- Cincinnati leaders announced a request for proposals (RFP) on Wednesday for a transportation service providers aggregation tool that is intended "to promote innovation, solve for an optimized personal mobility experience (including parking), and serve as a data gathering tool to better understand the travel patterns and tendencies of residents and visitors alike to inform decision making."
- Cincinnati officials intend for the city and the contractor to work together on the app. The city would provide data on its parking division, Southwest Ohio Regional Transit Authority (SORTA), Transit Authority of Northern Kentucky (TANK)/Southbank Shuttle, Redbike the and Ohio-Kentucky-Indiana Regional Council of Governments (OKI), while the contractor would be encouraged to collect data from additional transit providers like Uber, Lyft and Zipcar.
- The finalized tool will allow users to best-select transit routes based on preferences like cost, commute time and environmental concerns. Proposals are due Jan. 19, 2018.
City mobility is one of the hottest topics across developing smart cities, yet figuring out how to optimize mobility is challenge for which there is not a silver bullet. Many cities have looked into data collection to decipher which transit systems are most used, where congestion is the worst and which routes are most accessible, yet plugging that data into a useful, user-friendly tool is something that has not yet been achieved by most cities.
In a recent interview with moovel North America CEO Nat Parker, the topic of mobility was fleshed out. "The role of cities themselves will be absolutely paramount to this concept of urban mobility," Parker said. "The day-to-day commute is specific enough to each city in which someone lives that we need relevant local solutions. I think cities themselves, their public transit networks and their partners and alternative ride providers, are in a very good position to offer people efficient mobility options." In Cincinnati, a wealth of mobility options are already offered to residents, and the city is taking the next step of playing a "paramount" role in offering an all-in-one tool to users.
One significant part of this RFP is its "economic inclusion goals." Those who submit a proposal will be graded on how well their plan provides inclusive, nondiscriminatory opportunities that match the Department of Economic Inclusion's objectives. By including this in its RFP, the city is outlining an expectation that falls in line with the broader priority of building a smart city with all stakeholders in mind.