Mobility Lab Express
          May 1, 2015 - Issue 61
"Traffic jams occur when demand for our infrastructure exceeds supply. Transportation demand management (TDM) offers fiscally responsible programs that promote better use of our existing infrastructure."
- Lois DeMeester, CEO, Mobility Lab and DS&MG
Paul Goddin, Arlington reporter, Mobility Lab

The only transportation demand management (TDM) program for public school faculty and staff in the U.S. has been created in Arlington County, Virginia.


The program, called "ATP Schools," is being administered by Arlington Transportation Partners (ATP), the employer-outreach arm of Arlington County Commuter Services. Funded by a grant from Virginia's Department of Rail and Public Transportation, it is aimed at reducing traffic by reducing the drive-alone rate of the more than 5,000 employees of Arlington Public Schools, a major employer in the county.


Not only is ATP Schools the only district-wide TDM program in the country targeting school staff, but there is a large unmet local need for the service. According to research by Toole Design Group, the drive-alone rate for school employees is a surprisingly high 88 percent, compared to 53 percent for the county overall.


When it comes to schools, jurisdictions have typically focused their TDM efforts on student trips. These efforts, under the Safe Routes to School National Partnership, encourage students to walk or bike to school. ATP Schools is a natural complement to a student-based TDM program.


POLICY: Cities Must Understand Bikeshare Is Transit
COMMUNITY DESIGN: Taking Bridj in D.C. Offers Great New Option, and Maybe Even Some Time Savings
RESEARCH: Millennials and City Dwellers Have Almost Identical Transportation Preferences
PARTNER SPOTLIGHT: Rocky Mountain Institute

"TDM Tidbits"

We've started a new regular feature called TDM Tidbits. It will keep you apprised of the top headlines and research in transportation demand management.


We hope, by following Tidbits and all the rest of our regular stories, you'll be inspired to introduce your region to some of the exciting initiatives we feature. This is a crucial time for TDM to remain and become more relevant. We can't do it without an industry-wide effort.



Upcoming Event

Building the Bike Culture You Want

May 16, 2015, 3-4 p.m.

Arlington (Va.) Central Library


Vancouver bike culture is changing. Fast. And nowhere is that more evident than in the types of people you see riding bikes. Modacity's Melissa and Chris Bruntlett will tell that inspiring story via words, images, and films, including what it means for car-lite, multimodal families such as their own.



POLICY: Cities Must Understand Bikeshare Is Transit 

Chris Hamilton, chief, Arlington County (Va.) Commuter Services

Bikeshare systems either have to make it on their own or be subsidized like the rest of the transportation system.


This difference of opinion within the bikeshare industry was recently brought to light by an article at entitled San Antonio Bikeshare Threatens to Close Without Major Sponsor. But it isn't such a black or white issue.


Bikeshare exits in cities across North America along a continuum, from totally private funding (Citi Bike in New York City) to mostly public funding (Capital Bikeshare in Washington D.C.).


But if bikeshare is going to take its rightful place as a bonafide transportation option in more and more of our cities, advocates have got to stop selling the notion that you can build and operate a robust bikeshare system at no cost. It just isn't so, and selling it as such sets everyone up for failure. Witness what's going on in San Antonio.


Like with buses, trains, parking, street lights, and streets themselves, there's capital infrastructure in the form of stations and bikes to consider. While relatively inexpensive compared to investment in other modes, there is a substantial cost. Bikeshare systems will only succeed when freed of the unrealistic expectations.


Read more here. Like us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter


COMMUNITY DESIGN: Taking Bridj in D.C. 

Offers Great New Option, 

and Maybe Even Some Time Savings 

Brendan Casey, Arlington (Va.) Transportation Partners

I switched up my usual bicycle commute one morning this week for the chance to try out Bridj, a Boston-based "pop-up bus transit" startup that just launched in Washington D.C.


The company offers flexible shuttle routes that adapt based on the locations of who has booked a ride during a given period of time.


Bridj so far is offering limited morning service between the greater Capitol Hill and Dupont Circle areas and currently runs at 20-minute intervals. The company touts that it has cut some commute times in half through routing and bus-stop optimization. Would it do so for me?


I live in Capitol Hill and work in Rosslyn, so a shuttle from Capitol Hill to K Street NW isn't perfect for me, but got me halfway to my destination. Total trip time, home to office: 39 minutes. Normally, my bike ride from Capitol Hill to Rosslyn is about 25 minutes, with 20 minutes to shower and change. So my Bridj experience was comparable to riding my bike. 


Bridj is a welcome new mobility option to the D.C. region, and, based on my early experience, you should check it out.

Read more about my journey. Like us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter


RESEARCH: Millennials and City Dwellers Have Almost Identical Transportation Preferences

If you were born after 1980, you're a Millennial. But if you live in an urban area, you probably think like one, regardless of your age.


That is the takeaway from the fifth annual survey of Millennials from Zipcar. Released this month, Zipcar's report confirms something many of us have expected for quite a while: that city dwellers across all generations have a Millennial mindset. This suggests, according to Zipcar, that where one lives is as important as age in determining attitudes and behaviors towards transportation.

Many cities have assumed that their future success and relevance depends upon attracting Millennials. But do people decide where to live based on their preferences, or are their preferences shaped by where they live? The answer to both questions is probably yes.


PARTNER SPOTLIGHT: Rocky Mountain Institute

Much of the Rocky Mountain Institute's mobility work to date has focused on designing vehicles for lightweight efficiency. More recently, the "think-and-do tank" has partnered with entrepreneurial nonprofit Carbon War Room (CWR) and begun investigating the role of businesses, governments, and individuals in the mobility of the future.


In the coming decades, personal mobility as we know it can be dramatically transformed. Mobility can shift from "just in case" vehicle ownership to a "just in time" multimodal service, allowing people to access a variety of affordable and convenient mobility options when and where they need them. This mobility as a service will allow fewer vehicles to do the same job at lower cost, increasing access to mobility for users from all income levels while reducing traffic and emissions.


To help realize this future, resource-efficient, low-emissions transportation options need to become easier to access and more user-friendly. Interoperable transit data will be key to allowing that to happen because it will enable transit-app developers to give consumers the information they need to get from point A to points B, C, and beyond. 


Mobility Lab is excited about the opportunity to work with RMI and CWR on driving this transformation, building on the Lab's work with Conveyal and Arlington County Commuter Services on and its efforts to help government agencies and private transportation providers release their transportation data. Stay tuned. 


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We hope Mobility Lab Express, our events, and the research and case studies at our website will be go-to resources for you. In fact, we invite you to share your stories of how transportation-demand improvements have been made in your communities. How are you "moving people instead of cars?" We may publish your feedback, and together we'll strengthen transportation for all! 
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Mobility Lab is a research-and-development initiative for "transportation demand management - moving people instead of cars." Based in Arlington, Virginia - which has one of the largest TDM programs in the U.S. and removes 41,000 car trips from the county's roads each work day - Mobility Lab seeks solutions, stories, and partnerships from all over the world.

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