Event Recap: Shifting Towards Sustainable Public Transportation

Event Recap: Shifting Towards Sustainable Public Transportation

On September 27, the Initiative on Cities hosted two speakers to discuss how urban transportation can shift towards an equitable, sustainable future.

Terry Regan

Terrance Regan

Terrence Regan, from the Boston University Metropolitan College and the U.S. DOT Volpe Center, covered how regional governments are cooperating with private businesses to make large-scale projects more feasible and modern. Companies often provide funding and introduce new markets to compete against traditional public transportation, like ridesharing. The combination of public and private actors in policy initiatives, such as electronic tolling or mobile payments, reduce traffic delays and simplify the the average commute.

Lily Song

Lily Song

Lily Song, from the Harvard Graduate School of Design, looked into how political leadership has directly impacted the success of transportation policies. Lily presented her findings from TUT-POL, Transforming Urban Transport- The Role of Political Leadership, which studies transformative transportation projects in eight democratically governed cities around the world. These shifts often occur during crisis moments or in response to disruptive technologies, like Uber. Although, the relationship between the public and private sector is interrupting longstanding public funding models; for example, the gas tax is diminishing in utility with the increased prevalence of electric cars.

View Lily’s presentation here, and view Terrance’s presentation here.