At Modern Mobility Partners, we recognize transportation agencies across the country are struggling with how to come up with concrete courses of action that can help them plan for emerging technologies and autonomous vehicles.  To assist with these challenges, Modern Mobility Partners creates and publishes a Tuesday Tip every week on our company Facebook page.  If you are interested in seeing them in your weekly feed on Facebook, be sure to follow us at www.facebook.com/modernmobilitypartners.  For those of you that don’t use Facebook or would just like to see one comprehensive list, we’ve decided to add them to our web page below and will update them weekly.  Stay tuned for next week’s Tuesday Tip!


Published 5/29/18

ModMob’s Tuesday Tip #17:

Currently, truck drivers are only permitted to drive a maximum of 11-hours after a 10-hour break.  It is anticipated that highly autonomous trucks will operate along the interstates with human truck drivers to navigate the surface streets once off the interstate.  This new model could impact truck parking needs and locations, road pavement deterioration rates, interstate freight congestion, warehousing models, rail/truck mode shift (potentially), etc.  From developing high level statewide strategies to local work programs or projects, consider conducting a freight impacts analysis to assist with developing investment strategies and priorities.  Check us out at www.modernmobilitypartners.com.


Published 5/15/18

ModMob’s Tuesday Tip #16:

Have you heard the term Mobility as a Service (MaaS) but wasn’t sure what it meant?  Well, after attending the ITS International MaaS Market conference this past week, how exactly one defines it is up for debate.  However, if we had to state it simply, it’s about providing trip planning and payment across transportation modes and operators all in one mobile app.  We heard from MaaS providers all over the world at the conference that to come to your region, they need open data, transportation choices and inventory across modes, and a willingness to partner.  What can transportation agencies do to start the process?  Consider bringing all the transportation providers in your region together, including but not limited to transit, ride share, car share, and bike share, to discuss data requirements, inventory, and partnering opportunities.  At a minimum, it’s critical that we as transportation planners define the vision for MaaS before someone else does.  Check us out at www.modernmobilitypartners.com.


Published 5/1/18

ModMob’s Tuesday Tip #15:

Are you trying to figure out if you have any projects eligible for the USDOT’s BUILD Transportation Grant Program announced last Friday and don’t know where to begin?  Illustrated here is our suggested high-level project screening approach.  In case you missed it over the weekend, you can find our 2-pager highlights of the BUILD grant NOFO here.

How to Choose Projects Funnel


Published 4/24/18

ModMob’s Tuesday Tip #14:

Ever think about testing different emerging technologies but don’t know where to start?  Consider identifying one or more areas or corridors as transportation innovation zones.  These zones should meet different criteria that might be ripe for testing connected vehicles and/or infrastructure, autonomous vehicles, alternative pavement technologies, electric vehicle charging technologies, early warning systems for pedestrians, transit vehicle technology, signage, and/or lighting, etc.  How might you identify and prioritize these transportation innovation zones? Evaluation criteria might include some combination of the mix and exposure to different modes (vehicles, transit, pedestrians, cyclists, trucks, etc.); congestion levels and traffic volumes; proximity to event traffic, major activity centers, science and technology centers, and disadvantaged communities; land use and urban design characteristics; number and types of intersections; different types of road surfaces and grading; use of emergency vehicles; fiber capacity, etc.  Check us out at www.modernmobilitypartners.com.


Published 4/3/18

ModMob’s Tuesday Tip #13:

Steps 10-12 of 12 Ways to Incorporate Emerging Technologies and Autonomous Vehicles into your Long-Range Transportation Plan

This completes that last 3 steps of our 12 ways to incorporate emerging technologies and autonomous vehicles into your long-range transportation plan.  Scroll down to see Tuesday Tips #10, #11, and #12 for steps 1-9.

  • Evaluate the impact of electric vehicles on transportation revenue and consider alternate revenue streams. For more information, scroll down to Tuesday Tip #4.
  • Develop a funding strategy that leverages innovative components of projects for potential grant opportunities. Grant opportunities often include innovation as one of the merit criteria used to select projects.  By including innovation in more projects, you open yourself up to more funding possibilities.
  • Revisit your plan annually to determine if any interim analyses should be conducted that might reshape the outcome of your plan. Given the rapid pace of evolving technologies, too much can change if you wait 4-5 years before your next federally required plan update.

Interested in learning more about how Modern Mobility Partners can help account for emerging technologies and autonomous vehicles in your planning efforts?  Check us out at www.modernmobilitypartners.com.


Published 3/27/18

ModMob’s Tuesday Tip #12:

Steps 7-9 of 12 Ways to Incorporate Emerging Technologies and Autonomous Vehicles into your Long-Range Transportation Plan

This is a continuation of last week’s 12 ways to incorporate emerging technologies and autonomous vehicles into your long-range transportation plan.  Scroll down to see Tuesday Tips #10 and #11 for steps 1-6.

  • Consider the impact of emerging technologies on the aging and disabled, including increased opportunities to age in place.
  • Create a more diverse portfolio of projects for evaluation that might also include testing alternative pavements, re-striping, electric vehicle charging infrastructure, curbside management, testing of new technologies, etc. For more information, scroll down to Tuesday Tips #2 and #5.
  • Re-evaluate planning-level cost estimate assumptions to reflect emerging technologies and potential design criteria impacts. For more information, scroll down to Tuesday Tip #7.

Stay tuned for the remaining steps 10-12 next Tuesday!  Interested in learning more about how Modern Mobility Partners can help account for emerging technologies and autonomous vehicles in your planning efforts?  Check us out at www.modernmobilitypartners.com.


ModMob’s Tuesday Tip #11:

Published 3/20/18

Steps 4-6 of 12 Ways to Incorporate Emerging Technologies and Autonomous Vehicles into your Long-Range Transportation Plan

This is a continuation of last week’s start of our 12 ways to incorporate emerging technologies and autonomous vehicles into your long-range transportation plan.  Scroll down to last week’s Tuesday Tip for steps 1-3.

  • Explore new data options to evaluate current and evolving travel behavior, such as continuous National Household Survey (NHTS), American Time Use Survey (ATUS), Omnibus Surveys, GPS-trace and cellphone-trace data and travel apps, such as Waze. A better understanding of travel patterns and shifts will provide a critical foundation for the long-range transportation planning process and ensure effective and equitable mobility options.
  • Develop alternate future scenarios to account for potential “what if” scenarios based on the potential mix of autonomous vehicles and different investment strategies.
  • Consider developing and applying off-model post-processing tools that predict shorter-term travel behavior scenarios that complement the traditional travel demand models in place today.

Stay tuned for steps 7-9 next Tuesday!  Interested in learning more about how Modern Mobility Partners can help account for emerging technologies and autonomous vehicles in your planning efforts?  Check us out at www.modernmobilitypartners.com.


ModMob’s Tuesday Tip #10:

Published 3/13/18

Steps 1-3 of 12 Ways to Incorporate Emerging Technologies and Autonomous Vehicles into your Long-Range Transportation Plan

Ever wonder how you might account for emerging technologies and autonomous vehicles in your long-range transportation plan?  We don’t have a crystal ball for what the world might look like 20-25 years from now.  However, we can certainly suggest some ways to start integrating emerging technologies and autonomous vehicles into your planning process now.  Here are steps 1-3.  Stay tuned each Tuesday for the remaining steps!

  • Define your vision for how people live, work, and play in your region before someone else does. Auto manufacturers are moving ahead with autonomous vehicles regardless of whether we are ready for them.  Take full advantage of the benefits of autonomous vehicles and plan and mitigate for the trade-offs.
  • Develop goals, objectives, and a project prioritization framework that align with this new forward-thinking vision. Consider developing new evaluation criteria, metrics, and weighting scenarios used to rank projects that promote this new vision.
  • Broaden your stakeholder group to include partners that can educate you on evolving challenges and opportunities, such as your local transportation management center, law enforcement, and even a ride-hailing company representative and/or trucking company, among others.

Stay tuned for steps 4-6 next Tuesday!  Interested in learning more about how Modern Mobility Partners can help account for emerging technologies and autonomous vehicles in your planning efforts? Check out our consulting service areas at www.modernmobilitypartners.com


ModMob’s Tuesday Tip #9

Published 3/6/18

Did you know that Atlanta’s airport is the #7 Uber destination in the WORLD? Furthermore, all 15 of Uber’s top 15 destinations are airports.  No big surprise there.  As of 6 months ago, Lyft had agreements with approximately 240 airports and Uber had more than 100.  As part of TRB’s Airport Cooperative Research Program (ACRP) Synthesis 84 Report, a survey was done of airports across the country, which found that many airports are experiencing increasing curbside congestion, staging areas, signage, and enforcement needs; while at the same time, parking revenues are diminishing and airports are beginning to think about renegotiating concession agreements with other transportation service providers.  The share of passengers choosing ride-hailing services over driving and parking their own car at airports is only going to increase.  Perhaps airports should consider developing an actionable plan to accommodate the disruption of ride-hailing services and ultimately, autonomous vehicles, including determining if ride-hailing fees offset the parking revenue impacts, parking infrastructure capacity impacts and potential redevelopment, curbside management and enforcement, concession agreements, etc.

Learn more about our consulting service areas at:  www.modernmobilitypartners.com


ModMob’s Tuesday Tip #8

Published 2/27/18

How many times have you heard, “How can we plan for transportation infrastructure when we don’t know how much capacity we are going to need in the future due to autonomous vehicles?”  Too many times to count I’m sure.  How about looking at multiple investment scenarios, one of which could focus on bridges?  Think about it, no matter if a human is driving the vehicle or not, vehicles will still be driving on our bridges.  Over 60,000 bridges in the U.S. are considered structurally deficient.  Not to mention that container ships are getting bigger every year.  The largest ships carried 1,530 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) in 1968 and now 50 years later, they can carry upwards of 22,000 TEUs!  Why is this important?  The bigger the ship, the more bridge clearance is needed for those bridges near ports.  Perhaps one investment scenario could focus on structurally deficient bridges and/or bridges that may need to have the bridge clearance increased in the future to allow for continued economic growth.

Like the way we think?  Learn more about our consulting service areas at www.modernmobilitypartners.com


ModMob’s Tuesday Tip #7

Published 2/20/18

Electric vehicles (EV) currently make up about 1% of the market share in the U.S.  However, this percentage is on the rise and some project that the EV market share will increase to 30% by 2030, which is just 12 years away.  EVs are so much quieter than our traditional internal combustion engine cars that the USDOT’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) had to issue minimum sound requirements in 2016 for EVs operating at lower speeds (< 19 mph) to improve pedestrian safety.  EV trucks will also be quieter.  Does that mean we will still need noise barriers to reduce traffic noise along major roadways?  What does that mean for new construction, reconstruction, and widening projects?  With noise barriers averaging close to $4 million per mile in cost, as well as taking additional time to construct, it would be worthwhile to consider conducting a noise screening analysis early in the project development process prior to a more detailed noise study during the NEPA process.  If the noise levels are borderline, noise walls may not be necessary going forward with the increasing market share of EVs.  Perhaps the cost estimate and delivery schedule could be reduced but allow for contingencies as a safety net?

Learn more about our consulting service areas at www.modernmobilitypartners.com


ModMob’s Tuesday Tip #6

Published 2/13/18

Will traditional transit still be necessary after the advent of autonomous vehicles?  We think so, but it will look and feel different.  Aside from all the technological advances to the transit vehicle itself, how we plan for transit will be different.  A 2016 CUTR study indicated that on average, individuals spend approximately $0.48 per vehicle mile to own and operate personal vehicles.  Transit passengers pay $0.26 per mile in fares, whereas transportation network company (TNC) fares range between $0.65 and $2.00 per mile.  However, fully autonomous shared vehicles are estimated to cost as low as $0.20 to $0.50 per mile.  Added to the mix is the high cost to transit operators.  The average operating cost per transit trip for U.S. transit operators was $3.68 in 2014 with a farebox recovery of 39%.  For paratransit trips, the cost was $34.43 per paratransit trip with a farebox recovery of only 8%.  Since we know that cost and convenience are typically the largest influencers on how people get from point A to point B, perhaps transit operators should consider focusing on providing fixed route transit service on high ridership corridors and providing paratransit services for those that require wheelchairs and more assistance.  They could then partner with the TNCs (the Ubers and Lyfts of the world) to provide first- and last-mile connectivity, trips in lower ridership areas, and paratransit services that don’t require much assistance.  The City of Summitt, NJ initiated a pilot partnership program with Uber in 2017 to provide first- and last-mile trips which is expected to save them from having to expand their park-and-ride lot.  Bottom line, TNCs, particularly autonomous shared vehicles operating at a lower cost to passengers, can complement transit providing more convenient and less expensive mobility options to users.

Learn more about our consulting service areas at www.modernmobilitypartners.com


ModMob’s Tuesday Tip #5

Published 2/6/18

Just like the way our commute is evolving, so is the pavement we are walking, riding, and driving on.  Emerging technologies, such as roadside wifi sensors and solar pavement, can not only increase the time available for human drivers to intervene while in an autonomous vehicle, as well as charge electric vehicles, but they can even generate revenue with any excess wifi and solar energy. Sensors can be installed in roadbeds to dynamically monitor and report the condition of the pavement.  DOTs, cities, counties, and alike, before you do any extensive resurfacing or repaving, consider doing a roadway conditions inventory and develop a phasing plan for testing out emerging pavement materials and technologies.  Who knew pavement could be so exciting?

Learn more about our consulting service areas at www.modernmobilitypartners.com


ModMob’s Tuesday Tip #4

Published 1/30/18

Currently, the majority of transportation infrastructure funding comes from the gas tax.  However, not only are vehicles becoming increasingly more fuel efficient, but auto makers are building progressively more electric vehicles, not to mention that autonomous vehicles are expected to be predominantly electric.  What will the impact of electric vehicles have on transportation infrastructure revenue, both at the federal and state levels?  Consider evaluating different electric vehicle “what if” scenarios as part of your long-range transportation planning process and how they might impact both revenues and expenditures, including the types of transportation projects based on different mobility needs.   Moreover, start researching other revenue generation opportunities now so that policies can be put in place in time to sustain funding levels.

Learn more about our consulting service areas at www.modernmobilitypartners.com


ModMob’s Tuesday Tip #3

Published 1/23/18

You’ve heard it right?  Once highly autonomous vehicles (HAVs) are in full force, we won’t need parking anymore, or at least not in high priced real estate areas.  Whether you believe that HAVs will be here in 5, 10, or 20 years, we can likely all agree that once they are here, there will be a major impact to parking.  What about gas stations?  Will we still need those?   The majority of HAVs will be electric. A land use redevelopment plan that includes an inventory of parking and gas stations at a minimum, could be a great opportunity to identify potential redevelopment opportunities for prime real estate locations, increasing quality of life, revenues, and economic competitiveness.  Sounds like a good return on investment in our book.

Learn more about our consulting service areas at www.modernmobilitypartners.com


ModMob’s Tuesday Tip #2

Published 1/16/18

With the advent of transportation network companies, like Uber and Lyft, and the increase in online shopping expected to double between 2016 and 2020 (according to https://www.statista.com/topics/2477/online-shopping-behavior/), curbside loading zones for passengers and freight are becoming more and more critical.  Consider curbside flex zones!  The National Association of City Transportation Officials (NACTO) has a great dynamic illustration of curbside flex zones which can change throughout the day.  Learn more at: https://nacto.org/publication/bau/curbside-management/

Learn more about our consulting service areas at www.modernmobilitypartners.com


ModMob’s Tuesday Tip #1

Published 1/9/18

How many times have you heard “We don’t even know where to begin” when it comes to preparing for autonomous vehicles?  Why not conduct an autonomous vehicle readiness and impacts plan? Be sure to evaluate the opportunities and impacts to policy, revenue, economic competitiveness, workforce development, land use, urban design, transportation planning, traffic operations, technology interoperability, roadway design, freight, transit planning and operations, and landside aviation planning, as well as stakeholder coordination and public education and messaging, just to name a few!  Seems like a lot, but isn’t that the point?

Learn more about our consulting service areas at www.modernmobilitypartners.com