• TRB 100th Annual Meeting - A Virtual Event

      January 2021

    • Online Program


Annual Meeting Event Detail

Workshop 114

Three Revolutions for Public Transit: From Service Agency to Mobility Platform

Sunday, January 07 9:00 AM- 12:00 PM ET
Hanjiro Ambrose, University of California, Davis,
Timothy Sexton, Minnesota Department of Transportation

Sponsored by:
Standing Committee on Transportation and Sustainability (ADD40)

Transit agencies serve multiple goals, from providing equitable access to mobility to reducing pollution and congestion. Three transformative technology transitions—electrification, automation, and sharing of vehicles—pose a unique set of challenges. How can transit agencies become platforms that enable the development and deployment of new services, processes, or mobility technologies? In this workshop, participants help create a road map for agency transitions and more through a strategic game.


Transit agencies serve multiple goals, from providing equitable access to mobility, to reducing pollution and congestion in urban areas.  The 3Rs (electrification / automation & connectivity / sharing) pose a unique set of challenges for transit agencies.  Private transportation network companies (TNCs), bicycle sharing problems, and centralized trip planning software could improve last mile transit connectivity, reduce service gaps, increase coverage, and provide mobility on demand.  But there is also tension: public transit agencies could be left trying to provide the bulk of high expense trips with an increasingly diminished ability to offset those services.  Transit agencies will also face a series of important questions about the performance and costs of new technologies, as well as difficult choices about infrastructure investment, because of the 3Rs.


Participants will

·         Receive an overview of emerging practices in new mobility services, transit technologies, and modal integration

·         Identify the sets of challenges faced by diverse transit providers

·         Engage fellow participants in a strategic game to create road-maps for agency technology transitions


Can the 3Rs also revolutionize public transit? Transit agencies have traditionally been associated with providing a particular service.  Platforms are created by a network of new technologies that enable the development and deployment of new services, processes, or other technologies. How can transit agencies become platforms for providing equitable access to low-carbon mobility and leverage these transitions to support healthy communities? 



9:00 9:10                  Welcome, workshop goals & structure, introductions

9:10 9:40                  Setting the stage: 3Rs, modal integration, emerging practices

9:40 10:20                Whats in the sandbox? An overview of transit and mobility technologies

10:20 11:15              Strategic Game: A Road Map for Transit Agencies

11:20 12:00              Group Discussion and Report Back


Workshop Plan

In this workshop, participants will engage, discuss, and innovate around how transit agencies can adapt, integrate, and thrive in a new technological era.  First, the workshop will provide an overview of new mobility technologies and how they relate to transit system planning and operations.  This will include a discussion of emerging practices and near-to-market off the shelf technologies for improving transit modal integration.


Next, participants will help to create a road-map for agency transitions by comparing actions, motivations, and outcomes through a strategic game. 

·         Participants will take on a key stakeholder roles in a small group

·         Roles will be assigned different strategic motivations across groups

·         Groups will represent key groups of transit agencies (large, urban, small, rural)

·         Stakeholders will be faced with a discrete set of tactical decisions

·         The group objective will be to seek organizational alignment around a strategic roadmap

·         Groups will discuss the economic, environmental, and social impacts of their chosen strategy


Finally, Groups will report back; key takeaways will be synthesized into a policy brief for participants and other stakeholders.

DISCLAIMER: All information shared in the TRB Annual Meeting Online Program is subject to change without notice. Changes, if necessary, will be updated in the Online Program and this page is the final authority on schedule information.