In order to reduce congestion, the city of Aspen, Colorado, is employing a city mobility lab to study traffic patterns and trial an app called Miles to encourage less driving. The goal is to try to decrease the number of cars coming into the town each day by 800. The mobility lab is named Shift, and Ashley Perl, the lab’s project director, answered some questions for CleanTechnica.
1. How does Shift change driver behavior?
It provides options for those who are currently sitting in their car alone in traffic and don’t want to do so anymore. It does this by providing mobility services that help them overcome their current barriers.
2. What kind of rewards can drivers earn using the Miles app?
Discounts and purchases at local and national retailers.
3. What congestion problems are you trying to solve and why?
Aspen is a 1 way-in community and our main bridge is over capacity from 7 am-3pm inbound and 1-6 outbound every day. This is not the quality of life we want to deliver.
4. Are there particular times of year when congestion is worse?
Both summer and winter.
5. What are the main sources of congestion?
We don’t have great data, which is one of the reasons why Shift is a test – it aims to collect data on the problem.
6. Do you have info on how many local people use smart phones and apps, or are they ubiquitous at this point?
We don’t know.
7. Is there a ridesharing program in Aspen?
Lyft and Uber are here, but very limited. The City funds the Downtowner service for the core of town.
8. Is the Aspen population growing overall?
Yes, but slowly.
9. How will you determine if the project is successful or not?
The only success measure is if we get to try out things and collect data on what works and what doesn’t.
Image Credit: CC BY-SA 3.0
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