Happy Thursday Everyone!
This week has been quite the whirlwind for me — but I’m definitely going to do better at posting even in the midst of my busy schedule. Last night, I attended “Transportation In The City” that was held at 1776 and hosted by the nonprofit organization Smart Growth America. This was the third event of Smart Growth America’s “In The City” series, and it included a panel of experts on mass transit here in The District. The purpose of this event was to continue the conversation about the expansion and evolution of transit options here in The District and surrounding suburbs, as well as the role that technology is playing in executing these new ideas.
Before the actual panel discussion began, attendees had the opportunity to walk around the room and meet and mingle with representatives from transportation providers like Car2Go, ZipCar, UBER and RideScout (a new app that aggregates all ground transportation options and the time that each will take to your destination) It was really cool to see all of the different options that Washingtonians have to get around (in addition to bus, train and taxi), as well as what organizations like Coalition for Smarter Growth are doing to encourage and empower residents to use mass transit and challenge their local government to make these options more efficient.
The panelists spoke on a number of issues regarding transportation: from accessibility of mass transit options for all citizens, to public-private partnerships, to data that is being collected in order to determine the demographics of users of each of these services. But of course, it’s no conversation without mentioning millennials! All of the panelist agreed that the arrival of millennials in The District has greatly impacted the need and increase for mass transportation options. I don’t know about most millennials, but I love having options — especially ones that are timely and efficient. Sometimes, I just don’t have 17 minutes to wait on a Red Line train, so hoping in an UBER taxi is going to be the next best thing. And as the number one city in the country to employ college grads, Washington, D.C. is finding that many millennials are more interested in walking, biking and taking the Metro than driving — and I couldn’t agree more. While it would be convenient to have a vehicle, it really isn’t necessary to have one living in a city like D.C. There are so many stipulations when it comes to parking in this city, and I’ve seen way too many friends rack up tickets and get their whips towed — so I’m good for right now.
With the talk around transportation not going away any time soon, I’m interested to see how transportation providers will use data to their benefit. It’s rather convenient to hop on the Metro and bus, but I can’t help but appreciate having the option of taking a taxi, black car or even driving myself to get to where I need to go.
If you live in a big city, what are some of your favorite transportation providers to use? Tweet me or leave a comment below.