Mobility Management News:
August 2021
Hello newsletter readers,

I recently went on an overnight summer bike trip with a friend through Northern Maryland and into Southern Pennsylvania. The route was exclusively along a former railway line; in essence, it was a rail trail. We woke up early on a muggy summer Saturday, drove up to the trailhead in Maryland, and started munching some wooded miles on our loaded up bikes. Unlike some natural destinations, there was the option to take frequent public transit near the trailhead-within a moderate walking distance. We were fortunate enough to have the choice between driving versus taking public transit but could handle the journey from the transit stop to the trail; we were on bikes anyway.

I'd ridden 15 miles or so from the same Maryland trailhead a few times but not the whole length of the trail or into Pennsylvania. The 50+ miles we had in store would lead us gently uphill across the state line before heading downhill to a southern Pennsylvania city. I was prepared to spend a number of hours in the saddle but I wasn't prepared for one big change in trail quality between states and even between municipalities. The trail changed, from hard-packed gravel to narrower single track with less-packed gravel to paved asphalt thrice as wide as the previous section, multiple times. I saw many people stop their trek onward when encountering a less traversable section-and simply turn around in disgust. When thinking about the purpose of a rail -accessible travel within nature, the abrupt change in surface could prove problematic for those not prepared. Just think of an older person using a mobility device like a walker or someone riding a more road-suited bike suddenly coming upon big chunks of gravel. 

As I mentioned in July's newsletter, transit access to nature is incredibly important to one's health and well-being. But beyond accessing parks and recreation, facilitating easy mobility within them is equally important. If it the change in terrain, online and on the trail, was better communicated, patrons would hopefully have a better time on their trips. A goal with a greater impact would be a fully accessible trail, with uniform surface terrain along it's whole route. Ideally, this would be the case for all trails across every state. When a place is accessible for everyone, then everyone benefits.

When you look at the trails in your area (there likely is at least one), think about how accessible it is - to the site and within it. There's probably room for improvement.

Stay well,

Kirby Wilhelm
(202) 489-6020
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Level 1 MaaS Training
NCMM is offering a free training opportunity to assist communities in moving to Level 1 MaaS (or to other levels/aspects of other levels, if level 1 has already been reached). Level 1 MaaS is almost identical to what has been called one-call/one-click services in the past. Interested communities are now invited to apply to participate in this training before the Sep. 17 deadline. You can find out more about the opportunity here. Interested communities can apply through this form.
Social Isolation Collaboration
NCMM is seeking to facilitate groundbreaking collaborations among state-level agencies within a single state or tribal nation who are interested in working together to address the positive role of transportation in reducing social isolation among older adults. NCMM will offer to facilitate, and potentially provide pilot funding for, a project involving these agencies. The deadline to apply is Sep. 1. You can learn more about the opportunity here.
NCMM 2021 Ready-to-Launch Grants
NCMM is announcing a new grant opportunity. The 2021 Ready-to-Launch Grants, funded by the FTA, of up to $75,000 will allow communities to pilot a promising mobility solution, the development of which was inspired and informed by the results of community research. The solution being proposed must be a new idea, not the expansion or continuation of an existing service. The solution also must address transportation equity with regard to low-income, elderly, and/or underserved individuals. The deadline to apply is Oct. 15. Learn more here.
NCMM Webinar - Mobility on Demand: Turning Innovative Pilot Projects into Sustainable, Long-Term Programs 
During this session, participants will hear from a wide range of national mobility management experts who have conceptualized, developed, and piloted a variety of Mobility on Demand projects that have resulted in long-term, sustainable programs. Speakers will discuss the challenges, successes, and lessons they learned as they used creative strategies to unify varying transportation modes to ensure riders receive safe, reliable, and efficient trips. The webinar will be held Sep. 30 at 3 p.m. ET. Register for the webinar here.
2021 Mobility Management Forum
Attendees will have a triple-header Tuesday, Nov. 9, at this year's Mobility Management Forum: 1) The morning will feature a presentation on How to Achieve Equity in Transportation; a panel showcasing Virginia mobility managers' projects; a panel on Innovative Projects from around the country, including NCMM grantees; and a presentation on Applying MaaS Strategies to Advancing Transportation Options in Small Communities. 2) Attendees will be welcomed at CTAA's Opening EXPO lunch. 3) During the afternoon, NCMM will host an "unconference" on Mobility Innovation. For this session, the mobility management attendees drive the agenda-bringing forth issues they would like to learn and share with others in three fast-paced 50-minute sessions. There is no fee to attend any of these events. (NCMM will cover the lunch cost for those who attend the forum only; others will have lunch included in their EXPO registration.) Register at CTAA EXPO 2021.
2021 Mobility Management Poster Session
Begin preparing now to showcase a poster of your work on the CTAA EXPO Trade Show Floor. The poster sessions give mobility management practitioners a chance to shine, sharing their innovative practices in an informal setting with all EXPO attendees. $500 scholarships will be provided to all accepted poster presenters. Deadline to submit your posted is now Oct. 15. Learn more here.
2021 Midwest Transit Conference: Mobility Management Roundtable
NCMM will host a roundtable discussion on "The Role of Mobility Managers in Innovation" on Sep. 9, from 10:30 a.m. -12:00 p.m. CST at the 2021 Midwest Transit Conference. Any mobility managers attending the conference are welcome to join. This roundtable, hosted by NCMM's Brandon Roccio along with Lisa Womack, director, Mobility Services, Kansas City Area Transportation Authority, and Mike Spadafore, director, Mobility management, Jayhawk Area Agency on Aging, will provide an opportunity for mobility management practitioners to collaborate and discuss how creative partnerships, funding models, and other innovative strategies can be used to develop sustainable coordinated mobility solutions. You can learn more about the 2021 Midwest Transit Conference here.
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N-CATT Request for Applications: State Technology Summits
N-CATT is soliciting applications for up to three state Departments of Transportation to hold State Technology Summits with their small-urban, rural, and tribal agencies. This is an opportunity for agencies across the state to bring in challenges they face and use those to work with their statewide peers to collaborate on technology priorities and begin mapping out tech investments at the state level. You can learn more about the opportunity here. The deadline is Sep. 24.
TRANSED 2022 Call for Abstracts
The Transportation Research Board of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, supported by the U.S. Department of Transportation, invites your participation in the 16th International Conference on Mobility and Transport for Older Adults and People with Disabilities (TRANSED), themed Inclusive and Accessible Transportation in Community and Regional Resilience, to be held September 2022 in Seattle, Wash. Abstracts can be submitted for presentations until the extended October 29 deadline. To find out more about the conference and abstract submission process, visit the TRANSED 2022 Abstract Call webpage.
Transportation Media of the Month
This dog in Istanbul, Turkey has been outed as an ardent public transportation user after someone posted a photo of it online riding the bus. Soon others shared their photos of the same dog riding around on other buses! 
About Mobility Management News
Mobility Management News is the newsletter of the National Center for Mobility Management (NCMM), which is operated jointly by the Community Transportation Association, the American Public Transportation Association and Easter Seals under a cooperative agreement with the Federal Transit Administration.