Transit’s Surprising Advantage is Sitting Right in Your Pocket

[By Paul Goddin for Mobility Lab. Edited for this site.] With public-transit use riding a 58-year high of 10.8 billion trips last year, it only makes sense to ask: why? Technology may be partially responsible for public transit's record ridership, but probably not in the way you think. As smartphones and other electronic devices have skyrocketed in popularity, more …

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Behind the Scenes of a Transportation Tech Start-Up

[By Paul Goddin for Mobility Lab] It takes a certain amount of chutzpah to compete with the likes of Google, but that’s what a little start-up named Conveyal is doing. The firm creates digital tools to help transport authorities better communicate the wide array of available mobility options. Its new product is similar in functionality to …

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Technology “Hacks” Solve Real-World Cycling Problems

[By Paul Goddin for Mobility Lab] The bicycle was created in the 1800s, but technology is keeping it relevant with “hacks” – or solutions – designed to get more people to use bike helmets, count ridership better, and reduce the obstacles keeping people from biking. These and other innovations were on display at the latest …

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What are Cities Trying to Tell People?

[By Tom Fairchild and Paul Goddin for Mobility Lab. Published on April 30, 2014] “Does a city speak?” This provocative question – posed by Saskia Sassen (pictured above) – opened the recent Mobilities in Cities: From Visible to Invisible conference at Columbia University. It’s hard to deny that a city has life, but does it live and communicate? Sassen has …

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Smart Cities Put People First, and People Want Technology

[By Paul Goddin for Mobility Lab, published on December 13, 2013.] The Brookings Institution held a forum this week for urban planners, techies, and politicians on a topic that’s gained traction in recent years: “smart cities.” Cohosted by Barcelona’s ESADE Business School, Getting Smarter About Smart Cities included panelists from Barcelona, Amsterdam, Edmonton, and Arlington. A smart …

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Transportation Tech Bubble Makes D.C. “Ripe for Disruption”

[By Paul Goddin for Mobility Lab, published on September 27, 2013] The word “innovative” isn’t usually used in the same sentence as Washington D.C., but that adjective is surprisingly apt today. The nation’s capital has flown under the radar to become one of the leaders in transportation innovation. Recently launched services such as Uber, Hailo, Capital Bikeshare, Hitch, …

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Pop-Up Buses, Cell-Phone Data are Big Winners at Transit Tech Competition

[By Paul Goddin for Mobility Lab, published on June 25, 2013] Above, Josephine Kressner and Virginia Secretary of Transportation Sean Connaughton One might expect the future of transportation to involve teleportation machines, but, at the recent “Outside the Box” competition, presenters were less “Back to the Future”-style flying skateboards than real-world innovations that could be actually implemented to …

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