Transportation networks across the U.S. are at a breaking point and commuters have had enough.
Despite the wealth of innovation and technology advancements pumped out by Silicon Valley, it seems the problem of gridlock and long commute times has yet to be solved. A poll conducted in the Bay Area shows that two-thirds of residents want a significant investment made to deal with the problem, even if this results in higher taxes.
Fortunately, the demands of commuters are being met with more flexible options and promising proposals. If the following predictions are realized, commuters will enjoy a smoother journey in the very near future.
More Flexible Options with On Demand and Ridesharing
In the past, transportation providers focused on providing commuters with cheaper modes of transportation with inflexible routes and schedules to save on costs.
Demands have changed and the future of mass transit needs to be flexible, shared and autonomous.
Ridesharing, commuter bike programs, and on demand transit are a few of the options that will help to reduce the dependency on single-occupancy vehicles that cause gridlock and traffic nightmares. In addition to the current infrastructure of rigid bus routes and fixed metro stops, these new commuting options will form a bridge that provides complete end-to-end transportation that is dynamic, flexible, and on demand.
Reduction in Single-Occupancy Vehicles
Joint Venture Silicon Valley (JVSV), a nonprofit organization that aims to assess and solve problems in the Bay Area, proposed an innovative solution to introduce a “trip-cap” that would limit the number of car trips through the region.
This five-part proposal, entitled Fair Value Commuting (FVC), will be rolled out over 24 months with the predicted result to reduce the percentage of single-occupancy vehicles making Bay Area commutes from 75% to 50% (approximately 1 million trips). Based on their size, companies will be allowed a certain number of commuter vehicles and if they exceed that number they would have to adopt commuter-reducing strategies as outlined in the proposal.
Rapid Transit Systems
Bus rapid transit is also being introduced to reduce travel time in the Bay Area.
In San Jose, a significant segment of the 7 mile Alum Rock-Santa Clara system has already started running. There is a bus only lane at Alum Rock, traffic signal prioritization, and a service every ten minutes during peak commute time. BART is scheduled to expand to downtown San Jose by 2026 and the first segment of a high speed rail is under construction between Bakersfield and Fresno. Once in place, the high speed rail should have a dramatic effect on commuters’ journey times.
Self Driving Cars
Autonomous cars will have a transformative effect on commuting as we know it. According to Jason Lancaster, automotive analyst and founder of Spork Marketing, “Self-driving will make the commute part of the work day.”
Uber recently struck a deal to buy up to 24,000 self-driving cars from Volvo. The ridesharing company has already tested autonomous cars during a pilot program in Pittsburgh.
Meanwhile, ridersharing rival Lyft is planning to launch a fleet of self-driving cars in San Francisco. Although it’s likely to be three to five years before autonomous cars are widely available, many companies are preparing for this future by creating flexible commute programs and adopting future-ready software, such as Tripshot, that is built specifically for commuting.
Purpose-Built Commuter Management Software
In order for companies and fleets to accurately manage the increasing demand from commuters on transportation services, they need the support from advanced technology and purpose-built software to keep it all in one place. Many existing applications for managing fleets and commute programs are not built specifically for that purpose, so they quickly become obsolete as demands increase and rapid innovation becomes paramount.
Tripshot is different as it was built from the ground up specifically for the needs of commuting.
By combining all the needs of commuter transportation into a single unified platform, Tripshot provides companies and fleets with everything they need to operate efficiently including robust route management, trip planning, ridesharing, vehicle tracking, ELD, On Demand, Tripshot pay, mobile apps and more.
The Future of Commuting Is Flexible
Analysts are suggesting that the future of commuting should support creative productivity. If companies want a happier, healthier, and more creative workforce, then examining issues associated with commuting is essential. Two of these issues – gridlock and an overwhelmed public transport system – have been major problems for commuters for some time and result in high stress and poor productivity.
With rapid advancements in technology, more flexible transit options such as On Demand and new software built specifically for the needs of commuting, the future is looking bright for dramatically improved commuter journeys.