By Stephen Kulieke, Senior Director of Communications, ITS-UC Davis
Urban mobility is undergoing unprecedented transformations. The transportation status quo is being challenged by ride-hailing companies like Uber and Lyft and fast-emerging shared services like electric scooters and dockless bikes. For many the trends disrupting public transit are unsettling. In this time of public transit innovation what is working, what is not working, and what should be changing?
On Friday, April 20, 2018, Dr. Susan Shaheen of UC Berkeley, an internationally recognized leader in innovative mobility research, examined these questions at a seminar hosted by the Institute of Transportation Studies at UC Davis, sponsored through ITS-Davis’ partnership with the Pacific Southwest Region University Transportation Center.
Entitled “Innovation and Disruption in Urban Mobility: Do We Need to Rethink Everything?”, the seminar “peeled back” data on the modal shift impacts of new technologies on public transit via studies conducted by Dr. Shaheen and her Innovative Mobility Research (IMR) colleagues at UC Berkeley.
The “ultimate example of shared mobility”, as described by Dr. Shaheen, transit also faces an array of additional risks. The seminar noted rising fares, increasing crime incidents, fears of terrorism, and an aging transit infrastructure that requires investment.
The boundaries between private and public sector in transportation are blurring according to Dr. Shaheen. The new urban mobility platforms may be supported and public-private partnerships can be embraced if equity challenges of these platforms are addressed so that people without smartphones, those with disabilities, and others less able to access emerging technologies are not left behind.
Susan Shaheen is co-director of the Transportation Sustainability Research Center (TSRC) of the Institute of Transportation Studies and an adjunct professor in Civil and Environmental Engineering at University of California, Berkeley. She is the first Honda Distinguished Scholar in Transportation at the Institute of Transportation Studies at UC Davis (2000-2012), where she earned a Ph.D. in ecology, focusing on the energy and environmental aspects of transportation. She holds an M.S. in public policy analysis from the University of Rochester. Her research projects on car sharing, smart parking, and older mobility have received national awards. She has authored 51 journal articles, over 100 reports and proceedings articles, three book chapters, and co-edited one book.
Dr. Susan Shaheen addressing seminar attendees
Dr. Shaheen received the 2017 Roy W. Crum award from the Transportation Research Board (TRB) for her distinguished achievements in transportation research. She is chair of the subcommittee for Shared-Use Vehicle Public Transport Systems of TRB (2013-). She is a member of the ITS Program Advisory Committee to the U.S. DOT Secretary (2014-) and the Mobile Source Technical Review Subcommittee to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Air Act Advisory Committee (2016-).
IMR is based at UC Berkeley’s TSRC.
You can view a full recording of Dr. Shaheen’s talk, part of ITS-Davis’ weekly seminar series, by clicking on Video Link at the URL: https://its.ucdavis.edu/seminar/april-20-2018/
About the Author:
Stephen Kulieke is the Senior Director of Communications at the Institute of Transportation Studies at UC Davis (ITS-Davis). A former journalist and member of the Chicago City Hall Press Corps, he is a longtime communications professional and recipient of an Award of Excellence from the Public Relations Society of America.