Webinar recap: Protecting user data and expanding mobility for all communities

Every day, millions of people use app-based transportation systems to get where they’re going. In addition to transporting people safely to their destinations, the companies behind the apps are also responsible for safely handling travelers’ personal and financial data. We recently partnered with Lyft to learn how operators in this space are addressing these twin safety concerns.

The webinar featured thought leaders in the space surrounding data privacy. Caroline Sampanaro—head of micro-mobility policy at Lyft—opened the webinar by describing her roots in transportation equity around New York City. Sampanaro continued by outlining Lyft’s micro-mobility pillars that include making streets safe first and foremost for people, integrating their services with transit, and their commitment to reducing emissions.

Lee Rainie—director of internet and technology research at the Pew Research Center gave a detailed report on American’s sensibilities around data privacy generally. He began with survey data showing 60 percent of Americans believe it’s not possible to go through life without being surveilled by companies. A similar percentage believes the same about government. Rainie continued with results showing over 80 percent of Americans believe the risks outweigh the benefits of corporate data gathering, and that strong majorities of people from both major political parties support increased regulation regarding personal data held by companies.

Annie Chang—head of new mobility and the director of the Mobility Data Collaborative at SAE International—discussed her work around fostering a collaborative, equitable environment in this space between operators and regulators. Chang identified two main challenges facing the industry. First, inconsistent definitions and methods around performance metrics. Here, she’s working to gain wider adoption of standardized terms and methodologies across operators and regions. Second, she made the case how standardized data-sharing between governments and app-based transportation providers would reduce compliance costs while improving the quality of data cities have access to.

Mollie Pelon McArdle—co-director of SharedStreets—closed out the webinar outlining her organization’s work crafting open-source software that facilitates managing and sharing transportation data in cities. She described applications for taking transportation network companies’ (TNC—i.e. Lyft, Uber, Via, etc.) activity, curb usage, and accessibility data and making it uniformly available to governments and providers to promote seamless coordination.

Complete Streets 301: Putting people first webinar series

Join us and our guests each month for a new topic related to creating streets and public spaces that place people first. Our next webinar will cover putting policy into practice by looking at how the City of Minneapolis worked to prioritize pedestrians through advocacy, policy, and safer street design. Register now for the webinar on Thursday, March 26, at 1:30pm ET.

Complete Streets