Moovit at 2020 Cities Today Conference

Published: September 14, 2018

Steve Swasey here. Moovit Global VP of Sales Frank Kopas and I had the pleasure of joining an esteemed group of city and state transit officials the past two days at the 2020 Cities Today Club, a global forum focused on the future of urban mobility. Delegates from Quito, Ecuador, Vancouver, British Columbia, Calgary and Edmonton, Alberta, and major U.S. cities Atlanta, Boston, Houston, Denver, Oakland, host city Portland and others comprised the invitation-only audience.

I presented an overview of Moovit, including updating our app user numbers — now over 200 million in 2,500 cities in 83 countries — and a case study of how Moovit deployed its Moovit Urban Mobility Analytics (MUMA) product to understand transit patterns on a 40-mile rail line from Worcester to Boston, Mass. Moovit Co-founder and CEO Nir Erez presented the same study at the NOAH Berlin Conference in 2018. We use this study to showcase how Moovit’s hyper-local and real-time analysis of people movement helps cities, municipalities and transit agencies plan and improve their systems.

In the Boston case, train ridership drops by half at the height of the weekday morning commute. At the same time, vehicle traffic into Boston increases exponentially.

Moovit analysed its anonymous data from users in a five mile radius around each of the 18 train stations on the 40-mile line from Worcester to Boston. We found that commuters drive from their homes in the suburbs to train stations with the intention to ride the train. But by 7:45 a.m. station and nearby parking lots, forcing commuters to drive into the city.

Traditional solutions and their limitations include:

  • Build more parking structures — expensive and time consuming, assuming the land is even available
  • Open more local transit routes — not feasible for few riders in suburban neighborhoods during a limited time period
  • Apply traffic congestion fees — punitive but not preemptive as people will pay

Moovit suggests a better alternative:

  • Local government can subsidize and promote a “first mile” solution using ride sharing services such as Uber, Lyft or Via. Given the option to get a ride from home to the transit station, most people would take it. Train ridership and fares would increase. Traffic congestion would be eased. It’s a win for consumers, the transit agency and city overall.

Moovit’s Mobility as a Service platform and solutions help cities in numerous other ways. With limited time on the agenda, I was not able to share more examples. But you can read other case studies here.

Other companies presenting in the two-day Cities Today conference included Intel, Uber, Via, HERE and others.

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