Keynote Fireside Chat Mini-Series: with Andrew Glass Hastings.Read DocumentGet Document
Keynote Fireside Chat Mini-Series: with Andrew Glass Hastings.
Keynote Fireside Chat Mini-Series: with Andrew Glass Hastings.
Welcome to the second episode of our Keynote Fireside Chat mini-series, presented by The 82 Alliance.
In this 8-episode series, we will talk with the industry's leading experts and innovators to dive more deeply into the challenges we face and the many ways TDM and mobility can help. We're joined by co-host Rob Henry, the President of The 82 Alliance. He is a Transportation Demand Management Certified Professional (TDM-CP) with over 20 years of experience in transportation.
Tune in for a deep dive on what OMF is and how it's helping solve the future of mobility.
And check out our exclusive commuter playlists on Spotify!
[Voiceover] Commutifi presents Between the Lines with Andy Keeton. Each week, we explore the challenging issues. Transportation demands management professionals face on their journey to transition commuters from driving alone to more sustainable, shared and active commuting habits. Be sure to subscribe to hear next week's episode and check out our exclusive commuter playlists on Spotify. This is Between the Lines with Andy Keeton.
[Andy Keeton] Hi, everyone, and welcome to the second episode of our keynot Fireside Chat miniseries presented by The 82 Alliance. If you didn't join us for the first episode of this series, this is an eight episode series where we talk to some of the industry's leading experts and innovators and dive a little bit more deeply into some of these challenges that we face in the many ways that transportation demand management or TDM can help. So for our regular listeners, and for those who didn't join us for our first episode of this miniseries, this series sounds a little different because we are joined by a co-host, Rob Henry. Rob is the president of The 82 Alliance. He's a transportation management Certified Professional and award-winning mobility expert. Has over 20 years of experience in transportation. He has a nice color to the whole conversation, both with his blue wall behind him and his very interesting additions to that episode. So thanks for joining, Rob.
[Rob Henry] Sure, thanks, Andy, happy too.
[Andy Keeton] Today with this episode, we're talking with Andrew Glass Hastings. Andrew is the Executive Director of Open Mobility Foundation or OMF. Today we're talking a little bit about why technology and data can insure that public space is used for public good? We're gonna just dive into what Open Mobility Foundation is, what they do? But first, Andrew, can you just tell us a little bit about who you are and how you got into this mobility data world?
[Andrew Glass Hastings] Absolutely, and Andy, Rob, thanks so much for having me on the program, it's a pleasure to come and kind of nerd out with you a little bit on mobility data. What we're trying to do with cities, and private mobility companies make our communities safer, more efficient places to live. So, I'm Andrew Glass Hastings. My background and what brought me to this, the Open Mobility Foundation is really a couple of PAs and most of my background has been spent on the public sector working for the city of Seattle, or our regional transit agencies here in the Seattle area. I had the opportunity, really the valuable honor of working for a couple of Seattle mayor's in the past. This mayors that I worked for, I think both of them would admit that the job they really wanted was the DOT head for the city and they just got to be mayor, which meant they got to play in transportation and so many other fun and interesting policy arenas as well. But they both really loved to spend time talking about talking and working on transportation, which made my job as the policy advisor for them. Really interesting, also challenging because they raise the bar in many ways. So, I was able to engage locally here and transportation from a political and policy level. Before then I got into more of a practitioner role. So before I left the city in the fall of 2018, I served as the transit and mobility director for the City of Seattle. In that role, I oversaw the City's transit programs, both capital service investment programs, and also our parking and curb space management really focused on how do we provide access to people in everything from the center city, the downtown area, as well as neighborhoods around the city from both parking and curb space management. Then we started a new program. It's actually literally called new mobility program, and for the first time it was bringing together often disparate pieces from across the department, focused on emerging mobility, transportation innovation, some of the new modes of transportation that we were finding on our streets, from scooters and bike share and the micromobility space to car share, Lyft and Uber to thinking forward few steps to autonomous vehicles and a lot of automation in the mobility space. But a lot of what sort of was the underpinning of that work had to do with data. The city being in a position, oftentimes, where these private mobility companies were far ahead from the city in terms of their their data, knowledge and capabilities, understanding, and so it left us the city trying to catch up. When I left the city, back in the fall of 2018, I had the opportunity to join a transportation software startup called Remix, at a time when shared electric scooters were literally booming in cities across the country and world for the first time. For the first time, cities were finding themselves with a tool to really be able to hone in on their role as as planners, managers and regulators of the public right of way with data, and they were able to have better understanding of how these scooter systems were being used on the streets, and insure that we're following some of the rules that the cities were putting out by using what's called the Mobility Data Specification or MDS. The time this was brand new coming out of the city of Los Angeles, which was the first city in the country that used MDS to manage their scooter programs, but very quickly was adopted by cities across the country and world as a really key way of managing new mobility forms in the right of way. So if you look at those two paths, my public sector work as well as the timing around going to work for Remix. Really, those two paths intersect and lead me perhaps not unsurprisingly to the Open Mobility Foundation.
[Andy Keeton] Pretty very interesting. I love the background. I think it's really helpful as well to come from public, private and come into this space, which… From what I understand we're gonna get into bridges the gap between public and private a bit it sounds like you hit on a lot of this, but maybe just to tie a bow on it. Can you tell us a little bit more just what specifically is the Open Mobility Foundation?
[Andrew Glass Hastings] Absolutely, so the Open Mobility Foundation, or the OMF, as we call it, is a really unique public private partnership. So Andy, exactly what you hit on right in that space between the public sector and the private sector and an opportunity where the two are coming together to really collaborate for the public good. The Open Mobility Foundation is led by cities, and we're focused on developing open source data standards and software tools that will help cities digitize their infrastructure. I'll talk about that in a little bit more in a moment exactly what that means to digitize infrastructure. But the goal is really to give cities the tools to manage the existing and emerging mobility on city streets. So, what do we mean by digitized infrastructure? So really, up until the past five or 10 years, a city's role in managing the public right of way was often managed through physical assets, think signage, think the both traffic signs, parking signs, and then things like traffic signals. Of course, cities have had to manage physical assets, concrete, asphalt and steel for four decades. But more and more, and especially in the last five or 10 years, a lot of the mobility that cities face on their streets is digital. Think Lyft and Uber, think I mean car share services, or even now of the way that people pay for parking, when they pull up to the curb, less and less about feeding coins into a meter and more about using an app. Of course, many of us have a map program on our smartphone that helps us navigate around the city. Another example of a digital interface, that's really important for cities to be able to understand and engage in a digital way. So that's really what the Open Mobility Foundation, where working again with those, with the cities, the public agencies. I should mention its cities, its counties, its metropolitan, planning organizations, and even more and more states and transit agencies, coming together with private sector, software companies, mobility operators, to help create these open source data standards and software tools to help keep cities really able to serve their core function of managing mobility and the right of way.
[Rob Henry] One thing when looking through your website, Andrew, there's cities from all over the globe, which I thought was really cool from different backgrounds and different types of mobility. Can you touch on how that connects everyone and like global way?
[Andrew Glass Hastings] Yeah, absolutely Rob. I think one of the things that we've found, and especially as a lot of these shared mobility, operators, platforms, modes have come into cities, that the rate at which they're adopted by the public, across cities, across nations has only accelerated. So although really, you could trace the shared electric scooter movement back to LA, the city of Los Angeles in a lot of ways going back to kind of 2017, really early 2018, the rate at which that mode spread across the United States and then spread across cities globally, happened like wildfire. So we estimate today, for example, that there's we know of about 160 cities globally, using MDS. Most of those cities at a base level are using MDS to manage their Micromobility fleets. But then they're using it manage other mobility services as well. We expect that number actually to be close to 300 plus cities globally, using the Mobility Data Specification as what is in essence, a common language, a way that cities and operators can use data and the exchange of data in a common way, across cities and across operators. That's really what has enabled that widespread adoption to happen. What I had the opportunity to see when I was with the City of Seattle, is when we brought in, really the first dockless bike share program in a large city, and we had three operators. So we were able to ask those operators to provide data about the trips on those bikes. But at the time, this was pre MDS, we didn't have that common language that each of the operators was using. So they were giving us data in different forms, they were giving us different types of data. It made more challenging from the city perspective, to be able to manage and regulate this fleet of shared bikes of across operators. Now, fast forward to the situation today, with many cities having multiple scooter operators, scooters, and bikes, that using MDS, they're able to pull data from across the different operators. It's essentially up, like I said, a moment before that common language, and much easier to understand the both in terms of the total fleet, as well as what's happening within the fleets of each of those individual operators. So that cities can really use their that tool to help them both plan manage and regulate these services that are available to the public on city streets.
[Rob Henry] I love it. It's like a universal translator breaks down all the language, great.
[Andy Keeton] Exactly, yeah, and I think that's, particularly important, as you mentioned, as more and more companies exist, and in the right of way, I know I visited, Seattle particularly has several, Scooter companies that are out and you see the bikes and the scooters everywhere. So it makes sense. There's some value in them all speaking the same language. Can you talk to us a little bit more? You've told us what this mobility data specification, MDS is, and kind of high level. I think we understand why it's important to speak this common language. You can tell us a little bit more about how this actually works. Is this an app that everyone uses? Is it really just like, here's a language that we should all speak? What does that mean to people to try to get a visual of what this is? What is the MDS?
[Andrew Glass Hastings] So it's a great question Andy, because a lot of us are used to using a smartphone to order a Lyft or to find a bike or scooter on the street weather different operators. But MDS isn't about the consumer interface, it's not about you, or I or rob being able to find a scooter or bike on the streets of Seattle or other cities, it's really a tool that is enabling the city to be able to manage and regulate these programs, in many ways. It's what has enabled this industry to flourish because it has provided the insight, the actual, the data itself, to the city managers and regulators, to then be able to kind of hold the operators accountable, make sure they're playing by the rules, so that then those city managers can turn to their policymakers, whether that's a mayor or city council, transportation executives, and say, "Look, don't take my word for it, we actually have the data." And this is a data standard that is agreed upon, across cities internationally. And so, it's not something that we created just to appease, you know, the operators in our cities, for example. So, I think the that trust and the reliability and the data is one of the key ingredients that allowed many policymakers to get on board with this new mobility forum as in our urban environment, that, you know, initially was actually pretty disruptive for many people because they weren't used to seeing these, these fleets of bikes and scooters spread around the streets. And, you know, it really required the city transportation officials to be able to use the mobility data specification to demonstrate that, you know, these, these vehicles are being used. They're being used in for people's commutes. They're being used to connect to transit, they're being used in disadvantaged communities. And perhaps more importantly, they set out a list of requirements and rules to give this operator a permit. And guess what here's where they are following the rules, or in some cases, maybe they're not, and it gives the city the ability to make the adjustments with the operators to make sure they are following the rules. So from a user perspective, you're you as a scooter rider or a shared bike rider, probably never know that MDS exists. But it's a way that the operator of that scooter or bicycle can share data with the city. Often cases that data isn't even being shared directly with the city, many cities are using software platforms, that again, are kind of behind-the-scenes to aggregate and anonymize a lot of this data before it ever gets to the city. And it's a way that the city can really understand everything from what's happening with an individual operators fleet of scooters, but then also look across the system at all the kind of the total fleet of scooters that may be in the city.
[Rob Henry] I think it's an interesting evolution. And I remember in the beginning when apps were first out, and you may remember a transit agencies are trying to do their own apps, and they just couldn't keep up with the tech firms with new apps. And then you had Uber and Lyft saying we're going to out innovate before you out legislate. And now, and then cities and areas just constantly anything, anytime there was something new, the first answer would be no because they were afraid, and they didn't have the data. I think what's great about this is you have the data, and you're helping cities get to yes so that they can provide these opportunities for their residents. That's a pretty cool feature of what you guys are doing.
[Andrew Glass Hastings] Rob, I think that's that's key. And that is a that's a great way of stating it is the open mobility Foundation, as I mentioned at the outset, is led by cities. So my board of directors is made up of city transportation officials. There's really no other organization that's like it and that's why the MDS is so widely trusted by cities across the country and around the world is because they know this, is a standard that was developed with cities really in mind, really, for cities to be able to manage not just this initial use case of micromobility, but also thinking about future use cases future applications of MDS to other mobility modes, as well as new mobility modes into the future. Plus, I would be remiss if I didn't mention again that the open mobility foundation is an open-source organization. So, the development of this standard is done in a way that is open to anybody who wants to contribute. And so, we work through a working group model. So the mobility data specification has a working group that is open to city It's open to other public officials. It's open to our member, corporate, excuse me, commercial, commercial members, mobility companies, software companies, but it's also open to individuals, Andy, Rob, myself, and we want to kind of roll up our sleeves and get into understand how to evolve MDs, then we can participate in the regular working group calls, and actually submit suggestions through GitHub, the online open-source tool that ultimately rolls up to a steering committee that will make recommendations up to our technology council and board of directors to actually adopt the different versions of MDS. So, it's not being done behind closed doors, where there's, there's really little opportunity for input, it's just the opposite, we encourage sort of broad participation and contribution to the development of the standards that are then being used by the public agencies to manage mobility.
[Andy Keeton] I think that's a critical piece to any common language we're trying to create. You can't have one organization creating it, working together to create it makes a lot of sense. And I like to its good to hear anything open-source being created. So one of the things that's great about this, that you mentioned, and you've highlighted a couple of times is that it's made by cities, four cities. Let's discuss a few of those cities and how they're using it. I know the MDS has been around for a little while now. There's been some success with it. Can you talk to us a little bit about some of the examples of a city using MDS positively?
[Andrew Glass Hastings] Yeah, there's… there are many examples, but certainly kind of few come to mind. And I really focus sort of on three areas that are kind of applications of MDS. So cities in their role as transportation planners, managers, and regulators. And so from the planning perspective, we know, there's a lot of conversation around the United States, and certainly Europe and other parts of the world about how to make cities safer, more accessible to people who don't want to drive people who want to ride a bike, or ride a scooter, or walk or take public transit, or a combination thereof. And so what do cities need to make some of the decisions about how to plan out you'll be a bike lane network, for example, or a network of infrastructure that's going to make it easier to get around without a car. MDS is a tool that many cities are using to do just that because with it, they have some good insight into the trips that people are taking on shared bikes and scooters. Now, they're just a sample of the trips that people are taking. But in many cities, they're actually a good proxy for trips that the broader public are making on bikes and on their own perhaps scooter devices. And so really, for the first time, cities have the insight through this, this data sharing, to be able to understand your for example, where many scooter trips are happening, and is there a bike lane there today. And if not, perhaps there should be one, or if there is an investment made in a new protected bike facility, and then there may be some pushback from the public on that's never used, then the city actually now has some data to be able to show that, this facility is being used. And again, it's a good proxy for this subset of trips for a broader, broader public behavior. So on the planning side, and MDs provides a important function for cities or supports that really important function, but then also on the management side. So, we know cities have the role of managing the right of way, kind of bringing organization to chaos in many ways. And so, we see that through the policies that cities put in place around designated parking areas for dockless bikes and scooters or slow zones or no ride zones, because there's a particularly congested area or there's a plaza where there's a lot of pedestrian activity and cities don't want it doesn't want scooters and bikes written through there. So cities can use MDS as a way to help them manage streets and manage the public right of way. And then City's role as regulator. So the and perhaps this is one that isn't particularly sexy, but I think for all of us who use the streets in our cities and sidewalks, we probably under appreciate the city's role as a regulator to permit. Oftentimes, they're done through permits, dockless bikes and scooters, cities set out certain requirements around fleet sizes, the number of scooters that can be out there, the number of scooters that need to be active and available to the public at any given time. Or perhaps the city hasn't as an equity goal. And they have set a certain number of scooters or percentage of scooters that need to be deployed in disadvantaged neighborhoods. And in their regulatory role. Cities are using MDS to hold those scooter operators accountable to achieving and adhering to those rules and regulations. So whether you look at, if you look at Portland City of Portland, Oregon, or Chicago, or Seattle, each of those cities is using MDS in each of those three roles, planning, management, and regulatory. If it's okay, I want to dig a little bit deeper into the equity goals that cities have and how they're using MDS to kind of hone in on that. So each of those three cities that I mentioned, are working with their, with their micromobility operators, to help create better access to shared bikes and scooters for disadvantaged residents in those in those cities. And in particular neighborhoods, where there is happens to be higher propensity of lower income residents, higher propensities of bipoc residents, higher propensities of displacement, perhaps, and through the use of MDS, they're able to measure the success at improving access to mobility, visa vie these dockless bikes and scooters. So, that's, and they have, they come about in different ways. Some of them are coming about it through reduced, reduced cost of using the scooters, some of them are coming about it by actually increasing the number of vehicles that are available. But most of them are saying it's not just enough to put vehicles in a disadvantaged neighborhood, we need to know if they're actually being used. And then how are they being used? Are they being used to helping connect people to economic opportunities, or in neighborhoods that, like in the instance of Chicago, tend to have a tendency to be transit deserts, or have a lack of transit access. Scooters are playing a really important role of connecting those populations to the broader regional transit network. And the city of Chicago wants to understand what those connections look like so that they can help foster more and continue to increase access.
[Rob Henry] Andrew do you know with the IGA bill, there's a lot of different new funding, some of it is equity-based some of its climate based some of its congestion relief based? And are you hearing or know of any cities maybe thinking about how they can And are you hearing or know of any cities perhaps thinking about how they can use that data to perhaps target their funding? Because? Well, the challenge is that I see many states and cities, sometimes they just throw a project out there and throw money at it in the hope that it will solve a problem when they don't really understand the problem or the opportunity. I'm just curious if you have seen anything the with this, what you all are doing.
[Andrew Glass Hastings] Yeah, Rob, Absolutely. And what we have heard on a number of occasions from us, D O T, as well as the cities that we're working with is that there's now the expectation that the that we start with the problem definition, that this is we don't start with the technology searching for a problem. But instead we define the problem, and then look at what the potential set of solutions can be to that problem. Well, in defining the problem, you often need better information, better data. And so now this I think MDS is a tool that cities are using to get some of that better information about both how their streets are being used today, how different communities within their cities are using mobility modes like dockless bikes and scooters. So certainly it is helping make some of those important connections so that cities can be more competitive for this federal funding that in many cases is flowing to cities for the first time. One area I mentioned is a work in progress for us. But we've talked here today a lot about bikes and scooters. But MDS is actually so much more than just micro-mobility. Right now, MDS 2.0 is under development tonight, I encourage folks to take a look at our website and how to get involved in our working group meetings because MDS 2.0 is applying MDS to passenger services, think taxis, carshare, TNCs, meaning Lyft and Uber. Then beyond passenger services, it's looking at the sidewalk delivery robots that are popping up in more and more cities. We're all doing this with a look down sorry, toward the horizon, around autonomous vehicles, and the types of mobility options that are going to be becoming next. So Los Angeles, as an example, is already using MDS to manage their taxi fleet, which with their goal of both being able to make taxis more competitive with services like Lyft, and Uber, and help them understand how those services are being used, while also trying to bring down some of the regulatory burdens that are applied on kind of legacy taxi systems. So MDS is already being used in other modes beyond micro mobility today.
[Andy Keeton] It's interesting, and that actually, I think, that brings us well into a little shift in the conversation from MDS to this other specification that you have recently released, CDS or curb Data Specification, which also, to my knowledge, touches on a lot of these different aspects of mobility, not just the micro-mobility side. So first, can tell us a little bit more about what CDS is. Maybe a little bit about when it was created and why?
[Andrew Glass Hastings] Yeah. So I get really excited when talking about the curb Data Specification. Because in a lot of ways, and especially in my role with the Seattle in the past, you saw just how valuable curbs base is in dynamic urban areas in particular. I think it's some of the most valuable real estate in cities today and perhaps undervalued in a way at the same time. But the pandemic has only exacerbated this challenge for cities by increasing the demands on that curb. So the amount of curb in a city is finite. But we keep creating more and more uses for that curve, more and more demands on the curb. So everything from, not just kind of traditional somebody you and I want to come and park our personal car there for a little while, hopefully pay to do that. Today, now there is an increasing demand on commercial delivery services. So think of the explosion of Amazon deliveries and deliveries through FedEx and UPS, who all want access to that precious curb space to make those deliveries. In addition to some of those more traditional delivery operators, you now have all have the sort of get it in 10 minutes or less, or food delivery services that also want to access the curb space. You of course, have taxis who would that have been around for decades, but now you've got Lyft and Uber wanting access to that curb to pick up and drop off passengers, plus cities through the pandemic want to create more uses for the curb to make it easier for people to come in just pickup something at the shop or have curbside delivery, or even turn what used to be a parking spot or a traveling into a seating area for adjacent restaurants or adjacent cafés as a way to give people more social distancing space. Then you've got bike lanes and transit lanes and very quickly you have a picture that's painted of too many demands on too little curb space. So what do cities do about this? How do they make order out of this chaos? That's really the problem statement where CDS or the curb Data Specification came from. Released about a year ago. It's still very much a new standard for the open mobility foundation, but is increasingly used by more and more cities to do. I kind of put a couple of buckets of things right now. So, one is just creating the digital record of the curb, and this gets back to that digitizing infrastructure. while the demand for the curb has been increasing over the past few years, and even longer city's ability to understand how that curb is allocated? How it's being used, by whom, when, for how long has been woefully inadequate? Cities have not been able to collect the data to understand even kind of on a basic level of where are their commercial loading zones? Where are their passenger loading zones? So CDS is being used to create that digital record of the curb. Just like we talked about the common language with MDS, CDS as well it's a common language that is standardized across users so that if you're in Pittsburgh, or Philadelphia, Oakland, California, Seattle, Washington, and you have created a digital record of your curb via CDS, then as an operator, as an Amazon, or a DoorDash, or in others, you know that's the sort of language that form of data that you're going to need to sync with, when you're trying to understand where the commercial loading zones are, for example in different cities. The other bucket is actually more dynamic curve management, how do cities use CDS to create policies and programs that more dynamically manage the curb? So that there's greater turnover. So that those users who are actually supposed to be using the curb at any given time are the ones that are using it? How do the cities use pricing as a management tool for the curb? Just like pricing, parking has been a management tool for decades. How do you apply that to commercial zones? Now CDS is a tool that cities can now work with the private sector, to be able to dynamically manage the curb and even some cases, as a part of that management price it.
[Rob Henry] Is there. You talked about equity a little earlier. Like as an a case study, during the pandemic, with all the restaurants going out onto the street and parking space, and becoming parklets, which looks awesome, was wonderful. It was provided viability for the street, it also provided a future for the restaurants and but then there was accessible community that had an issue with a limited park, limited sidewalk being taken away. They had challenges, whether it be mobility or other types of disabilities, and something that kind of tried to figure out and I think, are you seeing that as a part of it as well, that the data can help cities get a better understanding of all the different users and what areas may make sense for a couple of particular modes, and maybe this area's better off for these particular modes?
[Andrew Glass Hastings] Absolutely. That's really key, Rob the ability for the cities to make decisions on how to allocate the curb, and what uses of the curb to prioritize, ADA access, commercial loading, and then a lot of the other uses we mentioned, mean, if they don't have a good understanding of how the curbs being used in the first place who needs to use it, then it's really difficult for them to make informed and prioritized decisions about how to reallocate that going forward. So I think we will see, cities use CDS and creating that digital record, and then be able to make more informed decisions about the need for ADA access, or the need for commercial zones, and maybe it's a matter of, the commercial zone doesn't need to be right adjacent here on this arterial, but we're going to move it around the corner, and in this location, we can actually expand it, we can create a larger zone, for example, but then you can't do that unless you start with that inventory in the first place. That's what a lot of cities are working on right now. I'll mention a pilot that's happening actually in Pittsburgh and it's focused on more of that active management piece. So they have created a prioritized commercial loading zones throughout there downtown area and operators, delivery operators, commercial operators, who sign up to be part of the program have access to these prioritized commercial load zones. The city is partnering with a license plate reader technology provider to be able to use that LPR technology to read the license plate and then understand who's using those zones? When, for how long, and are they legitimate users of the zones? Because it gets back to that management space, that management is key concept. If a vehicle is in that zone, blocking it preventing a legitimate user, then that creates a challenge. So the city wants to understand, who's using it? Then through that LPR technology as well, they can apply differentiated parking policies. So they can actually, they can charge for the use of that curb space because as we talked about, it's in high demand and really valuable. But they can differentiate the pricing to meet other policy goals, such as some of the city's climate goals, by offering reduced pricing for zero emission vehicles, for example. So it's a way the city can actually better manage an asset that they really historically have not been able to manage, and now be able to tie that management to achieving some of their other policy goals as well.
[Andy Keeton] We're almost at the end of time here. But I want to touch on one thing you just mentioned, on the environmental side, this is a big piece, something that we're talking about globally, obviously, transportation is a big piece of that, how we can create, drive, no pun intended, positive environmental change. How does MDS and CDS play a role in this?
[Andrew Glass Hastings] Thing they and a lot of ways, help cities, as Rob mentioned earlier, help cities get to yes, on technologies that are focused on trying to create safer, more efficient transportation modes and systems. If you think about the kind of future direction of a lot of mobility services you've mentioned, a lot of them are electric, they're moving toward, even systems like autonomous vehicles. So, the tie there between the kind of efficiency, as well as the safety are kind of more immediate goals. Longer term, of course, the goal is to allow cities to manage the transportation system in a way that ultimately prioritizes the modes that are going to allow people to get to where they need to go, but do it in a way that's quite frankly, better for the climate. So, as cities move away from over time, like single occupancy, personal vehicles, and are perhaps prioritizing or incentivizing other shared modes, then MDS and CDS are going to be two important tools for cities to be able to continue to function in their role as managers of the right of way. Instead of like, the alternative there is you have a Balkanized system, where each private mobility operator is managing things in their own way, which is going to lead to a very inefficient system and it's going to lead to a system that is not set up for the best results for the public, or ultimately, the city transportation system in general. What we're trying to do is create these data standards and software tools that will ultimately lead to something like a city transportation operating system, where then they can then pull in some of the transportation systems that have been digitized for a while, whether it's traffic signals, or traffic cameras, dynamic signage in the city, all kind of leading toward a system that is more efficient, more usable for the public as well.
[Andy Keeton] So hopefully, if you are a city official who's not yet aware of MDS, CDS, or the open mobility foundation as a whole, this has got the wheels turning a bit you're starting to think how data can play a role in this. We don't need to be afraid, let's say, of new technologies coming we just need to know how to work with them, work with them well. So, Andrew this has been a really great conversation. Rob, thanks again for being on and for helping us put on this eight part series. For everyone who's jumped on and listened to the whole thing. Thanks again, for listening. Make sure you subscribe to our email list at between the lines.io. There you'll make sure you get the emails about every new episode that comes out. Give us a like, follow, rating wherever you listen to podcasts, and check out our video on YouTube and Spotify as well. Thanks again for being on Andrew. Great conversation. Really excited to see MDS and CDS continue to grow and continue to see this data, this new language to evolve over time. Alright everyone, thanks again, great episode, we'll talk again next time, bye.
[Andrew Glass Hastings] Thank you Andy, thanks Rob.
[Rob Henry] Thank you.
[Voiceover] Thanks for joining us on this week's episode of "Between The Lines" with Andy Keeton. Be sure to subscribe to hear next week's episode, and check out our exclusive Commutifi playlists on Spotify.
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Why will the Association for Commuter Transportation (ACT) help save the planet? With David Straus.