Event Recap: Technology and Urban Mobility

Technology in Urban Mobility Panel

Panelists Monica DaCosta (PA NY & NJ), Brian Ferris (Google), Adam Ernst (iTrans), Ernest Tollerson (MTA) and Jeff Maki (OpenPlans), and moderator Sarah Kaufman (NYU Rudin Center) discuss technology in transportation management on May 1 at the Rudin Center.

This morning’s panel, Technology and Urban Mobility: Perspectives from the Front Lines, covered the successes and challenges from the views of transportation agencies, non-governmental associations, private companies, and app developers. Some takeaways from the event:

– Releasing data for customer information is often perceived by the public as a luxury expense in the face of service cutbacks, but in actually, expenses related to data releases are negligible compared to those of transportation services. Providing extensive data makes the best use of the resources currently available.

– What is openness in transportation? Open data, transparent administrative documents, and the use of open source management systems.

– Transportation agencies are often so wrapped up in building tools with ever-decreasing resources that they often neglect coordination with adjoining agencies. It’s something they’re working on.

– What we’re most concerned about: the digital divide among those with and without smartphones, the dwindling resources of transportation providers, and a catastrophic event resulting in failures of transportation and communications infrastructure.

– Where we’re headed in the future: Real-time data, information customized for each user, and use of emerging communications tools for enhanced transportation management.

– Providing transportation services is a thankless task, and is not sexy enough for adequate public attention or resources. Remember to thank your transportation providers today!

Thanks to all who participated and attended, and we look forward to seeing you at the next event, Walking and the Life of the City, on June 7th.

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