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Car-free lifestyle & Mobility as a Service

Promote the benefits of a car-free lifestyle and support 'mobility as a service' for city residents and businesses

Photo of CAP 2.0 Community Advisory Committee
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Written by

Kristel Wickham

How are you connected to Sunnyvale?

  • I live in Sunnyvale.

What type of applicant are you?

  • Community member

Stage of Development.

  • Early concept or idea (<few months of work)

What problem are you aiming to solve? (100 words)

As pop. & jobs grow & people come from outside city, congestion, costs & greenhouse gas emissions have increased. How can SV promote & adapt future mobility = safe, cost effective & low emissions.

Tell us more about your climate strategy or solution (500 words)

There are enough transp. opt. avail. that car ownership not needed to get around. Besides personal auto there is Uber, taxi, rentals, light rail, Caltrain, VTA buses, employer shuttles, bike, scooter & walking. Although car ownership has been declining, vast majority in SV still rely on personal auto. out of habit, convenience, perceived safety, travel time, & somewhat hidden costs. What if mobility were treated as service instead of hunk of metal that you own & store. What if transp. were service we could pay for as monthly fee or by mile. There is significant cost savings in not owning a car. the car itself (whether bought, loaned or leased), sales tax, vehicle license fee/registration, insurance, gasoline (or electricity for EVs), maintenance & repairs. This can be around $8500/year or over $700/month for a car driven 15,000 miles/year - not including the depreciation of the car over time or any parking costs. That $700/month could be used for a combination of public transp., Uber/LYFT, carpooling, work, school or city shuttles, biking & walking. Clearly could be cost savings over vehicle ownership so what's stopping people? Convenience & time. It takes a lot to research diff. modes & opt., find carpools & figure out transit schedules. Door-to-door can be quite frustrating & time consuming. The 'service' not currently well developed or tuned to people's needs to get where they need to go on time & cost effectively. Sometimes there are special needs (extra time to get in & out of a vehicle, cargo capacity for luggage, groceries or bikes, child seating, accommodation for pets, etc. What if mobility service were as easy as calling an Uber ride but incl. transit & other modes to optimize time spent, cost & accom. for special needs? Sounds like software prob. Silicon Valley can solve. Early adopters may include older, younger & less affluent pops. who may be more open to cost & time efficient mobile lifestyle w/o auto.

Describe how your solution could be a game-changer for your selected Opportunity Area (100 words)

Greenhouse gas reduction. As gas cars retire, can be replaced by higher occup. EV. Higher occup. modes would reduce overall vehicle miles travelled & therefore GHG emissions. More land for people to live & work (not to store cars). Fewer cars in garages & parking places means expensive land used for parking can be repurposed (for housing, protected bike lanes, parks). Ease traffic congestion. Fewer cars on road = less traffic congestion, space for protected bike lanes, & more people per mode

Explain how your idea would be implemented in Sunnyvale (700 words)

Mobility of future must be clean, shared, equitable & convenient. City policies, infra. decisions & planning could take following trends into account & help accelerate them. 1) conv. to electric vehicles powered by a clean grid (SVCE). To encourage, city could: a) transition own fleet to electric & put in place EV charging & maintenance infra. needed to support it. Besides upfront higher cost of EVs, maint. typically less costly w/ EVs & elect. cost is sig. lower than gas. b) encourage/req. developers to install charging infra. in developments. c) streamline permitting & reduce costs for res. chargers d) Incentives for clean fleet supporting TDM plans. 2) sharing rides key to reducing miles traveled & emissions. Whether Lyft/Uber/public transit. City could encourage by: a) allowing shared rides to park free where others must pay b) allow unlimited street parking for shared cars c) charge for most public parking d) reduce mandatory parking reqs for res. & comm. developments near transit nodes &/or when prgms are in place for car sharing or TDM. e) designate areas in city near transit, shopping, schools & parks were ride sharing services & private carpools can load/unload easily. f) ed. of city res. on services avail. to get around w/o a car. Promote stories of people that have decided not to own a car. Promote carpooling apps. g) adopt TDM plan for city employees - especially at Civic Center. 3) automated self-driving fleets can reduce costs improve safety & reduce emissions. The city could a) proactively develop standards & reqs for autonomous vehicles (AVs) & delivery drones in city. b) encourage AV testing in real life environments of city. c) build safety cues that can be used by AVs & people drivers alike to improve pedestrian & bike safety in the age of AVs. 4) connected - self-driving vehicles communicate w/ each other, mapping software finds fastest route based on real time conditions & predictive modeling, integrated mobility as a service software identifies best multimodal routes & coordinates payments seamlessly. The city could a) identify best available integrated route planner & promote b) make paid parking easy & auto. through App. 5) human scale last mile -first mile (micromobility) - walk, bike, scooter whether electric or not. To encourage city should: a) favor higher density development near transit corridors, b) implement 'complete streets' model on El Camino & major transit corridors incld. protected bike lanes c) fully build out bike & pedestrian pathways so people can get anywhere in city safely via bike, etc. d) cont. supporting Safe Routes to School improvement projects & funding for coordinator e) develop policies for docked/dockless bike share & incld. desig. places to dock f) Offer 'bike valet'

What kind of impact will your idea have? (250 words)

Accelerates adoption of clean, shared, equitable mobility solutions in the city through policies, incentives and planning.

Scale: Describe how your idea could reach a significant number of people affected. (250 words)

Planning for changes in 'Transportation' is difficult, regional, and involves multimodal solutions. It touches on the economy, personal choice and freedom, the housing crisis, traffic, and 'car culture'. Decisions by the city can either support and accelerate changes or delay and discourage change.

Feasibility: Where are you with understanding the feasibility of your idea? Describe what you’ve done so far and your plans. (500 words)

Policy decisions are feasible that 1) improve convenience, 2) reduce costs, 3) are equitable, 4) improve safety, 5) reduce greenhouse gas emissions, 6) are popular with residents and businesses and 7) increase city revenue. Many of the proposed actions would meet multiple feasibility criteria.

As you consider your next steps, what kinds of help could you use? Is there a type of expertise that would be most helpful? (300 words)

Help needed:
- Research into policies already existing at the city with respect to 'complete streets', required parking in residential and commercial areas, Transportation Demand Management for new developments, city fleet purchasing policy, bicycle infrastructure, EV charging infrastructure, mobility /trip planning applications, and ride sharing support.
- Identify cost and feasibility of proposed actions and which actions could have the greatest benefit.

Are you willing to share your email contact information submitted on OpenIDEO with our partners?

  • Yes, share my contact information

[Optional] Attachments: Please upload relevant attachments or graphics or show us how you came up with your idea.

References:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transportation_as_a_Service
https://www.nerdwallet.com/blog/loans/total-cost-owning-car/
https://business.routerank.com/mobility-as-a-service/?gclid=CjwKCAjwrqnYBRB-EiwAthnBFsvotwftnThtyt2N3Sxte2dJSWcrJ00geiC50_RwK_Omjr6JkY6bDxoCHd0QAvD_BwE
https://www.wired.com/story/san-francisco-electric-scooters-bird-limebike/

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