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CommuteCon 2017

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Bringing Mobility on Demand to your City

Gwo-Wei Torng, Ph.D.
Director, Mobility Innovation, Office of Research, Demonstration and Innovation (TRI)
Federal Transit Administration

Session Description

Dr. Gwo-Wei Torng, director of mobility innovation at the Federal Transit Administration’s Office of Research, Demonstration and Innovation, is a leading figure in the development of mobility on demand (MOD). The sharing economy is driving major changes in the way people move around urban spaces. It, along with the continued proliferation of connected, automated, shared, and electrified enabling technologies, holds the potential to dramatically improve and transform the way we get around urban areas.

When mobility choices increase, travelers benefit. Choice improves affordability, equity, flexibility, and accessibility, while delivering sustainability and environmental benefits. To that end, MOD has created a program known as Sandbox, which has three major mandates:

  • To explore ways of integrating MOD solutions with existing infrastructure
  • To empower innovators who use novel business models to increase mobility
  • To inform the future development of new MOD programs

Sandbox is currently funding 11 local-level projects with a total of $7.9 million in financial resources. Examples of these projects include:

  • Pima County, AZ is integrating fixed-route, subscription-based ride-sharing and social carpooling services
  • Phoenix, AZ is integrating multimodal trip planning and mobile ticketing features into its Valley Metro Rail system
  • Palo Alto, CA is working on several initiatives, including trip-reduction software
  • Los Angeles County is creating an MOD partnership, and a liaison with a sibling program in Seattle, WA
  • Carpool-to-transit programs are in development in San Francisco
  • Pinellas County, FL is working to offer taxi and car-sharing services to mobility-challenged users
  • A new platform that integrates transit and shared-use mobility options is in the works in Oregon
  • Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) is integrating ride-sharing with its mobile ticketing application
  • Vermont is working to build a statewide public transit trip planner
  • Pierce County, WA is creating connections between local and regional transit networks, and private-sector ride-sharing companies
  • The Chicago Transit Authority is adding bike-sharing to its transit planning mobile app

Sandbox has ongoing funding opportunities, which are available to applicants through the Federal Transit Administration’s website. The best way to access further information is to do a web search for “FTA MOD Sandbox,” and follow the link to learn more about solicitation procedures and current projects.

The website also contains detailed information about shared mobility topics, including an FAQ page and an online dialogue resource center. Visitors can also access an MOD Innovation and Knowledge Accelerator (IKA) toolkit through the Shared-Use Mobility Center (SUMC).