Published: October 28, 2022
Originally published by American City & County on 10/21/22
Trends in transportation and mobility are quickly evolving, evidenced by wide-ranging shifts that impact the way people get around, where and when they work, and how they commute to their jobs. Gone are the days when cars were the stars and public transit the backbone of any major city, as unexpected changes triggered by the pandemic have vastly transformed modern commuters’ needs and preferences.
Take San Francisco, for example, where today the Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) system is experiencing a prolonged decrease in ridership—down 60 percent compared to 2019 levels—as more and more people adopt widely popular micro-mobility options like rideshares, e-scooters and e-bikes. According to a study released in July by Boston Consulting Group, who surveyed 11,400 consumers in 23 metropolitan areas in the U.S. and across the globe, 42 percent of current users rely on micro-mobility for leisure activities, 39 percent for commuting, and 36 percent for running errands. In response, savvy municipal planners and parking operators in the private sector must utilize Transportation Demand Management (TDM) to develop and implement solutions that lean into these changes.
TDM is a strategy developed to meet the needs of the modern commuter. It supports alternative methods of transportation to maximize mobility options for the public in a city or employees on a private company campus. The key is to create an ecosystem that provides high-demand equipment, like e-bikes and e-scooters, at convenient public transit points near residences and businesses. With this equipment, people can commute, whether to work or other daily destinations, on their terms.
From rideshares to the wide variety of active transportation options, each mode of transit serves as a different layer of the ecosystem and supports the overall goal of promoting sustainability. Offering alternatives to single occupancy vehicle (SOV) commuting, like shuttles and rideshares, ultimately benefits the environment by reducing road congestion and protecting air quality. In addition, micro-mobility options, like e-bikes and e-scooters, promote an active lifestyle, fostering healthier communities.
Propark Mobility manages parking and TDM for some of the world’s most visible companies, like Google and Apple. Through strategic implementation, clients have adopted parking and TDM practices to reduce the number of vehicles on campus and enhance vanpools and micro-mobility. TDM’s growing popularity on technology campuses has transcended, more broadly, to the general public, serving as the catalyst for the transformation of municipal parking management plans and transportation management plans.
TDM’s transformation in planning and preparation for the future is symbolically linked to the long-term success of the electric vehicle (EV) movement, and the actions taken now are crucial to creating the infrastructure and environments needed to reduce America’s reliance on oil and help EVs to thrive. Electric vehicle sales in the U.S. have increased by more than 40 percent each year, on average, since 2016, and according to a report recently released by McKinsey & Company, America will require some 1.2 million public EV chargers and 28 million private EV chargers by 2030.
Helping to overcome a major pain point for meeting this immense challenge is the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law recently passed by Congress and enacted by President Biden that provides $7.5 billion for state and local governments to build 500,000 EV charging stations in the years to come. In lock step with this evolution in parking and transportation planning, we must implement Transportation Demand Management in our cities, towns and campuses to incite further transformation in daily commutes. Following this roadmap, we can offer a diverse range of sustainable transportation solutions that support not only our commuters but our communities, as well.
Christiansen Zamora is regional vice president for Mobility at Propark Mobility, one of the nation’s largest privately owned parking and mobility companies with over 750 locations in more than 100 cities. For more information, visit Propark.com.