Washington, D.C. (June 19, 2020) — A coalition representing new mobility operators and technology providers has signed a letter with NUMO (the New Urban Mobility alliance) urging Congress to commit in the new transportation and infrastructure reauthorization bill to supporting a multimodal transportation system with robust public transit and a comprehensive range of new mobility options to ensure Americans can affordably, conveniently and safely access opportunity.
The letter responds to the INVEST (Investing in a New Vision for the Environment and Surface Transportation) in America Act released by the House of Representatives Transportation & Infrastructure Committee, and calls for prioritizing transit, shared micromobility and microtransit as sustainable, convenient alternatives to cars when accessing daily needs.
“The INVEST in America Act represents a significant step toward creating a safer, more sustainable and just transportation system,” said NUMO director Harriet Tregoning. “But any reauthorization bill must bring substantial, meaningful change to our current transportation system, which has long favored the speed and movement of vehicles over whether people can reach jobs, education, health services and grocery stores without driving or owning a car.”
The signing coalition — which was convened by NUMO and Transportation for America and includes Lime, Lyft, the North American Bikeshare Association, Spin, Transit app, TransitScreen, Transportation for America, Uber and Via — represents an alignment among public and private mobility service operators and technology providers in support of a transportation system that recognizes transit as its backbone and facilitates a diverse array of modes for trips of all lengths. Half of all trips taken in the United States are less than three miles, yet nearly 75% of those short trips are taken by car, truck or SUV. A combination of transit and micromobility or microtransit could provide a more accessible, affordable, sustainable alternative to driving for those short trips.
The reauthorization bill comes amid the COVID-19 pandemic, which has exacerbated existing disparities in access to mobility for essential workers, who tend to rely on transit to reach their critical jobs and daily needs. Transit has experienced a severe decline in ridership and operating funds, resulting in curtailed service both to cut costs and in response to social distancing practices. Additionally, job losses have occurred across the economy at a rate unseen since the Great Depression, disproportionately affecting Black workers and widening the racial employment and opportunity gap. These concerns heighten the urgency for a transportation bill that explicitly works to close those gaps in communities in which transit-enabled access to jobs is severely limited in comparison to car-enabled access.
“What people need and expect of transportation — now more than ever — is a national program that facilitates affordable, safe and convenient access to the economic and civic life of their communities,” said Tregoning. “After all, the main goal of transportation should be to move people — not cars — where they need to go.”
View the full letter here. Please direct all media inquiries to Madlyn McAuliffe at firstname.lastname@example.org.
NUMO, the New Urban Mobility alliance, is a global organization that channels tech-based disruptions in urban transport to create joyful cities where sustainable and just mobility is the new normal. Founded in 2019 as an outgrowth of the Shared Mobility Principles for Livable Cities, NUMO convenes diverse allies and leverages the momentum of significant revolutions in mobility to target urban issues — including equity, sustainability, accessibility and labor — impacted by the shifting transportation landscape. NUMO is hosted by WRI Ross Center for Sustainable Cities. For more information, visit www.numo.global.
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