Tom Fairchild

Tom Fairchild, Director

Tom.Fairchild@MobilityLab.org

Tom Fairchild is the Director of Mobility Lab, the research-and-development initiative of Arlington County Commuter Services.

Tom focuses on building partnerships and creating strategies to make it easy for everyone to bike, walk and use public transportation – and is always on the lookout for new strategic alliances. His interests lie at the intersection of transportation with topics including: technology, affordable housing, real estate development, aging in place, human behavior, and health. A great example of Mobility Lab collaborations is the annual Transportation Camp DC, a tremendously successful 1-day event that captures grassroots enthusiasm and creativity to topics surrounding sustainable transportation.

Tom has 20-years hands-on experience with transit-oriented development. His grassroots community work leading Arlington’s Clarendon Alliance public-private partnership pushed the envelope toward the phenomenally successful urban space it is today. Subsequent work in the commercial real-estate development world gives him broad perspectives on livable communities.

Tom graduated with a B.S. Industrial Engineering degree from Purdue University in 1983.

Apple Transportation Program Stuck in Past

(This article was originally published by METRO Magazine.) As an avid iPhone user, I have bought into the sense that Apple could literally peer into the future and deliver me technology that I never realized I would so desperately need. For years, Steve Jobs and company seem to have been our reliable guides to a […]

FAST Potomac Yard Helping Community Save Big Money on Transportation

Moving more people on a transportation network of roads, bridges, and rails is tricky business. Additional roads and transit lines are needed, and the existing network must be managed more efficiently. The latter process is called “transportation demand management (TDM),” and for neighborhoods like Arlington’s Potomac Yard, it can be a crucial factor in eliminating gridlock […]

Does Park(ing) Day Make You Think Differently About How We Use Our Streets?

This Friday, September 20, join Mobility Lab and friends to celebrate Park(ing) Day. Try your hand at the game of Corn Hole!  Hear great tunes from our Mobility Lab songmeister guitarist, Paul Mackie!  Bring your own guitar, sitar, xylophone or tuba and make music for us! Bring your lunch!  Join the fun as we turn […]

Bike, Walk, and Transit Mean Business

“Bikes Mean Business” was the theme of the just-wrapped National Bike Summit in Washington D.C. And on the heels of the highly successful summit, two of the world’s biggest business centers have released plans to spark huge growth in cycling. London’s Mayor Boris Johnson has announced a $1.4 billion bicycle-infrastructure plan, designed to connect much […]

Arlington Focuses on Moving People, Not Cars, in the Nation’s Worst Traffic Metro Area

The Washington D.C. region’s traffic is the worst in the nation — even worse than Los Angeles, San Francisco, and New York — according to a new report by the Texas A&M Transportation Institute called the Urban Mobility Report. And in a news article about the findings by NBC Washington, one D.C. commuter says the reason is […]

2013 Will be the Year of Streamlining Our Business Lives – Forbes

How quickly will the workplace evolve in 2013? Brett Caine, a vice president at Citrix Online Services, has written a fascinating article at Forbes, and many of his trends portend good things for reducing our solo-driving footprints for getting to our jobs. By embracing technology, Caine envisions that businesses increasingly will offer work-at-home options to […]

Virginia’s Transportation Officials Bring Intelligent Tech Ideas to Mobility Lab

“The success of tomorrow’s transportation system depends heavily on our ability to harness new technology today,” said Jeffrey Spencer, Intelligent Transportation Program Leader from the Federal Transit Administration (FTA). He spoke at Mobility Lab as part of Tuesday’s Tech Session for the Intelligent Transportation Society of Virginia (ITSVA). Spencer added that, around the U.S., transit […]

Washington DC Region Investing in a Vision for Dozens of “Downtowns”

We all want to live in communities that offer us the chance to interact with other people and feel like we’re part of something vibrant. However, if one or two investments are off-base or not aligned with the vision of what the community wants, it can derail our hopes and dreams. The Metropolitan Washington Council […]

The Trams of Prague: Photos of a City on the Move

Czech Republic’s beautiful capital city, Prague, is crisscrossed by trams that complement the subway and bus system, providing transportation to virtually all corners of the city. Trams ply routes through the medieval heart of the city and blend into the bustling street scene. These photos I took on my recent visit show a city of […]

Delaware Shore Car-free = Perfect Beach Weekend!

Rehoboth and Dewey beckon us to the Delaware shore with many bronzed bods filling the wide beaches and idyllic boardwalk. There are many restaurants from high to low cuisine and bars filled with weekend party-seekers from across the Mid-Atlantic. Prospects for good times abound! But ask anyone in DC what is the worst part of any […]

BikeArlington, WalkArlington, goDCgo … Why Do We Do This Stuff?

Some might ask why would Arlington, Alexandria and DC invest in these programs? The traditional role of government with regard to transportation has been building supply.  Since the earliest human history, rulers built roads for military and commerce.  Many of these ancient routes, such as the Grand Trunk Road winding through the Khyber Pass, remain […]

Long Term Impact of the Rising Cost of Gas

The Mobility Collaborative’s first white paper discusses the impact of rising gas prices on household budgets and travel behavior. Research and previous behaviors suggest that price increases alone are not going to be enough to change how people think about mobility. Check out “White Paper #1 – Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride and the Long-Term Impact […]

Virginia’s first Light Rail line exceeds expectations in Norfolk

On December 17, Norfolk’s Tide Light Rail celebrated its 500,000th rider.  That’s over 40% more than originally projected since opening earlier this year.  And people are noticing. Virginia Beach Mayor Will Sessoms (R) has been leading a charge to extend the current 7.4-mile line on a route through his city from the Norfolk city line […]

Happy Holidays from the Lab!

Here at Mobility Lab, we are grateful for the opportunity to work with all of you.  Launching the lab in 2011 was a group effort, so please accept our thanks.  Together we can do great things! As we pause to celebrate the season, we hope your mobility brings you closer to those you love over the holidays […]

New app hailed on Regional News outlets!

Transit Near Me has been receiving lots of attention since a beta launch last week. Michelle Basch introduced listeners on WTOP radio to the new app saying, “if you drive because you don’t think public transportation can get you where you need to go, you might want to check out a new app created in […]

Giving Vanpools Another Look

Lessons Learned from Vanpool Boot Camp! Relaxing in a captain’s chair reading your I-Pad while zooming up HOV lanes? Offering open seats to friends on Facebook who might need a one-time ride with you? Joining a vanpool at the last minute to access a location that has no other transit options? Clearly this isn’t your […]

Mobility Lab Transit Tech Fellowships

The Mobility Lab is looking for 2 software development fellows and 1 visual design fellow for the development of transit applications as part of the Transit Tech Initiative (link Transit Hack Day article). Coordination of this fellowship program is with OpenPlans.org and GreaterGreaterWashington.com. Software development fellows should be multi-talented engineers with an interest in both […]

Lab Project #2: Hosting Transit Techs – collaborating for better applications

Open data seems to be all the rage these days with sources ranging from WMATA to the Federal Government’s Data.gov.  But honestly, who wants to sit down and read data tables?  Clearly the true power of open data comes with strategic applications that showcase the information in useful ways. Mobility Lab’s first projects are developed […]

Lab Project #1: Growing Capital Bikeshare – seeking input from the crowd

Capital Bikeshare’s phenomenal success demands fast growth.  In less than a year, CaBi ridership has increased to nearly 5000 trips per day.  To accommodate future growth, the system will expand its network of stations over the next few months. An immediate goal for CaBi expansion in Arlington is to create a dense network of stations […]

The Power of a Vision Shared

Arlington County Commuter Service’s story of success, and how transit corridors have transformed the county into a place with dense, walkable urban villages and very little traffic congestion, is highlighted in this video narrated by Bill Kurtis.