Civic engagement is the key to successful mobility – Cities Today

Establishing what residents and commuters want and how this can be incorporated into policy has been a priority for transit agencies and government departments over the past year.

At a recent Cities Today online roundtable, transit leaders discussed how civic engagement initiatives have helped guide and shape their priorities, policies and budgets.

In Miami, across the county Thrive 305 The initiative, launched earlier this year by Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava, leverages public opinion through a survey and a series of virtual workshops to inform the ‘action plan’ of administration – a bottom-up political framework and community.

The city has engaged with thousands of residents, with a focus on initiatives focused on equitable recovery and community.

Miami-Dade Transit is currently overhaul its bus network to increase frequent routes and create better connections across the county. He created a cartographic visualization for residents interested in submitting comments on the proposed program.

The county is also evaluating how to take advantage of the increase in cycling seen during the pandemic, focusing on issues such as parking and safety.

Confidence of commuters

Getting commuters back on public transport is a common theme in cities around the world, with confidence shattered by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The private sector has complemented the city’s efforts with innovative use of data to better understand how to make it a reality.

“We ingest data and share it to find out what’s important to the citizen and to city operations. This can be used to entice people to use public transportation or to bring people who haven’t used it at all before, ”said Bill Baver, vice president of the platform, NTT.

In Melbourne, Australia, the company recently rolled out an app for the city’s rail system where commuters can see in advance the saturation rate of selected stations and trains.

The tool displays the current and expected level of attendance of trains, stations and platforms on metro lines, displayed using icons, ranging from “very quiet” to “very busy”.

“It’s really about giving commuters and citizens confidence that they can come back and use the services,” Baver added.

Cities are also increasingly turning to expanding reward and incentive programs as a way to get people back to public transport.

In November 2020, mobility rewards platform Velocia team up with the Miami-Dade County Department of Transportation and Public Works (DTPW) to provide incentives to its users.

Riders of all routes are recognized for completing a daily survey promoting protective face masks and social distancing measures put in place by DTPW on all Miami-Dade trains and buses.

A second rewards campaign encourages riders of the busiest Metrobus routes to travel outside peak hours to ensure there are enough seats for essential workers on limited-capacity buses.

The rewards are fixed-value tokens ($ 0.01) and can be redeemed for a range of services, including Lyft and Uber Eats coupons, Citi bicycle rentals, carsharing services, and ferry tickets.

Image: Richard Tanswell (Flickr)

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