The Role Of Transportation And The Economic Health Of Cities And Its Impact On People

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we may not yet be living in an age of flying cars, as predicted in the 1985 film Back To The Future II, but the rise of smartphones and other new technologies is creating a reality that is arguably as exciting and almost as far-fetched.

Experts agree that economic and demographic changes, technological advances and environmental concerns are fundamentally altering the transportation landscape. “It’s a very dynamic time,” said Robert Puentes, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution’s Metropolitan Policy Program thinktank. “There’s a focus on a tighter connection between the role of transportation and the economic health of cities and its impact on people.”

As the average US commute lengthens and the country’s infrastructure ages
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“The most sustainable places to live are those places that have multi-modal transport systems,” Puentes said. “You can’t be a global competitive city if you don’t have a robust transportation network.”

Here are three of the key trends that experts predict will shape the transportation industry over the coming years.

Connectivity
The rise of ride-sharing services like Uber and Lyft – essentially taxis booked at the click of a smartphone button – and apps like Waze, which uses real-time traffic data to find the quickest routes for drivers, is dramatically changing how people get around, and affecting the very way in which traffic moves through a city.

Communication between riders and drivers, between different vehicles and between cars and infrastructure is bringing transportation into a new era, according to Allan Clelland, senior vice president at Iteris, a company developing new transportation technology.

Google buys Waze map app for $1.3bn Read more
The impact of these new apps could be broad. For one thing, ride- and car sharing could facilitate a drop in private car ownership, especially among young people, who tend to prefer using multiple modes of transportation.

According to a recent study from the UCLA’s Institute of Transportation Studies, vehicle travel has declined among millennials – individuals born roughly between the early 1980s and early 2000s – compared to previous
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