Passenger Transport March 2021 Vol 79 No 6 - 10

2021 MOBILITY CONFERENCE

Ramping Up to a New
Normal in Ridership

UPCOMING

APTA

CONFERENCES
APRIL 7-8

HIGH-SPEED RAIL
CONFERENCE

RIDERSHIP IN A POST-PANDEMIC
world was the topic of discussion at
the Mobility Conference March 17.
Panelists discussed a range of topics,
from current trends to new and different approaches managers will need to
embrace when people are back to their
offices.
Mark Heavey, director, marketing and
advertising, New York MTA, moderated
the session with panelists Jameson
Auten, deputy general manager, Kansas
City Area Transportation Authority and
chair of APTA's Mobility Management
Committee; Mick Spiers, general manager, Umo at Cubic Transportation Systems; and Susan Shaheen, University of
California-Berkeley.
Spiers discussed the need to build
trust with riders. He said contactless
fare and occupancy tools will be needed
to reassure riders of safety on board
public transit vehicles. He also noted
the need to " embrace and encourage "
people to cycle and walk as society
looks to the future. The industry needs
to use incentives. For example, he said,
if a rider sees a bus is full, an incentive
program could offer award points for a
coffee around the corner while waiting
for the next bus to appear. The local

coffee shop gets business, and the rider
is happy; everyone wins, he said.
Shaheen said she sees a positive
trend toward people wanting more road
space for bikes and scooters due to
the pandemic. And she sees a trend
toward more seamless routing and
seamless mobility. People, she said,
" have an appetite for mobility-as-a--
service. " She noted that the industry
has to work " collectively to make the
good things that came out of the pandemic stick and make public transportation and other modes, such as
scooters and bikes, more attractive. "
Auten talked about the strong partnerships his agency has with taxis,
bikes and scooter companies. Creating
these partnerships, he said, was deliberate to make it easy on riders. " We
want to make sure our customers have
a choice on what mode they choose
and that it is safe, " he explained.
" We need to embrace change, shift
our focus. We don't need to own and
operate everything. It's more important
that people get where they need to go
safely. " The biggest shift, he said, however, is mindset. He cautioned attendees that sometimes they might fail, but
that is O.K. " That's the way we learn. "

Connecting America's Cities
AN APTA VIRTUAL EVENT

MAY 18-19

LEGISLATIVE
CONFERENCE

AN APTA VIRTUAL EVENT

JUNE 8-9

RAIL

CONFERENCE

AN APTA VIRTUAL EVENT

LEARN MORE AT APTA.COM

10 |

PASSENGER TRANSPORT

MOBILITY-AS-A-SERVICE CONTINUED FROM PAGE 9
be moving forward. Project Connect
includes a new rail system, a downtown
transit tunnel, an expanded bus system
and transition to an all-electric fleet.
Also important, she noted, is mobility
planning with an equity lens to ensure
the agency's unbanked customers are
able to use cash for fares.
Nesper said that bicycles are part of
the solution to the mobility challenges
of today. " We can add to the recovery
by better connecting biking to transit, "
he said. During the pandemic, people
embraced biking. It was a way to get
exercise and get to places at a safe
social distance. Huge increases were
seen in bike sales as well. As more peo-

ple got on bikes, " we saw lack of vehicles; stores were selling out of them. "
As more people get on bikes, though,
Nesper said, the League has recognized
there is a lack of cohesive networks,
bike lanes, low speed streets and connected trails. " The lack of access and
good options further exacerbated systemic inequities in health and well-being, " he noted.
Going forward, Nesper suggests
there is an opportunity for people to
see how biking and public transit can
work in their lives, and with better
coordination, the League and its partners can help improve the overall rider
experience.


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Passenger Transport March 2021 Vol 79 No 6

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Passenger Transport March 2021 Vol 79 No 6

Passenger Transport March 2021 Vol 79 No 6 - 1
Passenger Transport March 2021 Vol 79 No 6 - 2
Passenger Transport March 2021 Vol 79 No 6 - 3
Passenger Transport March 2021 Vol 79 No 6 - 4
Passenger Transport March 2021 Vol 79 No 6 - 5
Passenger Transport March 2021 Vol 79 No 6 - 6
Passenger Transport March 2021 Vol 79 No 6 - 7
Passenger Transport March 2021 Vol 79 No 6 - 8
Passenger Transport March 2021 Vol 79 No 6 - 9
Passenger Transport March 2021 Vol 79 No 6 - 10
Passenger Transport March 2021 Vol 79 No 6 - 11
Passenger Transport March 2021 Vol 79 No 6 - 12
Passenger Transport March 2021 Vol 79 No 6 - 13
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