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Open Access Publications from the University of California

New Mobility: Using Technology and Partnerships to Create More Sustainable Transportation


Land development and vehicle travel continue to outpace population growth. Efforts to manage this growth and the adverse impacts associated with it have been mostly ineffective. Promising technology solutions include telecommunications (telecommuting, electronic commerce, teleconferencing, etc.), small personal vehicles (electric bikes and neighborhood vehicles); and new "smart" transport modes (car sharing, "smart" paratransit, etc.).

These options have the potential to be environmentally and economically superior to today’s car-dominated system. Yet none have flourished. Why? One hypothesis is that many automobile substitutes and complements have been rejected because they have been introduced individually and incrementally - not as part of a coordinated transportation system

New mobility is a fundamentally new approach to this problem, focusing on intermodal clustering of innovative technologies with existing transportation options to create a coordinated transportation system that could substitute for the traditional auto. The concept of new mobility was explored at a workshop hosted by the Institute of Transportation Studies at the University of California, Davis on November 2, 1998. This report describes the technologies of new mobility and suggests ways that they might be coupled together through public-private partnerships and experimentation at the local level.

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