In the era of new mobility, the streets of the future must change.
Transportation is changing at a meteoric pace. Change that used to happen in three years now happens in three months. With so many privately operated, publicly accessible modes coming to streets near you (and soon AVs), it’s a critical time to ensure the community’s values are reflected in cities’ policies. As we wrote last week — in the era of new mobility, the streets of the future must change.
Today, Remix is launching the first platform that brings together the entire transportation picture: public transit, the abundance of new mobility options (like scooters and bikes), and streets that support it all.
With Remix, cities can take a proactive role in managing both public and private transportation, ensuring equitable, safe, and accessible outcomes. To help cities achieve these goals, we’re launching two new offerings:
Remix for New Mobility 🛴🚲: a platform to visualize and manage data from scooters, bikeshare, and other shared mobility providers, and analyze their impact within broader transportation goals.
Remix for Streets 🛣: contextualize transit and new mobility, prioritize infrastructure, and design streets for people across all modes.
Why we’re doing it
We recently surveyed 50+ municipalities with populations ranging from 20,000 to 1.5 million across North America and Europe. Some key findings:
85% of cities have incorporated new modes of mobility like bikeshare, scooters, electric bikes, dockless bikes, and ridehail like Uber/Lyft.
55% of cities have experienced challenges in expanding their mobility options, including managing new private providers, communicating partnerships with the public, and successfully integrating these new forms of mobility into the existing transportation system.
Nearly 60% believe that the city or transit agency should play a role in making sure the right mix of modes are in place.
Only 20% have dedicated funding to tackle new forms of mobility.
Clearly, cities all over are experiencing rapid changes in mobility and eager to guide the change through policy and infrastructure investments. Based on recent history, cities also need to be prepared with better tools and data to do it right — to dictate local transportation outcomes.
How the platform works
Here are three ways that the new platform helps cities plan their transportation future:
1. Visualize data in one place, and answer questions quickly
We help cities visualize all the data from multiple providers in the same platform to understand the full picture (instead of one at a time). By seeing usage, placement, historical, and real-time data, cities can answer questions from the public and elected officials such as: what corridors are most popular throughout the day? Is it so popular that there’s a need for additional infrastructure investment, or stronger enforcement around parking?
2. Create savvy, data-driven policies to better manage providers and ensure transportation goals
Understanding how new services are being used in different neighborhoods — especially those that may have traditionally lacked reliable transportation options — can help inform new policy decisions.
For example, several cities have enacted policies suggesting X percentage of scooters in specific zones each morning. For those cities, it’s important to 1) regularly validate if those requirements are being met, and 2) use the data to determine if the desired outcome is being achieved. These outputs can then be used to refine policies over time.
3. Envision, plan, and design streets for the multimodal city — with data
If we understand how new mobility and transit interact, we can start to prioritize infrastructure investments to support people using all modes. For instance, an overcapacity corridor could become a complete street with bus rapid transit, pedestrian bulb-outs, and a complementary bike network.
With Remix, you can see the impact of new mobility on the transportation system and dynamically evaluate proposals needed to better achieve community goals.
So where’s the data coming from?
We champion open data formats at Remix, to ensure that both city and provider data are always accessible and interoperable. Our first product was built on the General Transit Feed Specification, so we understand the power of open data standards to transform an industry. There are two new open data efforts that are making this specific work possible for the first time:
The Remix Policy team is actively researching these standards and policies, and we’ll be sharing more learnings in the coming weeks. Stay tuned.
Results so far
Obviously, new technology is meaningless without impact. We’ve already been working with 6 early customer cities on street design, and here’s how Remix has influenced streets in those communities to date:
Eugene is reshaping their downtown street grid, expanding their network of protected bicycle lanes, and just launched a new bikeshare (both docked and dockless).
Montgomery County, Maryland. Outside of DC, MoCo encompasses rural, suburban, and highly urbanized neighborhoods, and is using Remix for several of their 30 Bicycle and Pedestrian Priority Areas.
Miami-Dade County, Florida. Named one of the most dangerous metros for pedestrians, Miami-Dade is turning that title around: they adopted a Complete Streets Resolution last year, embraced electric bikeshare, and are designing projects in Remix for their expedited Quick-Build Program.
Whether you’re ready for new mobility or not, the time is now
There’s a rare convergence of four things happening right now that cities cannot ignore:
🛴 It’s solving an unmet need. People love dockless new mobility. Despite vocal community members and press, data speaks louder — they are getting significant usage and in many places, replacing automobile trips (both single-occupancy vehicles and TNCs).
📈 New forms of data to learn from. Since these new devices are GPS-enabled and can be aggregated anonymously, it represents a new way for cities to understand where people go in a form that’s neither an arduous travel demand survey nor hard-to-parse/privacy-iffy cell phone data.
🍰 Renewed appetite for rebalancing the right-of-way. Over 1400 municipalities have adopted a Complete Streets policy. It’s no longer a fringe planning movement, and cities will need to continue to adapt their policies to new modes that emerge.
🚍 A second chance for cities to assert their central role in transportation. In many ways, the TNC experience left cities with more questions and fewer answers. The current round of new mobility presents opportunities for cities to both exert control and collect data to benefit local transportation goals. We’ve already seen numerous heed the call.
Altogether — it’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to rethink transportation. Will cities choose to watch from the sidelines, or play a central role in shaping their future?