Shared Mobility Thoughts

The shared mobility blog.

Covid-19 Taskforce: Shared Mobility Panel with Jacob Greig, Ishra Baksh, Mikki Taylor-Hendrix and Sandra Phillips

Jun 26, 2020

This week’s Covid-19 Taskforce micro webinar is hosted by Jacob Greig, Vice President of the Americas at Liftango who is joined by Ishra Baksh, Executive Director (Mobility as a Service Program Management Office), Department of Transport and Main Roads, Queensland, Mikki TaylorHendrix, Transit Ambassador Manager at the Detroit Department of Transportation and Sandra Phillips, Founder and CEO of movmi. The panel members discuss the current state of public transit and shared mobility services in each of their own jurisdictions, including, Queensland Australia, Detroit Michigan and Vancouver Canada. They also share their ideas on how mobility will look in the ‘new normal’ and how all transit agencies and operators can work together to build a better mobility system, globally.

You can directly ask the taskforce anything related to Covid-19 and seek advice on managing your own operation by sending an email to taskforce@movmi.net.

Covid-19 Taskforce: Shared Mobility Panel with Jacob Greig, Ishra Baksh, Mikki Taylor-Hendrix and Sandra Phillips

In this MICRO WEBINAR:

  • Detroit, Michigan was hit early and hard with Covid-19. They lost a transit operator at an early stage due to the virus which affected public transportation ridership numbers. They were one of the first places to receive rapid testing kits which gained results within 15 minutes. Virus spread has slowed down and with the support of the Governor and the state has reopened. However, transit is currently only 30% ridership.
  • Australia was able to close the borders early and ‘work from home’ measures were implement fast. The country currently only has 5 active cases. The government focused its effect on supply chain and supporting communities. Schools have now re-opened.
  • British Columbia in Canada introduced a soft lockdown early and as a result hasn’t seen as many cases as other Canadian provinces. However, in both Canada and Australia, public transit and shared mobility ridership has dropped as well. Shared mobility numbers are starting to rise with people taking up more active modes of transportation, like bike and scooter sharing.
  • Milan, although one of the worst cities affected, through effective planning, has managed to create programmes and introduce policies quickly, that encourage movement throughout the city.

  • Detroit public transit was one of the first agencies to eliminate fare, introduce boarding from the back on public buses and to give out masks to residents using their services. A big challenge is the drop in ridership. They are now working to create a balance with the amount of services running and the amount of staff required to keep things moving. The things they are hoping to maintain are their safety and maintenance standards and the amount of resources available to them once ridership increases again.
  • Queensland has seen an increase in active transportation – bike/scooter share was always popular before but now people are buying their own. The biggest challenge they face in ensuring they continue providing residents with accurate and timely transportation info as people commute back to work and ridership increases, which is currently at 40%. A focus of theirs is how to balance public transportation, with shared mobility and private car ownership to create a well-rounded transportation eco-system.
  • A survey of the people of Vancouver showed that people are mostly concerned about their health and safety on public transit. The biggest challenge they face is instilling trust and making sure each user takes precautions when moving around the city. One worry is perhaps the introduction of a ‘Covid fee’ for extra cleaning services required.
  • Europe has been leading the charge with micromobility options during the crisis. Roads have been re-purposed and bike lanes extended, but will this continue once things have settled? Curbside management will be interesting to watch over the next few months.

  • What all panelists agreed on was that the current crisis has been enabling new partnerships, that otherwise might have taken a long time to implement or not at all. It is changing the transportation culture and the behaviour of people at such fast pace, which would not have happened as radically, any other way. Even policies have changed rapidly. Things that would usually take years to plan and approve have been approved and implemented overnight.
  • New skills are needed for transport operators on the ground, such as maintenance and service. We are now communicating more digitally, so teaching of new technology and communication methods is needed to keep dialogues open, across the sector.
  • We need to rethink the mobility of tomorrow. We need to work together, share data and resources and create new incentives for operators and users, to encourage and create, more sustainable methods of transportation.

If you have a direct question for the taskforce related to Covid-19 or wish to seek advice on managing your own operation, send an email with your question to taskforce@movmi.net. For more Covid-19 information and resources click here.

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