The recently launched Mobility on Demand (MOD) Alliance, an initiative of the Intelligent Transportation Society of America (ITS America), has outlined its 2019 plans to coordinate and develop seamless mobility in the USA.
Unveiled at last year’s ITS World Congress in Copenhagen, Denmark, ITS America created the MOD Alliance to help determine what the future of mobility should look like. Based on the Finnish-developed Mobility-as-a-Service (MaaS) concept, the MOD Alliance’s aim is to facilitate a system in which consumers can research, book and pay for daily trips on one integrated platform, no matter what modes of transportation are offered or selected.
ITS America formed the MOD Alliance in September last year and created a task force to guide its work. Chris Murray, president and CEO of Kapsch TrafficCom North America, and Roger Millar, secretary of the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT, were appointed as co-chairs of the task force. The Alliance brings public, private and academic stakeholders together to promote the benefits of MOD and address obstacles hindering its development.
To kick off this year’s activities, the MOD Alliance hosted an event on Capitol Hill in Washington DC yesterday (January 28), featuring city, transit and private sector leaders who discussed the benefits of mobility on demand, shared examples of existing and future MOD initiatives, including public-private partnerships, and examined potential roles for Congress and federal agencies. Participants in the round table included:
• Laura Koprowski, VP of government affairs, marketing, and communications, at the Central Ohio Transit Authority (COTA;
• John Kwant, VP of city solutions at Ford;
• B J Mahal, VP of cities and mobility at Mastercard;
• Jeff Marootian, director of the District Department of Transportation (DDOT) in Washington;
• Cordell Schachter, CTO of New York City Department of Transportation (NYCDOT);
• Shailen Bhatt, president and CEO of ITS America (moderator).
Over the course of 2019, the MOD Alliance plans to:
• Identify legislative and regulatory barriers at the federal level and develop policy recommendations to encourage deployments;
• Facilitate partnerships at the state and local levels among relevant stakeholders;
• Create a framework by which the private sector can engage in providing solutions.
The Alliance will host a series of events throughout the year, beginning in Seattle, Washington State, on April 4, where the focus will be key challenges and opportunities for regional collaboration. Other events will include:
• A forum in Washington DC in conjunction with the ITS America Annual Meeting (June);
• Joint forum with the MaaS Alliance global organization during the 2019 ITS World Congress in Singapore (October);
• A forum in Los Angeles on lessons learned and next steps (December).
The MOD Alliance will also work closely in partnership with the MaaS Alliance, which is hosted by ERTICO – ITS Europe, to help ensure that ITS America captures global best practices and avoids duplicating work that is being carried out elsewhere.
“This century is about moving people, data and freight, and our challenge is how to turn the concept of seamless mobility into reality,” said Bhatt. “Many choices exist, but we must make it easier for people to choose the options that best meet their needs.”