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Mobility as a Service = First mile, Last Mile and Everywhere in between.

Why should those of us in the Parking Industry care? MaaS seeks to take people out of cars (and therefore out of garages) right? This concept is a spear at the very heart of our industry. Right?

Yep –  MaaS is mobility as a service, how we propose to get people around in a modern environment. A shift away from privately owned vehicles.

We can do one of two things – Hide our heads in the sand and let this tsunami roll over us, or we can become involved and find out what cities, states and the federal government are doing, and how we can affect the program.

If you work for a municipal government and are within their parking operation, you have a personal stake in this topic. There are planners, consultants, and private companies preparing to change your life forever. What are you going to do about it?

In my experience agenda driven programs like MaaS ignore some of the basic realities of our lives. They propose solutions without considering all the ramifications, both long and short term, that their ideas bring. A case in point:

            In my neighborhood, the city created a “great street.” They took a perfectly good three lane boulevard and made it a two lane street, with the extra room for a bike lane on each side. They installed medians and extra cross walks with traffic lights so folks could cross in the middle of blocks.

It was a beauty of planning and execution except for two things. There are very few people who ride bikes in the area. During the week the numbers are in single digits. On weekends its skyrockets to double digits.

The other issue is that by reducing the lanes and installing the extra traffic lights, they took a smooth running street and turned it into a traffic nightmare. Drivers have been forced off the street and into surrounding neighborhoods turning them into a danger zone for drivers, pedestrians, and kids.

The local city councilman who led the charge is being recalled. The folks in the area aren’t happy.

This was MaaS. It happened, I think, because planners with an agenda neglected to consider all the results of their planning. The law of unintended consequences has not been repealed.

How can we help? First, we can learn what is being planned. I strongly urge that you look into attending the MaaS conference being held next week in Atlanta. You can get full information here. Its being put on by my friends at ITS International.

The program looks excellent. You will learn just how MaaS is going about its planning and execution and be able to give input to the planners themselves.

Knowledge is the best approach when we see a difficult time ahead. Look into attending, I’ll be there.

JVH

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