summit was the need for stronger, future partnerships between the public and private sector in transportation services. Throughout the conference, many speakers made reference to the challenges behind these partnerships, but also to the emerging success stories.

The Shared-Use Mobility Centre Summit (SUMC) facilitated workshops and panels that emphasised the need for these strong partnerships and called to attention the importance of advancing both public and private sectors goals through developing strategies for procurement, planning and implementation.

One major issue faced when building these relationships is the exchange and sharing of data and information from one sector to another. It was established at the conference that peer exchange, best practices and the easy transfer and flow of information is essential when helping all agencies avoid the pitfalls when exploring new partnership opportunities.

Local Government Strategies in Shared Mobility

shared mobility summit
Source: (Photo by: Jovelle Tamayo for Crosscut)

Detroit, Minneapolis/St.Paul and King County, Washington were three municipalities represented at the conference as regions that are working towards implementing pilots, of which their local transit, partnered with private mobility companies. Examples of their proposed pilots/schemes are;

“RIDESHARE TO TRANSIT” PILOT: Seattle (along with King County and Sound Transit) offered a solution that prevents users from feeling the need to use ridehailing for the entire trip. The “Rideshare to Transit” pilot, will offer a discount on Lyft and Uber services, to incentivize commuters to use ridehail services to transit stops only. The plan aims to cost effectively and efficiently, solve the problem of “first-mile/last-mile” travel.

“NIGHT SHIFT” PROGRAM: Another program that is currently operation is Detroit’s “Night Shift” program, which offers Lyft services to citizens working late night shifts when public transit just isn’t available.

MOD On-Ramp Program

Preceding the SUMC Summit, the Shared-Use Mobility Center announced the selection of six public transportation agencies that will receive assistance to develop mobility-on-demand (MOD) projects through its MOD On-Ramp program. Participants will receive support for each of their projects, including utilizing research provided by SUMC and other experts, and the ability to collaborate one-on-one with peers to identify and develop feasible mobility on-demand business plans.

Each of those chosen pilot schemes combines mobility on-demand with technology solutions to help solve transportation problems in urban areas. During a day long workshop, the six recipients presented their project proposals, which included:

NEW Startups tACKLING NEW SHARED mobility issues

shared mobility summit

During the Summit, nine start-ups eager to disrupt the current transportation and mobility practices, faced three judges and 120 conventioneers over two days. They presented their proposals for tackling the latest issues faced by shared mobility. One received the award of most promising start-up. The start-up and their proposals included;

TIKD: TIKD was selected as the most promising startup. A big issue that shared mobility services face a parking issues. The idea behindTIKD is that they monitor 700 ticket-issuing agencies to notice whenever a shared vehicle is ticketed. Rather than having the parking companies stalking the driver or rider company, the startup interacts directly with the offending driver to satisfy the fine.

CLEVR: This company offers a three-wheeled scooter with a seat that allows people with disabilities to become users. These scooters are equipped with precise GPS tracking with an accuracy to within three feet. The vehicles can be geofenced and speed-controlled in order to keep sidewalks and users safe.

KoloniKoloni takes bike sharing to the next level. This company not only offers shared bikes but also shared storage lockers.

BellhopBellhop aims to build a platform which will integrate all rideshare, bikeshare and public transit apps creating an all-in-one application that will compare rates and is easy to use.

Mobility 4 All: Mobility 4 All wants to provide shared mobility for those who are not able to ride by themselves. Using the app, a caregiver can arrange a ride for a disabled or elderly rider with a a certified driver from third party service.

SomEVScooters and e-bikes equipped with SomEV batteries can be charged by swapping the empty battery at a kiosk, rather than needing to hire an employee to charge the batteries.

VostokVostok is another similar company who developed a e-scooter with a removable battery pack.

VelociaVelocia want to reward people for parking in a specific areas or for taking public and shared transport using virtual currencies, Velos, that can be redeemed for bus tickets, bikesharing rides or other sustainable mobility modes.

RideOn: From Dock-less to Dock-yes, RideIT aims to clean up the scooter fiasco by providing docking stations for multiple scooter brands.


swiftmile charging stations
A hot topic at the Shared Mobility Summit was, of course, micromobility and the surging success and popularity of e-scooters across the country. However, the danger of dockless scooters has been made evident through traffic accidents, cluttered sidewalks and a lack of infrastructure, such as bike lanes in many major cities. At the SUMC Summit in March, Colin Roche, co-founder and CEO of Swiftmile said,

“We’ve all seen the problems associated with these things, but we also know the promise. In high-impact areas, they need to bring some order to the chaos.”

It would appear that one possible for the future for dockless e-scooters will be docks. Swiftmile makes parking stations for e-scooters and bikes. Their docks can pack in up to 24 Birds, Limes, Spins, and Skips in a space the size of a standard parking spot, using individual holsters equipped with anti-theft locks. The stations also use solar power to charge scooters whilst gathering data about vehicle use and condition.The e-scooters will still be ‘dockless,’ however the charging stations aim to bring in around 25% of the fleet which will significantly reduce the amount of scooters littered sidewalks. The idea is to also free up space on sidewalks and to encourage users to look after the scooters better, rather than just dumping them anywhere. Another benefit of creating and maintaining these e-scooter and bike charging stations is to reduce the operating costs and man hours of manually recharging each unit every day. According to Roche, E-scooter “companies spend 50 percent of their operating costs on getting these things charged.”


Swiftmile is not the only company that is in favour of the ‘semi-dockless’ model. Kyle Rowe, the head of government partnerships at Spin, said he expects to see more dockless-scooter docks emerge throughout capital cities across the US and Caroline Samponaro, the head of bike, scooter, and pedestrian policy at Lyft, believes that docks should be available for entire fleets of shared scooters and bikes;

“What a dock does is mimic that idea of a public transit station. It creates a predictable way for people to engage with this mode.”

Around the country, local governments are implementing strategies that will limit the amount of damage and safety issues caused by e-scooter sharing, whilst ensuring that they have a future in the shared economy. Metro L.A is considering a “micro mobility vehicles program” to manage shared e-scooter and e-bike parking at Metro stations. In March they proposed regulations for e-scooter parking at Metro stations in an effort to stop shared devices blocking walk/wheelchair passage across the city.

Do you have a form of shared mobility you’d like to see covered in our trend series? Tell us about it here.


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