The rise of multiple technology-driven mobility services has presented the traveling public a new array of mobility choices. At the same time, rapid advances in the development of autonomous vehicles and other vehicle technology systems have brought on various new visions of America’s transportation future.
APTA’s efforts to understand this dynamic and disruptive landscape have given rise to the following questions:
- How can these services collectively work in an integrated transportation system?
- Can new levels of efficiency evolve?
- Can a new combination of mobility options collectively provide the array of choices that allow for lifestyles that are less automobile-dependent, to be accompanied by an overall greater reliance on public transportation?
- How should the public transportation industry lead the change?
- How can we capitalize on the space efficiencies of transit and walkable, transit-oriented communities/corridors? (Public transportation moves more people in less space than any other transportation mode.)
Access and mobility are fundamental to the economic and social freedom of Americans. The following policy framework provides core principles to help shape the evolving new frontiers in mobility and public transportation and assure that the public is served with efficient, equitable, and convenient travel choices.
- Ensure Accessibility: Providers in the transportation network must provide access for all, and be driven by the need for social inclusion and environmental justice in our transportation system.
- Encourage Innovation & Entrepreneurship: The public transportation community welcomes new technologies, new ideas, new players, new business practices, and new business models. Public transportation systems will lead, adapt, collaborate and reposition as appropriate.
- Promote Integration & Coordination: Mobility providers and services must all work together as components of an integrated transportation system. Transit is positioned to serve as its backbone. Given their public orientation, transit agencies are positioned to serve as integrators of these new mobility services, and transit executives as leaders and champions of collaboration.
- Establish One-Stop-Shopping for the Complete Trip: The wide array of mobility management strategies must be communicated clearly, understood easily and be available through an accessible, central clearinghouse. Integrated payment systems should be pursued. Customers should be able to plan and pay for their full trip through a facile, transparent process and a single technological platform. Convenient, stress-free trip planning and payment should extend to the full range of trip purposes (i.e., jobs, education, social, health, and access to essential services). The fare collection platforms must also provide a robust, secure and auditable system.
- Encourage Sharing and Cooperation: Sharing anonymous data or providing open data should be an aspirational goal for all parties, public and private.
- Identify Opportunities to Capitalize on Technology to Advance Mobility and Efficiency: New technologies may be applied by transit agencies to facilitate environmental, economic, and social goals. Transit agencies should integrate new mobility providers into first-mile/last-mile strategies, new paratransit alternatives, etc., to help achieve new efficiencies where it makes economic, operational and customer service sense.
- Provide Appropriate Public Oversight: Safety for customers and community, and public responsibility by transportation providers should be expected. However, public oversight should avoid being a regulatory roadblock to innovative services and mobility solutions.
- Regulation should be in the context of an evolving mobility market.
- Procurement rules should encourage and facilitate innovation while maintaining an appropriate level of accountability.
- Regulatory performance should be tracked and measured to understand long-term impacts.
- Invest in the Required Infrastructure: New mobility technologies will require Intelligent Transportation Systems and other forms of infrastructure. Such needs must be quantified, and appropriate investments made as additions to federal, state and local programs. Additional policy and program adjustments may also be required.
- Develop Understanding & Best Practices: The public transportation industry and its partners should conduct new research; ask questions; share best practices and lessons learned; understand disparate impacts by system size and income levels; establish cross-industry dialogue; and develop a better understanding of big-picture, holistic impacts (including land use, sustainability, workforce, and other implications of enhanced mobility).
- Identify New Business Markets, Partnerships & Membership: Businesses and mobility services emerging in the new mobility marketplace should look to APTA as a trade association worthy of their time, investment and membership. APTA members will benefit from working closely with technology companies, new start-ups and contractors.
- Assure the Ongoing Availability of Public Transportation Services: It is in the public interest that transit services emerge stronger, not weaker. Consider how new governance models, aimed at the broad, overarching mission of mobility, might be an appropriate evolution for transit agencies.
- Protect the Privacy of Passengers and Customers: New technologies bring new considerations regarding how to collect and safeguard sensitive passenger data, including payment, location, contact, and relationship information. Transit agencies must adopt appropriate technologies to keep personal data protected, and review and revise open records statues and regulations to ensure that such data may remain private.