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Insights from Inside: 2018 National Shared Mobility Summit

Staged annually in the Windy City, the National Shared Mobility Summit focuses on the discussion and exploration of the latest developments in car-sharing, shared autonomous and electric vehicles, bike-sharing, e-hailing and microtransit.

Thanks to the volume of thought leaders in attendance at this year’s event, TransLoc team members walked away with seven key insights into the emerging trends within shared mobility, public-private partnerships, and collaborations across various sectors while compiling thematics that may surface as transit continues to evolve.

  1. Microtransit, as a concept, has moved beyond the “innovators” phase of adoption and may be nearing the end of the “early adopters” phase heading straight into the early majority.
  2. Microtransit is not the silver-bullet, rather it is a vital component of the ultimate solution, one that we’ve yet to be able to fully digest.
  3. Cities, consultants, and other stakeholders appear to be embracing the pilot model for testing mobility solutions and proving success prior to making a major investment.
  4. Bike-sharing has a lot more clout with municipalities and planners than originally thought.  It is a key component of virtually everyone’s plan for the future of mobility. However, connecting the bikes in a meaningful way to other modes of transportation seems to be a common challenge amongst these municipalities.
  5. There is a huge desire to solve for having one trip planning, booking, and payment app for all modes: bikeshare, TNC, agency-owned microtransit, paratransit, taxis, fixed-route, carshare, AVs, etc.
  6. Transportation and mobility plans are transitioning into a more efficient timeline. Traditional transportation plans are typically completed in 5-10 year increments. Cities are now looking at increments that can be measured in months instead.
  7. As it relates to procurement, cities are starting to linger longer in the problem space. Instead of defining a solution, they’d like vendors to create it as they have traditionally done. They are defining the problem clearly then allowing the market to come up with different solutions for solving.