A new partnership between T4America and Sidewalk Labs

Our Transportation for America program works with cities across the country to create transportation networks that support economic prosperity.

New technologies play an increasingly important role in this field and today we’re excited to announce a new partnership between Transportation for America and Sidewalk Labs to support cities in this important work.

Sidewalk Labs is an urban innovation company that works with cities to develop technology that solves big urban problems across transportation, housing, energy, and data-driven management. It’s the result of a partnership between Alphabet, Inc. and Daniel Doctoroff, the former Deputy Mayor of Economic Development and Rebuilding for the City of New York and the CEO of Bloomberg LP.

Over the course of the next year, our two organizations will work with dozens of cities to better define how data and new digital tools can help them meet their pressing transportation challenges.

“Too often there’s a disconnect between tech interventions and transportation outcomes,” said Anand Babu, COO of Sidewalk Labs. “We’ve seen cities embrace a more holistic approach in our collaboration with the U.S. DOT Smart City Challenge, but it’s important to broaden that discussion to all the other cities looking for better tools to improve mobility. By drawing on Transportation for America’s long experience working within local communities, we can focus the conversation on cities’ goals and break down the divide between technologists and city leaders.”

“We continually hear from cities who want better tools to tackle the same problems of congestion, growing commutes, and access to affordable transportation options,” said James Corless, director of Transportation for America. “Working with Sidewalk Labs, we can help local leaders learn about the possibilities presented by emerging technologies, but also help first codify what they want to achieve in terms of transportation equity, reliability, and access, so the technology can be put to best use.”

We’re very excited about this new project, and look forward to working with cities across the country as part of it. Read more about this new partnership on Transportation for America’s blog.

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    One Response to A new partnership between T4America and Sidewalk Labs

    1. Rick Rybeck says:

      Excellent approach to problem solving. One area to investigate might be how to achieve an appropriate balance between user fees and access fees for transportation.

      User fees (such a mileage-based or congestion-based roadway charges and performance-based parking fees) help people make better decisions about how, when and where to travel. These better decisions make more efficient use of infrastructure while maximizing access to high-demand locations.

      Access fees capture an important, but often overlooked source of transportation funding. Well-designed and well-executed transportation facilities and services tend to inflate the value of well-served land. The lion’s share of this publicly-created land value is appropriate by a few individuals or entities who own the best-served land. This is the fuel for land speculation — a parasitic activity that fosters sprawl — which wastes valuable infrastructure and undermines economic vitality. Access fees (sometimes referred to as land value capture and recycling), return publicly-created land values to the public entities that created them. This helps make infrastructure financially self-sustaining. It also discourages land speculation, thereby reducing land prices so that residents and businesses can better afford to access the transportation infrastructure that their taxes have already paid for.

      For more information, see https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/ethical-economics-prosperity-sustainability-equity-rick-rybeck?trk=pulse_spock-articles

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