As private mobility services such as car-sharing, ridehailing, and micromobility have rapidly expanded in cities, the public sector has historically had limited access to data on how these vehicles are changing travel patterns and the movement of people — until now.
With the rise of dockless bikes and scooters, cities have successfully crafted new policies that require mobility companies to share their data with cities for transportation policy and planning. The Populus team has been partnering with cities since these services first launched to facilitate access to data on shared mobility services.
Our platform, Populus Mobility Manager, is a third-party solution that serves as a bridge between innovative mobility operators and the city transportation planners who design and manage our streets. We’re already working with cities and counties from coast to coast to access and glean insights from dockless bike and scooter data. With this information, they are now able to identify where to place new micromobility infrastructure (e.g. docking stations, protected lanes) and to develop more data-driven policies (e.g. flexible vs. static vehicle caps).
From shared bikes & scooters to shared cars
Today, we’re excited to announce a new partnership with Lime to facilitate data sharing from their free-floating car-sharing service, the LimePod. This agreement marks the first time that a private operator of shared cars is proactively delivering GPS based data through a trusted, third-party platform for data transparency.
Populus receives real-time data from Lime’s shared car fleet in a standardized format in order to report on parking utilization and deliver key insights to the city. A core feature of Populus Mobility Manager is the validation of where shared vehicles use parking to facilitate the payment of (in this case) pre-determined parking fees.
GPS based data from shared cars can also help cities assess the utilization of street parking to develop new and improved curb management strategies. It can begin to help city transportation planners answer questions such as:
- Does shifting street parking traditionally used by personally-owned vehicles (which often sit stationary for the entire day) to shared vehicles result in more efficient use of curb space?
- How long are shared vehicles typically parked for and at what times of day? How could a dynamic curb pricing strategy help optimize demand and the flow of traffic?
- Where do the trips that these shared vehicles make start and end? Are these areas that the city could prioritize as mobility hubs — placemaking to develop transit and micromobility infrastructure combined with livable spaces?
Facilitating the coordination between a major car-sharing operator to deliver much-needed data and pay for parking is just the beginning. As cities becoming increasingly crowded, transportation planners are developing new strategies to ensure that their streets are able to move as many people as safely, equitably, and efficiently as possible. This will include curb management strategies and road-pricing that can help cities more effectively allocate access to scarce public space.
At Populus, we partner with cities and mobility operators of shared bikes, scooters, and cars to help them work more seamlessly together. Through collaboration, data sharing, and coordination, we believe that cities and private mobility companies can work hand-in-hand to deliver a better transportation future — for all of us.
At Populus, we’re helping cities and private mobility providers deliver safe, efficient, and equitable streets through better data. Our core platform, Populus Mobility Manager, integrates real-time data from multiple operators (shared bikes, scooters, and cars) for cities from coast to coast. Founded by transportation PhDs from MIT and UC Berkeley, the Populus team combines over 30 years of experience building software for (and with) public agencies to plan for the future.
Are you a city looking for new data, methods, and software solutions to transition to the future of mobility? Reach out to us at email@example.com or join Populus for an upcoming webinar on the opportunities to harness new mobility data for transportation policy and planning.