As emerging technologies disrupt the transportation sector, we are pushing innovators and policymakers at all levels of government to focus innovation on access and fairness. With cutting-edge pilot projects, research, and collaborations, we are proving that the transportation of the future does not have to repeat the mistakes of the past.
TransForm is participating in the Metropolitan Transportation Commission’s long-range visioning process, Horizon. Planners, policymakers, and the public will explore scenarios decades into the Bay Area’s future and evaluate policy and investment choices for each eventuality. Autonomous vehicles and other new mobility technologies loom large in the conversation, against a backdrop of other probable uncertain events like a major earthquake, economic bust, and sea level rise. The ideas that fare best across a range of scenarios will become top priorities for MTC and inform future regional plans.
Autonomous Pilot Project in San Jose
We’re supporting efforts to identify pilot projects specifically focused on benefiting the most underserved communities. In San Jose we’ve partnered with Prospect Silicon Valley to identify future AV pilot projects that address the transportation needs of underserved communities. We’re exploring opportunities to improve mobility for San Jose City College students and low-wage workers, and make it easier to get to medical facilities and campuses.
Mobility on Demand in Palo Alto
While we have so many more transportation choices than just 10 years ago, they are still disjointed and confusing. Well-paid tech workers often receive commuter subsidies and transportation options from their employers, but lower wage workers in Silicon Valley are left to fend for themselves.
Mobility on Demand (AKA Mobility as a Service) is a new way of thinking about mobility — not dependent on car ownership, but on travel needs being met in real time by any available option or service. A unified smartphone app would aggregate all options — public and private sector — and allow users to indicate whether you are willing to walk, bike or scooter a certain distance, to generate personalized results that can help increase the reach of transit. Payment can be unified as well, and in some instances may be a monthly subscription.
There is a federally funded effort to get MOD implemented with employers in Palo Alto. TransForm has joined a research proposal led by Prospect Silicon Valley to engage disadvantaged communities and assess local mobility challenges, and then work to address those needs as part of the MOD rollout.
For more information about this work, contact Clarrissa Cabansagan.