Employees of a Colorado-based non-profit will soon move to Austin to begin studying the city’s various commuting woes as part of a partnership finalized Thursday.
The City’s calling it a “multi-year Mobility Transformation program,” intended to develop “mobility as a service that is electrified and eventually autonomous.”
Greg Rucks is with the Rocky Mountain Institute and will manage the project here in Austin. One of the organization’s first goals has little to do with traffic; rather, it’s to increase the number of electric and environmentally friendly vehicles on the roads. Rucks says they’ve already started talks with ride-sharing and taxi companies about adding electric vehicles to their fleets. Rocky Mountain Institute’s team of ten will also spend the next year finding a way to fill the gaps in public transportation. For instance, finding a way to get commuters from their homes to bus stops when the stops aren't very close by.
“Maybe the private companies could give you a ride to that node, get you on that public transportation service and allow you to use it in a way that you didn’t before,” Rucks says.
The partnership will last between three and five years, and will work within the City’s already-approved budget.
*This story originally referred to several U.S. cities as 'partners' with RMI. RMI only has official partnerships w Denver and Austin.