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Companies fuse data and resources to address the world's "biggest" mobility problems

SteetLight Data and Boston Consulting Group are joining forces to help the public and private sectors navigate the transportation challenges and opportunities of the post-Covid-19 world.
 

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The two sides have already worked together on a Trip Reduction Index
The two sides have already worked together on a Trip Reduction Index

StreetLight Data and Boston Consulting Group (BCG) are working together to help the public and private sectors better manage urban mobility in the post-Covid-19 world.

 

In one of their first joint projects, they have partnered to use advanced data analytics to study vehicle miles travelled (VMT) on US roadways to create a Trip Reduction Index to measure adherence to lockdown policies.

 

Modal choices

 

Research for the index began in March 20020 before states imposed stay-at-home orders to understand travel patterns and modal choices during the different stages of lockdown and reopening in each state, county, and metropolitan statistical area (MSA).

 

Key index findings include:

  • From the beginning of March through 7 April, the national average drop in VMT was 72 per cent.
  • Since then rural counties have fully recovered to pre-Covid-19 levels while urban counties are still in recovery at about 90 per cent
  • That number varied by MSA and state, with the New York, New Jersey and Connecticut tri-state area and Washington DC initially seeing drops of 80- to 90 per cent, while states including Texas and Alabama saw drops of only of 50- 60 per cent
  • Population density is a big driver – urban counties saw a VMT reduction that was about 20-30 percentage points higher on average than that of rural counties
  • The top three correlating factors to the VMT reduction profile are household income, population density, and prevalence of professional service jobs, all of which are higher in urban areas than rural.

Since Easter Sunday, the index shows all US counties have seen a steady recovery of VMT, with the ones experiencing a lower drop in March also recovering more quickly since the low point. The counties that experienced a smaller drop in March also recovered more quickly from the low point.

“Covid-19 has dramatically increased the need for mobility data analysis to understand travel patterns and modal choices during the different stages of lockdown and reopening”

These numbers vary substantially by county, illustrating the importance of empirical VMT data to allow cities, departments of transportation, and private mobility providers to manage transportation system supplies in a way that responds to travel demand.

 

“Covid-19 has dramatically increased the need for mobility data analysis to understand travel patterns and modal choices during the different stages of lockdown and reopening,” said Augustin Wegscheider, a partner at BCG and leader of the firm’s Center for Mobility Innovation in North America.

 

Additionally, the Streetlight-BCG partnership will focus on helping cities prepare to adopt micromobility and autonomous vehicles using StreetLight’s big data resources to move beyond the limitations of traditional mobility measurement, inform strategy for the scale deployment of these new offerings, and design services around them.

“We’re excited about fusing our data with BCG’s vast strategic resources to solve the world’s biggest mobility problems”

“Sound mobility decisions begin with sound data. We’re excited about fusing our data with BCG’s vast strategic resources to solve the world’s biggest mobility problems, impacting everything from our daily commutes to our climate,” added Laura Schewel, co-founder and CEO of StreetLight Data.

 

Urban logistics, a key contributor to congestion in city centres, is another area of focus for the strategic partnership; BCG and StreetLight will work with municipalities, as well as logistics and transportation providers and their large customers, with the aim of optimising the flow of goods through dense urban areas.

 

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