New Mobility and Technology

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The growth of urban areas of all sizes requires the innovative use of technology and new mobility options. Our research on technologies (including connected vehicles/autonomous vehicles, electric vehicles, micromobility, ITS, and more) has a role in advancing mobility, increasing safety, and ensuring that new modes of travel are not leaving users behind. Download the full literature review of NITC research in new mobility and technology here, and stay tuned for two-page summary this Summer 2022.

What are the impacts of our research on implementing new mobility and technology to serve all road users? Learn about some impact stories below.

In a series of NITC Research Roadmaps, we surveyed a decade of contributions across six areas of transportation research funded by the National Institute for Transportation and Communities (NITC).

Incentive programs for electric vehicles and bikes can reduce costs in lowering GhG emissions.

The Electric Vehicle Incentive Cost and Impact Tool from Portland State University enables policymakers, public stakeholders, and advocates to quickly visualize the potential outcomes of an electric vehicle incentive program made up of several vehicle types. The tool estimates the cost efficiency of a proposed program in terms of the cost per kg CO2 avoided by each mode over the course of one year. It also takes the proposed budget into consideration to calculate the potential number of incentives to be made available and the amount of total CO2 that would be avoided due to internal combustion engine automobile VMT displacement. Read more about how to use the online tool, and learn about the 2021 proposed federal E-Bike Act that cites these e-bike studies.

Building upon this study, NITC funded the next phase of this e-bike research in partnership with PeopleForBikes. For governments and clean energy advocates looking to encourage e-bike adoption, PSU researchers offer a new online tool: the E-Bike Incentive Programs in North America table. It tracks current programs and key details that stakeholders can use. The research team identified Saanich, BC as demonstrating an especially promising model. Their "targeted universalism" approach uses econometric analysis to set appropriate incentive levels for various income brackets, helping those who need it most with the largest incentives.

"Thank you for your research on e-bike incentives. I successfully used your white paper and referenced resources to advocate for a brand new e-bike incentive program that will serve low income residents from 3 counties on the California Central Coast. Through our regional Air Resources Board we are offering a $1,000 incentive for the purchase of an e-bike. Your work to establish the value of e-bikes was tremendously valuable as I fought to gain support for a local program."
Board Chair Wendy Root Askew, Monterey County Board of Supervisors

Learn more about How Can E-bike Purchase Incentives Grow the E-bike Market? led by John MacArthur of Portland State University.

Successful equity strategies from over 70 U.S. bike share systems

Through a variety of projects supported by NITC and the Better Bike Share Partnership (BBSP), Portland State University researchers has produced reports, articles and presentations that tell the story of who is using bike share, how to engage underserved communities, and what cities are doing to make bike share better serve those communities. 

From 2015 to 2017, PSU examined bike share systems in Philadelphia, Chicago, and Brooklyn, New York, to understand what current barriers and potential motivators exist to getting lower-income residents and people of color using bike share. This research focused on underserved communities that already had bike share stations and equity programs in place, and surveyed bike share operators, current users, and potential users. Following that multi-year study, the team conducted a nationwide scan on active programs and initiatives that address equity in bike share. Documenting input from over 70 U.S. bike share systems, the report helps cities and operators navigate the range of successful strategies and understand how those successes (and challenges) are being measured and articulated.

"I found the research to be very useful and used it in helping to develop a new city-sponsored bike share in Denver, CO."
Senior Planner, City of Denver

“Our organization is trying to work intentionally to ensure our outreach and our membership is as inclusive as possible. As we work to successfully reach all members of our community, equity considerations are top of mind. Seeing specific and actionable steps outlined from peer communities helps us to envision strategies we could use locally to increase access for all populations in our community.”
-U.S. Bike Share Operator