Shared Mobility Thoughts

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Covid-19 Taskforce: Redefining Transportation Systems with Sandra Phillips and Kristoffer Vik Hansen

Jul 29, 2020

The Covid-19 Taskforce briefing this week was hosted by Sandra Phillips, CEO of movmi who was joined by Kristoffer Vik Hansen, CEO of Spare – the most advanced software platform for connecting communities through inclusive and efficient on-demand transportation. Kristoffer’s expertise lies in running technology-driven teams and his passions includes the future of mobility, automation and space tech to name but a few.

In this webinar they discuss equitable transportation and the new innovation surrounding paratransit services, why exactly microtransit has been flourishing throughout the pandemic and what the ‘new normal’ will look like for the transportation industry over the next few years.

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: Redefining Transportation Systems with Sandra Phillips and Kristoffer Vik Hansen

In this MICRO WEBINAR:

  • The pandemic has merely accelerated popular transport trends, such as microtransit.
  • In the wake of Covid-19, transportation services have to think differently about how they manage and operate their services. Transit agencies and cities have shifted away from being traditional entities into being more like mobility agencies, offering numerous services. Spare just released a report around how transportation and urban planning has started to shift from massive systems to offering more network assistance.
  • One of Spare’s projects in the U.S is really redefining how paratransit has been offered, especially throughout this pandemic. Paratransit has been a very heavily regulated industry that has been established for 30 years now, since the American with Disabilities Act, which hasn’t seen much innovation.
  • In Lincoln, Nebraska, Spare is currently assisting and redefining paratransit and helping them bridge the gap between traditional fixed route services that they would usually provide and the paratransit services that will provide pockets of more on-demand services.
  • Covid has really shown where the true essential travel patterns lie with ridership numbers at an all time low and it shows us that our public and private transportation systems are inherently unequal.
  • From their pre, during and post-Covid data, Spare analysed and focused on these three things:
  1. Who is still riding these services?
  2. How resilient are these services vs broader public transit networks?
  3. How has ridership changed and how was recovery done with multiple different areas/geographies
  • They released a blog post series on this report, bringing attention to their key takeaways. What they found is that microtransit is generally much more resilient to changes compared to other services and that agencies with on-demand services generally recover faster because it’s easier for them to rapidly adapt. They also discovered that public ridership levels have been steadily increasing and they are almost back to pre-covid numbers.
  • There’s a couple of inherent advantages with microtransit that makes it just a little bit easier to deal with. Spare can digitally restrict how many people come on board at any given time, ensuring physical distancing and they are obviously a lot easier to clean compared to larger vehicles.
  • These tools are also being used for fixed routes too. Transit agencies are looking at real time passenger counting to the point where they may create new routes, but in this instance, a rider would have to book a seat before boarding. This is the perfect time to start thinking about ideas like this, because we can really reshape how public transportation works.
  • Fundamentally, there won’t be a massive change in transportation services and infrastructure post-Covid. We will just see an exploration of the trends we have already seen start to grow and flourish. How we use urban planning with mobility planning will definitely change in the future

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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