Pittsburgh’s new MaaS platform and mobility hubs are meant to help “common fundamental mobility”
- Pittsburgh aims to provide universal basic mobility to low-income residents new Mobility-as-a-Service (MaaS) platform that provides access to public transport and shared mobility services.
- Move PGH, designed by Transit App, will provide users with travel planning and booking information from its partners – Spin electric scooters, Carpooling from Zipcar, electric scooters from Scoobi, carpooling from Waze Carpool – as well as real-time bus and train information from TransitScreen. The platform will also support 50 new mobility hubs: locations that combine multiple modes of transport, including collections of shared vehicles.
- As part of a universal basic mobility pilot, the city will offer monthly subscriptions financed by grants for 100 low-income people for six months. Manchester Citizens Corp., a local community development organization, will also offer “travel coaching” to ensure these individuals know how to use the services provided. “Access to transportation and mobility is the # 1 way to improve a person’s economic stability,” said Kim Lucas, associate director of the Pittsburgh Department of Mobility and Infrastructure (DOMI). Move PGH will promote “affordable, sustainable mobility” instead of private car ownership, Lucas added.
As new mobility options have flooded the cities, private companies have sprung up to organize these options and offer different users One-stop apps for travel planning. Companies like over and elevator have tried to bundle services and traffic information on their own platforms; other companies like transit and Cubic, have sought partnerships with cities and transport companies. Some even integrate ticket and payment information to handle cross-platform trips in one place.
Move PGH brings together a variety of private partners with DOMI and the city’s port authority, which controls public transport, for a city-run app with multiple transportation options, including e-scooters. Language in a recently approved state budget enables Pittsburgh to approve e-scootersthat had previously been illegal in Pennsylvania.
Regina Clewlow, CEO of traffic data company Populus, which worked with Spin and DOMI on data sharing for the platform, said cities could learn a lot from the “open ecosystem” model, which brings together multiple isolated data and management sources. By leveraging existing technology, Clewlow says Pittsburgh can help “drive the platform’s bottom line.”
The platform will also help set up and locate mobility centers that will pick up vehicles and place them in accessible, reliable locations for users, based on where the vehicles are most frequently used and picked up.
Karen Lichtmann, Metro21 Executive Director: Smart Cities Institute at Carnegie Mellon University said that having a multitude of public and private partners in one place, DOMI can incentivize safer and more sustainable mobility in line with the city’s transportation destinations.
“Spin couldn’t do it alone, the Port Authority couldn’t do it alone. That won’t work without the public-private partnership, ”said Lightman, whose institute participated in early discussions around the Move PGH. was involved platform. “Much of our infrastructure is focused on cars … but this platform is designed to help people get around.”
The MaaS platform is also an important step in Pittsburgh’s push towards to achieve universal basic mobility, the idea that governments should provide all residents with an affordable, accessible base for transportation. Noisy US Bureau of Transportation Statistics of, traffic was the second largest spending for American households in 2019, only following housing construction if certain household expenditures such as health care were excluded.
Reducing those costs, Lucas said, may be too new employment and health opportunities for low-income residents. Move PGH’s diverse transportation options and interest in locating mobility centers in low-income areas should encourage households not to rely solely on an expensive private vehicle and instead explore how alternative options can be more convenient or sustainable.
“We want to make sure that all trips are done in the best possible way. You should be able to get fresh fruits and vegetables without driving a car,” said Lucas.
Some transport companies have also investigated it free or discounted tariffs for low-income residents, especially as authorities recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. Lucas said the six-month universal basic mobility pilot’s results will guide future efforts for affordable mobility, adding that there is little concern that discounted subscriptions will reduce revenue.
“We hope to be able to make a convincing case that you will improve their economic situation by helping people achieve mobility gains,” said Lucas. “We may find resources to support this from places other than drivers’ pockets.”