Momentum: Issue #17

April 15, 2019


By Amy Ford, Director, Mobility on Demand Alliance

“If we can empower them, there is no limit to what we can do in mobility.” Empower who, you ask? When the former Governor of Washington State Christine Gregoire helped to launch ITS America’s Mobility on Demand (MOD) Alliance on April 4, she was speaking about the private companies, public sector entities, transportation sector workers, and ultimately the traveling public who, together, are in the midst of transforming how we think about transportation.

Led by MOD Alliance Co-Chairs Roger Millar, Secretary of Transportation of the Washington State Department of Transportation and Chris Murray, President & CEO, Kapsch North America, more than 120 public, private and non-profit sector attendees gathered to both dive into how the dynamic, evolving space of new forms of mobility are reshaping how people, freight and data move and to help set the stage for how the MOD Alliance can help tackle the opportunities and challenges to fully realize the benefits of MOD.

As Federal Transit Administration (FTA) Senior Transportation Analyst and key MOD advocate Danyell Diggs outlined, MOD is a vision for an integrated network of safe, carefree, and reliable transportation options that are available to all. Let’s think a moment about what those words mean.


From a customer perspective, integrated means that a traveler could start their morning by taking a ride-hail or rideshare to the light rail, train to their stop, scooter to their office and then pick up a car share later that evening to drive home using an Express Lane. It could mean seamlessly planning that trip on a single application, being able to choose and book different modes of transportation and then later pay for the entire experience through a single platform.

Integrated also means enabling transportation and mobility operators (both public and private) to fully leverage all available assets cooperatively to deliver infrastructure and data as a service, whether for their customers or their cargo. It could mean that the public and private sectors are sharing meaningful data, both in real-time and historic, that enables regional and even joint decision-making about how to better operate and manage the railways, roadways, fleets such as delivery trucks, buses, bikes or scooters and transportation assets like curb space, parking and mobility hubs.

For All

Most important, however, is ensuring that no person is left behind in this surge of new mobility options.

“This is not just about deploying technology. We must focus on equity and privacy. Mobility cannot harden the division of opportunity; it must raise all boats.” These thoughts from Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan weren’t just the perspective of a Washington region whose advanced MOD collaborations were showcased at the MOD Alliance Launch Forum. Policy issues including social equity, serving persons with disabilities, addressing potential workforce disruption, and privacy and data security were echoed by the many public sector executives from organizations like the San Francisco County Transportation Authority, Portland Metro Council, Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada, CalTrans, New York City DOT and private sector companies like Conduent, Amazon Web Services, Cubic, Lyft, Toyota, Ford, Panasonic North America, Uber, Visa, Lime and McKinsey & Company.


The goals for the mobility experience are for the traveler to feel both safe and carefree. Attendees spent the half-day session starting to tackle some of the challenges and issues that would impact building that carefree experience both for the customer and for the providers.

·  How to we create scale and replicability for MOD? What are the items that you need to ensure we can start moving past pilots that create seamless mobility?

·  What is the cultural shift in public agencies and private companies to increase awareness of and enable the scale and replicability of MOD?

·  Does the public need to know about Mobility on Demand – or do they just need to experience it? How should we educate the public and who should do it – the public or the private sector?

·  If part of MOD is private sector mobility services, how do we create a system that not just improves the safety, accessibility and access to quality travel in our communities but also develops a marketplace that integrates with public mobility and still works for the private sector (aka – how can they make money?).

The answers and engagement on these questions at the Launch Forum helped to lay the path of the MOD Alliance in the next year. As a convener where all players (public, private, non-profit) have an equal voice, the MOD Alliance is poised to delve into policy in this critical year where the transportation reauthorization bill is currently being assessed and MOD must be highlighted, where cities, regions, states and private providers are working to tackle data sharing expectations, where new implications around insurance and automation are impacting policy and decision-making.

We hope that many of you consider joining us at the next MOD Forum, which will include a deep dive for Alliance members on several MOD issues and an overview forum for general attendees. We will host the event on June 3, the day before the ITS America Annual Meeting begins, in Washington DC, June 4th – 7th.

For more information, please contact Amy Ford, Director, Mobility on Demand Alliance at 


Name: Christiana Cameron
Title: Chief Financial Officers
Company: ITS America

Favorite Part of working at ITSA:  I learn something new every day.

What’s the future of #ITS look like to you?  I’m not a transportation expert,  but living in the congested DC metropolitan area –  with extremely high housing costs in our urban core –  I spend a lot of time thinking about how thoughtful deployment of ITS can address quality of life and equity issues for all members of our larger community.

Most looking forward to in 2019: This is only my second Annual Meeting with ITS America, and I’m thrilled that we’re hosting it this year in my adopted hometown, Washington, DC.  I can’t think of a better place to gather innovative leaders from across our industry for vibrant conversations about the future of intelligent mobility.  

Favorite place to travel:  I’ve traveled extensively in Europe, the Americas and throughout the Mediterranean, have seen some pretty incredible things and met a lot of really interesting people.  But when I need to recharge with family, my absolute favorite place is the northern part of Lake George in the Adirondacks of upstate New York where my husband grew up.  The water is so clean you can drink it straight from the lake, the fishing for small mouth bass and the occasional perch is pretty much all you need for dinner, the summer weather is perfect and there’s almost nothing better for the soul than lazing away a day with family on the dock or the boat.

Most Unusual Job you have ever had before current position:  Immediately after graduation from university,  for the better part of a year I interned at the Italian Consulate in NYC, working for their cultural attaché.  It was a fascinating subculture, perfect for someone who loves to sit back and observe human interactions.  If I ever write a book, characters from my time at I’ Istituto Italiano di Cultura will figure prominently.

If you weren’t working in Transportation industry you would:  If I hadn’t pursued a career in business, I would be probably be a professor of Italian language.