The 82 Alliance, in partnership with PennDOT, recently held its inaugural Mobility Summit in Harrisburg, PA. Attendees heard industry leaders speaking on federal funding, current mobility trends, and what they think future trends will look like for transportation and TDM.
As we emerge from this pandemic, Pennsylvania must focus on how it is planning for its future, as it relates to providing safe, reliable, equitable mobility options. The 82 Alliance is a not-for-profit mobility think tank that focuses on reimagining how we move our cities, towns, and people. As our world is changing, we can and should be planning for a better tomorrow.
Mobility Summit speakers included:
• Alicia Nolan, Division Administrator, Federal Highway Administration
Alicia gave an overview of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) with a focus on highway provisions in the BIL and significant programs and conditions in the BIL.
• Matt Caywood, CEO & Co-Founder, Actionfigure
Matt shared the importance of transportation data and touched on current mobility trends.
“The biggest emissions source of an urban office building is travel to and from that building,” Matt Caywood, Actionfigure.
Matt stated that without data employers and real estate owners suffer turnover costs due to employees quitting because of commuting and are unable to retain and attract tenants. Without data, neither can measure nor reduce transportation CO2 emissions.
Transit, Shuttles & Vanpools Panel:
• Jody Holton, Assistant General Manager, Planning & Strategic Initiatives, SEPTA
• Mike Moriarty, Business Development Manager, WeDriveU
• Kevin Chau, Sales Director, Commute with Enterprise
Jody shared an overview of Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA’s) initiatives. Examples of some of the projects covered: SEPTA Forward: Project Metro, Reimagining Regional Rail, Bus Revolution, Trolley Modernization, and King of Prussia Rail Project.
Mike shared five mobility trends that are improving access to jobs, education, services, and each other. Trends included: workplace experience extends to the commute, on-demand transportation for dynamic journeys, bringing businesses together with shared shuttles, shifting from cars to more sustainable options, leading the way to a net zero commute.
Kevin discussed how vanpools are evolving for the future through a new flexible model to meet modern-day expectations, simplify vanpooling, grow vanpool ridership, and enhance alignment with other public mobility modes and efficiency goals.
Mobility Research Panel:
• Stan Caldwell, Executive Director, Traffic 21 Institute at Carnegie Mellon University
• Eric O'Donnell, Director Thomas D. Larson Pennsylvania Transportation Institute, Penn State University
• Ethan Connor-Ross, Senior Vice President and Principal, Econsult Solutions, Inc. (ESI)
The mobility research panel presented programs and initiatives such as autonomous vehicles, electric vehicles, mobility as a service, and reviewed future trends in transportation.
A study conducted by Traffic 21 Institute at Carnegie Mellon University looks at how COVID-19 affects significant trends and is shaping the future of transportation. Stan shared potential post-pandemic lasting trends including:
• Altered Demand for Public Transit,
• Increased Bicycle and Pedestrian Activity
• Increased Micro Mobility
• Altered Urban/Suburban Land Use Patterns and Real Estate Demand
• Growing Telework
At the Larson Pennsylvania Transportation Institute, Penn State University examples of projects include utilizing connected vehicle technology to improve signal operations and developing a dynamic simulation tool for better managing the curb.
Ethan, from ESI, gave an overview of the new ESI Center for the Future of Cities, which through research and analysis will yield innovative new tools and resources that will help cities and urban leaders navigate contemporary challenges.
Planning Ahead Panel:
• Brian Hare, Director Department of Transportation Center for Program Development, PennDOT
• Andy Waple, Deputy Executive Director, Programs Division, Southwestern Pennsylvania Commission (SPC)
• Chris Leswing, Director of Building and Planning, Lower Merion Township
Brian discussed PennDOT’s statewide planning initiatives and provided an overview of the Bi-partisan Infrastructure Law (BIL). New program areas: Carbon Reduction Program and Protect Formula Program.
Andy Waple shared the Southwestern Pennsylvania Commission’s Long-Range Transportation Plan and what the SPC is working on to improve transportation for its region.
Chris Leswing gave an overview of the first-ever TDM Ordinance adopted in the Greater Philadelphia Region. Lower Merion Township is leading the way to incorporate TDM within its municipality.
Transportation Demand Management (TDM) refers to strategies, programs, or policies that are designed to reduce drive-alone trips and enable the transportation system to function more effectively and efficiently through alternative transportation options. By implementing TDM strategies and reducing drive-alone trips we can improve our climate and increase the efficiency of our regional roadways.
“Thank you to our speakers, sponsors, and attendees for joining us for our first Mobility Summit. Thank you to PennDOT for partnering and helping to bring new and exciting ideas to Pennsylvania. As we continue to move forward past this pandemic we have an opportunity to reimagine our communities of the future. As our world is changing, we can and should be planning for a better tomorrow,” Rob Henry, president of The 82 Alliance.
Thank you to our event sponsors: