Austin, Texas, Poised to Be Commercial Hub for “New Mobility”
Mobility Pilot Projects
We conducted mobility transformation pilot projects in select cities to create a scalable model for other cities nationally and globally.
What We’ve Done
Community Mobility Hub
In collaboration with five mobility service companies, a public engagement firm, and a number of community organizations, RMI designed and implemented a neighborhood-based access point for mobility, where public transit and new mobility services are readily available for use. Our team also introduced a number of urban space improvements intended to enhance the experience of accessing services and Mobility hub report final using the space around them. RMI and its partners added shading, trees, a variety of plants, and food trucks to transform a space that was largely dedicated to personal vehicles.
Integrated Commuting Solution
We developed an integrated commuting solution for employees of two downtown Austin companies, Whole Foods Market and GSD&M, which both provided financial investment. The solution includes shuttle service provided by Chariot (a first- and last-mile circulator between company offices and downtown Austin transit hubs) and on-demand mobility options (carshare, bikeshare, ridehailing) integrated together as a single package.
We conceived and proposed a concession model that could drive high-penetration of EVs operating out of Austin Bergstrom International Airport. And we created a low-price purchase/finance program for EV’s for Ride Austin transportation network company drivers. We also helped identify 330 vehicles in the City of Austin’s fleet that could be replaced by electric vehicles. The city has agreed to purchase those vehicles by 2020 through a municipal lease program, and expects to save $3.5 million over ten years, even after factoring in the cost of installing charging stations for every vehicle.
City Resolution on Autonomous and Electric Vehicles
We helped the City of Austin pass a resolution in City Council directing the city manager to design a plan to help shift the city’s transportation system to one that enables shared, electric, and autonomous mobility services. It also proposes a new Chief of Electric Vehicle/Autonomous Vehicle transportation services. It’s a significant step towards establishing Austin as a hub for the commercialization of new mobility services and technologies.
As one of the fastest growing cities in the country, Austin is preparing for the future by updating its land development code. RMI worked directly with the City of Austin to incorporate leading urban design and parking practices that will foster the growth of an accessible and sustainable mobility system.
Boulder, Colorado, USA - August 5, 2007: Shoppers in the Pearl Street Mall in Boulder Colorado on a beautiful summer morning.
Door to Downtown
The Door to Downtown (d2d) pilot program in Boulder, Colorado, gave riders going to downtown Boulder $5 off a ride with their preferred rideshare partner—Lyft, Uber, or zTrip. Return rides home were discounted with a minimum purchase from a participating merchant. This gave downtown Boulder customers a chance to experience the future of personal mobility while testing a new approach to moving people through the city. It also boosted business for downtown retailers. The d2d pilot offered a unique opportunity to test the demand for new transportation options when they are essentially the same price as driving and parking. For the first time, we could test the price elasticity of demand for mobility services.
“RMI is helping us innovate the way our city imagines the possibilities in the first place, which is absolutely critical as we move from an unworkable status quo toward a future that no American city has yet reached.”
‐Steve Adler, Mayor of Austin, Texas
Austin's New Mobility Resolution, passed in March 2017
Boulder, Colorado, USA - May 12, 2013: People in traffic in downtown Boulder. Boulder is a college town at the foot of the Rocky Mountains and known for its beautiful weather and cultural scene.
Test-driving Mobility's Future in Boulder, Colorado
Reimagining the Urban Form: Austin’s Community Mobility Hub, 2018