Data for Environmentally Sustainable and Inclusive Urban Mobility

Report by Anusha Chitturi and Robert Puentes: “Data on passenger movements, vehicle fleets, fare payments, and transportation infrastructure has immense potential to inform cities to better plan, regulate, and enforce their urban mobility systems. This report specifically examines the opportunities that exist for U.S. cities to use mobility data – made available through adoption of new mobility services and data-based technologies – to improve transportation’s environmental sustainability, accessibility, and equity. Cities are advancing transportation sustainability in several ways, including making trips more efficient, minimizing the use of single-occupancy vehicles, prioritizing sustainable modes of transport, and enabling a transition to zero and low-emission fuels. They are improving accessibility and equity by planning for and offering a range of transportation services that serve all people, irrespective of their physical abilities, economic power, and geographic location.
Data sharing is an important instrument for furthering these mobility outcomes. Ridership data from ride-hailing companies, for example, can inform cities about whether they are replacing sustainable transport trips, resulting in an increase in congestion and emissions; such data can further be used for designing targeted emission-reduction programs such as a congestion fee program, or for planning high-quality sustainable transport services to reduce car trips. Similarly, mobility data can be used to plan on-demand services in certain transit-poor neighborhoods, where fixed transit services don’t make financial sense due to low urban densities. Sharing mobility data, however, often comes with certain risks,..(More)”.