Is bigger better?

New analysis of FARS data by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety points to crashes being more survivable for drivers of large SUVs than for drivers of smaller cars. While driver death is one measure of safety, there are a number of other criteria that offer a richer story of SUV safety, such as their contribution to emissions and increased dangers to those not inside the vehicle.

New mindset needed to address congestion, says MassDOT

A new report from the Massachusetts DOT dives into the state’s growing traffic congestion to understand the causes and potential solutions. It points to the rapid outward growth around Boston as one of the main causes, and suggests the current situation calls for bold new solutions aimed at connecting people and places while managing demand, rather than simply keeping roads moving.

TDOT puts Complete Streets policy into practice

The Tennessee Department of Transportation adopted a “multimodal access” policy in 2015, but recognized that the policy alone would have limited impact without a more comprehensive approach to improving safety for everyone. Since then, TDOT has taken steps to update its practices across the department to improve safety and access for people walking, biking, and taking transit, bringing a Complete Streets approach into all of the internal machinery that makes the agency run. Many of the changes TDOT has made could be replicated or adapted by other states.

Netflix-of-transportation app guiding users toward sustainable mode choices

The Whim app, launched a year ago in Helsinki, partners with local public and private transportation providers, bundling transit and taxi fares, bikeshare trips, and other mobility services into a monthly subscription, with tickets based on the regional mode choice and travel behavior. A recent analysis of the data shows that this Mobility as a Service app allows residents to use the existing system more efficiently and improve their choices for each trip.

Netflix-of-transportation app guiding users toward sustainable mode choices

The Whim app, launched a year ago in Helsinki, partners with local public and private transportation providers, bundling transit and taxi fares, bikeshare trips, and other mobility services into a monthly subscription, with tickets based on the regional mode choice and travel behavior. A recent analysis of the data shows that this Mobility as a Service app allows residents to use the existing system more efficiently and improve their choices for each trip.

Study: Carlessness drives incomes down

New York City has its share of income disparity problems. However, in terms of transportation, at least parts of New York stand out as places that live up to the idea of providing equity through multimodal choice. A new paper by David King of Arizona State University and two co-authors finds that residents of Manhattan suffer no economic penalty if they lack a car. In the rest of the country—and even in the more suburban borough of Staten Island—that’s not the case.

Lyft tests mobility as a service across major U.S. cities

The move toward “mobility as a service” took a step forward last week when Lyft expanded a pilot program, for people who agree not to drive a private car, to dozens of cities. The “Ditch Your Car Challenge” program, initially offered just in Chicago but now in 35 additional cities, offers to provide credits for Lyft, transit, bike share, scooter share, and car share modes. The modes vary by city, but the credits are substantial in all of them. Fifty to 100 participants will be selected in each city.

Can we bring back the golden era of transit in the U.S.?

A recent statistics brief by Union Internationale des Transports Publics compares transit ridership and metro infrastructure development around the world. Although U.S. cities were among the first to introduce subways and elevated trains as a form of public transportation, the statistics are clear that in the past few decades there has been little to no development in this transit sector. However, a few transit systems are innovating to boost their ridership and integrate it with other new modes.

New multimodal trip data on the horizon

StreetLight Data, which provides trip-making data compiled from cellphones and mobile devices, recently announced a new multimodal data initiative called “M2.” The company has offered data from personal and commercial vehicles for several years. SSTI used these data for a study of travel demand management opportunities in Northern Virginia. By incorporating additional data from location-based services, the company can now identify trips made by walking, biking, transit, and potentially other modes.