Last week several members of the TransLoc team traveled to New York City for the 2019 ACT International Conference. This year’s conference brought together over 650 professionals from across the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and Europe to discuss a wide range of transportation topics and solutions to enhance mobility in communities worldwide. There were 40 educational sessions focused on transportation demand management, public policy, mobility on-demand, and commuter transportation services.
From the sessions, keynote speakers, and many important discussions that took place, TransLoc team members walked away with 7 major takeaways of emerging trends:
1. With a renewed focus on street design we can set cities on a more sustainable path and reclaim space for people to walk, bike, and take public transit.
2. We need to focus on safety, convenience, and accessibility across any mode that is being considered. Think about an 8-year-old and an 80-year-old, would you send them on their own using your current public transit offerings? If the answer is no, then something needs to change. If you keep the 8, 80 rule in mind when improving and designing transportation services the end result will be a perfect city.
3. Throughout the world, walking and riding bikes is viewed as the only mobility option that is safe and enjoyable for the majority. We need to make cities more walkable/bikeable and need to make sidewalks and pedestrians a priority.
4. There has been an explosion of Application Program Interface use within the industry, but we need to make sure that these APIs are giving you the data you actually need to make informed decisions to better your community.
5. There is a major employee experience problem facing many employers across the nation. Programs that incentivize employees to use other modes or carpool are helping to solve issues such as congested traffic and limited parking.
6. All microtransit pilot projects/programs are very different from one another so you need to really get to know your market, understand what they need and want, not just what you need to report but what does success look like for your agency (create a guideline).
7. It is critical to start planning and raising awareness for self-driving vehicles now, even if we are years away from large-scale implementations. In a survey of 21,000 countries, acceptance and public opinion around autonomous vehicles varied widely based on demographics, politics, available information, and whether you lived in urban or rural areas. It is important to start the education process now to reduce fear and increase public acceptance for the future.
This year’s ACT Conference made one thing clear: creating vibrant cities with healthier communities goes above and beyond the traditional transportation modes themselves. In order to better serve our communities we need to focus on infrastructure that allows for safe and convenient travel and we need to encourage shared mobility to battle increased parking congestion and traffic times.
Did you attend the 2019 ACT International Conference? Share your insights and takeaways in the comments below!
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