2019 Mobility Trends by Kate Wagoner, Director of Urban Mobility, Passport

January 17, 2019




2019 Mobility Trends



by Kate Wagoner, Director of Urban Mobility, Passport




The mobility industry has been changing rapidly and 2019 will bring even more innovations, challenges, and opportunities. Below are four mobility trends that Passport expects to hear more about this year.


Scooters and micro-mobility

Electric scooters took the world by storm in 2018, as Bird, Lime and others dropped scooters on city streets, creating great excitement and debate among citizens, city leaders and mobility companies. With more than 20 million scooter rides taken to date and the continued expansion into more cities in the U.S. and abroad, we anticipate continued conversations about how best to manage this new mode of transportation.


One hot topic is the regulation of scooters and other forms of micro-mobility. Will cities pass legislation to ban scooters, like Asheville and Beverly Hills? Or will they forgo regulations, like the City of Charlotte, which instead created a pilot program to partner with scooter companies?


Another issue will be how best to balance supply and demand. The Charlotte scooter pilot addressed this challenge by requiring scooter companies to share data about utilization rates, average ridership, etc. As more cities attempt to manage the scooters on their streets, they will need a way to aggregate the data from multiple companies, alongside other mobility data, and a way to manage and communicate information about rules, rates and regulations back to the scooter providers.


Mixmodal management: putting the customer first

Municipalities are riddled with public transit choices, plus self-guided options such as scooters and bike-sharing. With so many possibilities, citizens can use multiple modes of transportation to get from Point A to Point B, but have to manage each mode separately. Agencies are recognizing this trend and shifting from mode-oriented services to user-oriented. We’re already seeing a convergence of transportation options, especially when it comes to first/last mile solutions. For the Charlotte Area Transit System, Passport helped facilitate a partnership with Lyft to offer subsidized rides to for from bus stations, helping to increase public transit usage.


Another example of the shift to mixmodal is Miami-Dade’s Department of Transportation and Public Works (DTPW). In 2016, Miami-Dade reorganized its entire transportation system under one umbrella agency to embrace the idea of mobility management and improve the transportation experience for citizens. In 2019 and beyond, more cities will consolidate their mobility operations and look to understand how different modes of transportation work together in their cities.


Autonomous Vehicles (AVs) and connected cars

Beyond new modes of mobility like scooters, 2019 will bring continued innovation in existing forms of transportation, particularly with vehicles. Connected cars are the first step to create an ecosystem where cars can communicate with other devices inside and outside of the vehicle. There are many possibilities for how a connected system can improve the driving and parking experience. Imagine if a car pulled into a parking spot and the in-car infotainment system automatically prompted parking payment with the touch of a button. That dream may become a reality in the next few years.


AVs will continue to be a topic of conversation as cities try to determine how they can bring AVs to their streets in a way that is safe and effective. In 2018, Las Vegas piloted an autonomous bus shuttle and Miami created dedicated AV pick-up and drop-off zones and we may see AV ride-sharing in San Francisco and Phoenix later this year. To prepare for the eventual introduction of AVs, cities will need to take actions to change their physical and digital infrastructure to accommodate. Widespread adoption of AVs may still be a few years away, as cities work through legislation, but conversation about how to prepare this futuristic innovation will continue.


Dynamic pricing for responsive cities

This pricing model can be a way for cities to help manage congestion on their streets. Outside of ride-hailing services, other transportation authorities are utilizing dynamic pricing. The San Francisco Bay Bridge employs congestion pricing and charges a higher toll during rush hour to cut down on bridge traffic and the Long Island Rail Road charges higher fares at peak times. Some cities have tried dynamic pricing models for on-street parking, such as Boston and Chicago, with varying levels of success.


In 2019, we expect to see dynamic pricing models evolve and get applied to other modes of transportation, such as scooters. Through Passport’s mobility platform, cities can determine parking rates at the curb that would apply to any vehicles stopped there, from parked cars, public buses, delivery vehicles, scooters, and ride-hailing vehicles, and have the ability to dynamically change parking rates to impact congestion.


All of these trends have one thing in common: the curbside. Continued innovation, with micro-mobility, connected vehicles and new technologies, is leading to increased congestion and competition at the curb. To make cities more livable for their citizens and continue driving economic growth, cities need a way to understand and manage their unique mobility ecosystems. These are the conversations that we are having with our clients every day, trying to understand the challenges they face and provide a customizable solution with our mobility platform to help cities address today’s challenges and be prepared for the future.