Tuesday, May 15, 2018, 12:00PM (ET)
Note: This webinar will feature 2 presentations on papers published in the Journal of Public Transportation.

Does the Future of Mobility Depend on Public Transportation?

We’ve all seen the headlines. “Will self-driving cars, taxis make mass transit obsolete?” (Davidson 2017) and “What happens if Uber or Lyft outcompetes public transit?” (Sen 2017) or even “Department Of Transportation Says The Future Of Transit Looks Pretty Bleak” (Griggs 2015). We are entering the next great revolution in how people move about in cities. But does the future of transportation mean the end of transit? Download Handout

This presentation will discuss the main points of an article published in the Journal of Public Transportation.

Presenter: Kari Watkins, Ph.D., Georgia Institute of Technology

Dr. Kari Watkins is the Frederick Law Olmsted Associate Professor in the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Georgia Tech. She returned to her undergraduate alma mater to become a faculty member in 2011 after completing her PhD at the University of Washington. Her teaching and research interests include multi-modal transportation planning, the use of technology in transportation, traveler information, and complete streets design to create a more livable transportation system. Dr. Watkins’ is the recipient of the Council of University Transportation Centers (CUTC) 2017 New Faculty Award and was recently named to Engineering Georgia’s 100 Influential Women to Know. Prior to her doctoral studies, Dr. Watkins worked for a decade as a senior transportation engineer leading regional transportation, transit, and biking studies.

Can Public Transportation Compete with Automated and Connected Cars?

Over the next 30 years, technological innovation will make automobile travel more convenient. Automated and connected vehicles will perform an increasing number of driving tasks without human input and will lure customers away from traditional public transportation. This paper first explores key characteristics of public transportation demand in the United States today–based on an international comparison with other Western countries. Next, the paper provides potential pathways on how public transportation agencies and local governments in the United States could respond to the emergence of automated and connected vehicles. The paper argues that space efficiency in urbanized areas and the rush hour commute will remain public transportation’s key strengths. In addition, public transportation will retain its important role in providing mobility for all—-in particular, for those who cannot afford costly automated and connected vehicles. To remain competitive with the car, public transportation agencies and governments have to harness emerging automated and connected technologies for public transportation, integrate public transportation with other mobility services, coordinate and integrate public transportation services regionally, and coordinate planning for public transportation and land use. Download Handout

This presentation will discuss the main points of an article published in the Journal of Public Transportation.

Presenter: Ralph Buehler, Ph.D., Virginia Tech

Ralph Buehler, PhD is Associate Professor in Urban Affairs & Planning at Virginia Tech in Alexandria, Virginia, USA. Most of his research has an international comparative perspective, contrasting transport and land-use policies, transport systems, and travel behavior in Western Europe and North America. He is the author or coauthor of over 50 refereed articles in academic journals, the book City Cycling (MIT Press), as well as reports to federal and local governments, NGOs, and for profit industry organizations in the USA and abroad. Between 2012 and 2018 he served as chair of the TRB committee on Bicycle Transportation.



Please take a few minutes to complete the evaluation.

  1. Agree “doorstep to doorstep” on-all same vehicle direct to real destination will replace conventional start stop transfer poor access service.

    But it can get started with human drivers,then pragmental self drive as it matures.

    It will be Public Transportation 24/7. End to “empty bus image.”
    Metro Areas need to help start at low very subsidized fares by shifting subsidies from mass transit.
    There will be need for some mass transit on a few very active corridors, and event service as augmentation.

    After more than 30 year, public has spoken by not shifting meaningful numbers to mass transit.


    In addition to adequate roads and some automated guideways, high priority is to develop the vehicles that can support this, and meet very stiff energy and emissions performance.
    Design direction is all electric, but fuel cell, hydroge etc cannot be overlooked.

    Good luck with your efforts.


    Walt Brewer

  2. Is this serve as registration?

    • Hi Dan,

      There is no registration for the webinar. Download the ICS file from the post and it will save the connection information to your calendar.


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