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A Future of Personalized Transportation


Last week I had the opportunity to attend the Shared .Use Mobility Conference in Chicago. Dubbed Move Together, over 400 attendees from 31 states and 6 countries participated, including private companies, non-profits, government agencies and interested individuals. The conference opened with SUMC CEO, Sharon Feigon outlining a vision of getting to work, or wherever you need to go, without owning a car. She also laid out a challenge of eliminating ownership of 1,000,000 private cars with 5 years through shared mobility.


Dozens of speakers shared updates on the growth and diversity of ride-share, bike-share, and car-share programs across the U.S. Many innovative product ideas were presented including integrated bike locks, recyclable bicycle helmets, bike dashboards that tell you which way to turn, and all sorts of ride-sharing apps.


In one of the more visionary sessions, former head of the NYC Transit Authority, and now CEO of Motivate, Jay Walder spoke to a future where the word "mass" is taken out of transit, and replaced by personalized transportation that fits an individual's life. He pointed to bike sharing as a central part of this evolution, allowing people to go where and when they want, unbound by tracks and train schedules.


He cited just the previous week 52,000 bike share trips occurred in a single day in New York City; an average of every bike being used 8 times/day!

 
PBSC Product Analyst Suzelle Faubert demonstrates the SmartHalo feature.
The bike and phone connect via bluetooth. The route map is displayed on the phone.
The bike dashboard lights up when a turn is approaching giving the rider a visual signal.














One of the noteworthy product innovations included a smarthalo dashboard mounted on shared bike produced by PBSC Urban Solutions. The system is connected to the GPS in the rider's smartphone and provides a visual indicator on which way to turn during a bike ride.

 

Social Bicycles from Brooklyn, New York showcase a shared use bike that had a lock integrated into the bike rack. ​It offers a more convenient approach for locking a bike.


Bike share riders remove the U-lock from its holster and push it into the side of the rack to secure and immobilize the bike. To release the lock, users type in a code on the keypad on the rack. The service can also be triggered by a smartcard like the Ventra ride card in Chicago.

 

Executive Director of LA Bike Trains, Nona Varnado, shared her personal frustration over the difficulty of bike commuting in Los Angeles. This led her to start a ride sharing service for bike commuters. Riders have the ability to meet up with other commuters and ride together on popular commuting routes. They are led by an experienced conductor who knows the route and can help with any problems on the commute. The service has led to individuals bike commuting that would never have considered it before.


What a neat way to engage more bike commuters!


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