Washington DC: What I’m Doing This Week

I am in snowy Washington DC this week, wondering if there will be any air traffic controllers by the time I need to get home, but meanwhile, I’m at the famous Transportation Research Board (TRB) Annual Meeting through Wednesday, and then at the World Bank’s Transforming Transportation conference on Thursday and Friday.

If you have suggests for cool things I should do, the fastest way to reach me is Twitter, @humantransit, and the second fastest is the email button somewhere in the bar on the right.  Comments on this blog are reviewed on a slower timeline.

This (Tuesday) afternoon at 3:45-5:30 pm I’m on a panel called “Transit Fightback: Pushback on Technology Hype for Stronger City Futures.”  Bravo to Professor Graham Currie for insisting on this title, which accurately conveys that despite all the good talk of partnerships and synergies, many of technology marketing’s effects are partly hostile to the success public transit, and thus to the efficient provision of freedom and opportunity in dense cities.  Some of these effects are inadvertent while others are intentional, but all of them are destructive.  While there are deals to be negotiated between transit agencies and tech companies, transit agencies need to come at these negotiations with confidence, and tech marketing is doing much to undermine that confidence especially at the political level.  So I’ll talk about that.

Thursday at the World Bank Transforming Transportation Conference (registration required) I’ll also be on a panel about “Integrated Transport in the Era of New Mobility and Impacts on Existing Urban Systems,” which is much more polite way of saying basically the same thing.  That’s 2:30-4 pm.  We’ll talk about the explicit threats to the just and functional city potentially caused by technologies such as TNCs and microtransit. Should be fun.

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