2:00pm - 3:00pm
1605 Tilia, Room 1103, West Village
Paul Minett, Managing Director, Trip Convergence, New Zealand
In US metro areas over 50,000 population, more than 90 percent of road-based commuters drive to work, and a further 5.6 percent ride with them as carpool passengers. 3.5 percent take buses, and 0.4 percent travel in vanpools. While the trip to work is not the only source of traffic congestion, it is the most predictable. In most US metro areas, too many vehicles arrive given the capacity of the roads and day in and day out the peak work-trip hours become a drudger that wastes time and energy resources, causes excess emissions, and fuels calls for ever-more expensive expansions of road and rail networks and the public transport that runs on them. Ongoing population growth suggests that this problem will get progressively worse.
However, one view of the future holds that a tipping point will soon be reached in which a full suite of transportation options become reliable, convenient, affordable and otherwise attractive enough to compete with single occupant automobile travel. In this view, the worst of traffic congestion will disappear through a switch to some new preferred mode.
This talk discusses the potential for this future and questions the likelihood that a tipping point will be reached if the current engineering paradigm persists. Exploring the range of existing solutions and others under development, the talk argues that a new type of civic engagement is needed – talking to the 90 percent about how to get their help reducing the traffic.
Paul Minett is Managing Director of Trip Convergence, a New Zealand-based startup ridesharing service provider that focuses on the use of meeting-places for forming carpools, in much the same way that the slug-lines (Washington DC) and casual carpooling (San Francisco) work, without any pre-arrangement on a trip by trip basis. Mr. Minett is also Managing Director of Strategic Lift, a business strategy consultancy that helps organizations of all sizes figure out what they are going to do next. He initially trained as an accountant and held senior financial controllership roles before completing an MBA and moving into business strategy consulting. A strategy project for a city transportation department led to the insights that now drive his transportation-related work.
Mr. Minett is a co-founder of the Ridesharing Institute, formed to bring focus and research to the question of how we better use the empty seats in the vehicles on the roads of the world, especially during peak travel periods. He is also chair of the Emerging Ridesharing Solutions Sub-Committee of the Transportation Research Board (TRB) and a member of the Emerging and Innovative Public Transport and Technologies Committee of the TRB. He has written several papers and magazine articles about the need for a new policy paradigm for transportation.