About Us

Mobility Lab is a source of research and best practices for advocates to increase awareness and education about more and advanced transportation options for people.

Mobility Lab Director Howard Jennings speaks at a DC Transportation Techies event

Mobility Lab is funded by Arlington County (Virginia) Commuter Services, the U.S. Department of Transportation, the Virginia Department of Transportation, and the Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation.

One of Mobility Lab’s primary roles is to measure the impacts of “transportation demand management” services in Arlington County, Virginia – frequently cited as a national leader for public transportation. Third-party research shows that Arlington’s TDM work has been very successful, even though TDM investment pales in comparison to the dollars required to build roadways. TDM outreach work throughout the county helps shift 41,000 car trips each work day from solo-driven cars to some other forms of transportation. That’s roughly the equivalent of the number of vehicles on six lanes of I-66 and I-95 during the three-hour morning rush hour. Thus TDM cost-effectively supports the investment the county has made in its land-use plan and transportation infrastructure, resulting in better use of Arlington’s transportation system.

Mobility Lab believes – through storytelling, original research, events, and strategic partnerships – we can effectively gain local and national industry-wide funding for more and better transportation options for all people.

What is TDM?

Young riders slideshowTDM is the flip side of infrastructure. It focuses on helping people use the infrastructure in place for transit, ridesharing, walking, biking, telework, and driving. It is cost-effective in guiding the design of our transportation and physical infrastructure so that alternatives to driving alone are naturally encouraged and our systems are better balanced.

As Mobility Lab CEO Lois DeMeester says, “Traffic jams occur when demand for our infrastructure exceeds supply. Transportation demand management offers fiscally responsible programs that promote better use of our existing infrastructure.”

TDM thus underlies most of the important new initiatives of today: transit-oriented development, complete streets, walkable activity centers, livability and sustainability initiatives, and integrated corridor management.

Our mission:

Paul in Raleigh

Communications director Paul Mackie

Mobility Lab nurtures innovations to a fundamental requirement of human life: better transportation options for everyone. It is a place of collaboration, education, and continuous improvement for moving people in more healthy, efficient, and sustainable ways.

Mobility Lab is based on three pillars: Research. Collaboration. Communication.

  • Research about how Arlington’s transit-oriented development works. We are embedded within the living laboratory that is Arlington County Commuter Services. We produce and disseminate cutting-edge original transportation research that details why so many of Arlington’s roads are free of the traffic that clogs so many urban areas.
  • ACCS slideshowCollaboration to bring about innovation. We are a convener and engager of top minds on transportation in the D.C. region, nationally, and internationally. We regularly hold online collaborations and events like Hack Days, TransportationCamp, and educational symposiums on topics ranging from sustainability to real-estate development and beyond.
  • Communication about best practices. We are a leading online source for how we can improve our lives by making better transportation choices than the ones our society has been trained to embrace. We want to share your research, as well as build a database of readable, entertaining, and usable best practices to work with an array of partners advocating for better policy and increased funding for those working in the TDM industry.

Awards, and what people are saying about Mobility Lab:

ACT National Conference 2015 Baltimore, MD

Paul Mackie (center), Mobility Lab’s communications director, wins the award for public advocacy at the ACT National Conference 2015 in Baltimore, Maryland

Mobility Lab has served as a meeting place and the home of idea generation for:

  • Transportation Techies‘ monthly Meetup events
  • The annual transportation unconference series, TransportationCamp DC
  • Technology-development fellowships such as the one that created TransitScreen
  • D.C. and Arlington-based partner organizations like Capital Bikeshare, Arlington Transportation Partners, BikeArlington, WalkArlington, and goDCgo
  • Virginia Tech and American University transportation-focused students
  • Civic hackers for bike trip planning software and real-time transit scree

Arlington County Commuter Services’ Results

PrintOne of Mobility Lab’s primary roles is to measure the impacts of Arlington County Commuter Services, showing that what we do works, and can be translated as a game plan for anywhere else in the world. See the latest here: Arlington County Commuter Services Performance Report FY2014 [PDF]

Mobility Lab tracks the actions of ACCS programs. Here are the latest numbers, updated in July 2015:

 

In 2006, ACCS embarked on an extensive research and evaluation program to measure its success in meeting customers’ needs and document the travel and environmental impacts of mode changes influenced by TDM services. ACCS has conducted surveys of residents, employees, service users, and employers to measure their awareness and use of TDM services, their satisfaction with the services, and their travel patterns before and after their contact with the program.

The research demonstrates the value of these cost-effective services to individual users and the collective value of the travel changes made by these users to achieve county-wide transportation and environmental objectives. Arlington County’s transportation demand management programs strive to improve mobility for residents, employees and visitors. Single-occupancy-vehicle trips are converted to more sustainable modes of transportation. Almost three-quarters of trips are converted to transit, i.e. rail and bus. We estimate that Arlington County Commuter Services’ programs shift 45,000 SOV trips each work day into other forms of transportation from the region’s roads.

We in the U.S. have been trained for our car culture, and Mobility Lab is working daily to show there are other options that offer a wide variety of direct and indirect benefits.

See the ACCS annual reports for further information about our results.

Annual Reports

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S

The forwarding button doesn’t allow me to enter my email and forward the newsletter.
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James j McLary

Just found this site and am impressed. I lived in the Fairfax County area for over 32 years and moved to Bloomington, IN to get away from the horrible “traffic”. You ideas are great and hope there can be policies that implement the concepts.

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