April 22, 2020

NACTO Shares Global COVID-19 Transportation Response Data


Cities around the world are trying to figure out the best way to react in today’s strange new world which is flooded with effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. People are being urged by public health experts to stay home, to flatten the curve. And while many people are doing just that, others still rely on various modes of transportation for their essential trips to get to work, shop for groceries, or whatever their need may be.

The National Association of City Transportation Officials (NACTO) recently released their own COVID-19 Transportation Response Center. This online hub acts as a resource for transportation staff, officials, leaders, and of course, anyone else with internet access and an interest in these things (that could be you!). 

A quick look – and maybe even a quick download and filter application – of the City Transportation Action Updates spreadsheet, tells a story of the variety of actions being taken globally by mobility operators. From free public transit for all to free taxi rides for health care workers to additional fees for ride hailing, no one knows for certain what the best way to move forward is, but organizations are doing what they think is best and learning from others along the way. 

Let’s take a look at bike share specifically. 

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Who’s not here?

This was one of the main questions posed on November 21, 2019 to a room filled with attendees of “Smart City Talks: Putting People First: a dialogue on Vancouver’s public spaces” hosted by Urbanarium and UBC School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture.

This key question was asked first by Jay Pitter, author and placemaker whose practice mitigates growing divides in urban centres, and similarly posed by additional speakers, John Bela from Gehl Studio, and Kelty McKinnon representing PFS Studio.

As my first time attending an Urbanarium-hosted event, I enjoyed the evening’s dialogue and it likely won’t be my last. The discussion was thought provoking and interesting – but above all, it was bold and honest. No bushes were beat around on this evening as panelists shared what was on their mind loud and clear. Whether they agreed with each other or not.

The discussion was guided by three defined topics:

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Hello everyone!

My name is Laura Beattie and I am happy to say that I will be contributing to Price Tags from now on.

I currently work as the Project Manager at Mobi by Shaw Go, Vancouver’s public bike share system, where I have been helping to get more people riding bikes since our program launch in 2016. I am also on the Board of Directors for Modo, the carshare co-op, to further help people live their best multimodal life.

I moved to Vancouver four years ago and have fallen in love with this city. The mountains and ocean brought me out here, while the extensive menu of transportation options, access to outdoor activities, and a new community of friends have kept me here. I can confidently say that moving here was one of the best decisions I’ve made. My other home is Hamilton, Ontario which I also love, but more for family connections and beautiful fall leaves.

I love to nerd out on sustainable transportation (as you can probably already tell) but am also very interested in green business practices, urban planning, equity, and how one’s sense of community can be grown and nurtured through public spaces and city design.

In my spare time you can find me rock climbing, propagating house plants, or admiring the PNW moss. I look forward to sharing thoughts and information with you as well as invoking some good discussion. If you have any particular story ideas, add a comment here to let me know. Cheers!

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