Modernizing Mobility

Modernizing Mobility

The Future of Mobility, a joint project of CommonWealth and Meeting of the Minds, a San Francisco-based organization that seeks to build alliances around urban sustainability.

Transportation equity: Is it a good thing?

Transportation equity: Is it a good thing?

Those who fear displacement don't see it that way

What do we think about when we think about transportation equity?    There is regional equity – the question whether every region in a state, or every neighborhood in a city, is equitably treated from a funding perspective. There is modal funding equity, which goes to whether public sector decision makers treat each mode fairly when it comes to the allocation(...)

Read More »

For walkers, the last six inches are important

For walkers, the last six inches are important

Linking bus and walking networks critical to transit improvements

WALKBOSTON HAS BEEN TALKING about transit as the middle leg of a walking trip for many years. We understand that even the most avid walker or walking advocate knows that many trips are too long to make a single-mode-walk trip possible. Now, the transit and active transportation worlds have become more attuned to the facts(...)

Read More »

Regulatory reset needed on Uber, self-driving cars

Regulatory reset needed on Uber, self-driving cars

Impose a series of fees and use the funds for public transit

Second of two parts (First part can be found here.)  MASSACHUSETTS STATE AND MUNICIPAL DECISION MAKERS must push a reset button and develop a template for a more comprehensive and robust regulatory framework that will guide the operation of Transportation Network Company and autonomous vehicle business models. It’s a necessary first step in the process(...)

Read More »

TNCs existential threat to public transportation

TNCs existential threat to public transportation

Ride-hailing apps are a disruptive auto-centric technology

First of two parts ADVOCACY IS WHAT LIKE-MINDED people do, usually in an organized fashion, to effect change in the way government or public policy impacts their lives. Advocacy can take many forms and approaches, from energizing and activating people at the grassroots, to persuading decision makers at the grasstops, to knocking on doors in(...)

Read More »

A question of access: Shifting the transportation conversation

A question of access: Shifting the transportation conversation

Equity, climate, and choice are keys to developing a workable plan for the future

TRANSPORTATION AND MOBILITY matters to everyone who commutes, travels, or runs errands on a daily basis, and these everyday trips create a sense that we are all experts on transportation. For creative problem solvers, every traffic jam, transit delay, confusing intersection, or missing bike lane connection provides an opportunity to brainstorm possible solutions. But what(...)

Read More »

Bus stops and the future of digital placemaking

Bus stops and the future of digital placemaking

We have to remember public transit is public space

THE TYPICAL URBAN BUS STOP is a miserable thing: a piece of metal attached to a pole; a strip of colored paint on a curb; a beaten-up shelter. Such bad design is often compounded by locations only a vehicle could love: on lonely medians; next to terrifying off-ramps; along deserted and dimly lit blocks; and(...)

Read More »

Transportation tech isn’t easy

Transportation tech isn’t easy

But a system that communicates is absolutely critical

AS THE LEADER of a transportation agency, there is no shortage of people ready to tell me how technology is going to revolutionize the way we do business. From autonomous vehicles to on-demand sensors to drone-based package delivery to solar-powered roads and road-straddling super-buses (that one turned out to a bust), it’s a veritable cornucopia(...)

Read More »

One payment system is needed for all transportation

One payment system is needed for all transportation

Passengers would benefit, and so would service providers

ONE OF THE IRONIES of the advancements in mobility over the last decade has been the driving force of competition involved – and perhaps no development has affected the recent landscape more than the rise of ridesharing companies like Uber and Lyft. These and other companies, driven by the cutthroat battle for customer bases in(...)

Read More »

The world isn’t as flat as we thought

The world isn’t as flat as we thought

Mobility is key to closing economic divide

LONG-TERM TRENDS WILL CHANGE the global economy, putting unique strains on both large cities and outlying areas. PwC has identified five megatrends actively shaping our world: rapid urbanization, technological breakthroughs, shifts in global economic power, demographic and social change, and climate change. These trends combine to create a geographic and economic divide—booming cities that produce(...)

Read More »

Preparing for a shrinking Boston

Preparing for a shrinking Boston

Resilience should be goal; resistance is futile

SETTLED BY EUROPEAN COLONISTS in 1630, Boston was founded on the narrow Shawmut Peninsula behind the protective landforms of what are today Stellwagen Bank, Winthrop, Hull, and the 34 Boston Harbor Islands. Our ancestors sited Boston well. In addition to protecting the city from sea-based attacks, Boston Harbor’s natural topography limits extreme storm surges to(...)

Read More »