Mobility Management – What Is It… Really?

By: Mike Culver, CCTM – MMP’s┬áDirector of Operations

Mobility management is a term often tossed around the transit community like a baseball during warm-ups. But what is true mobility management, and what is its purpose? In order to fully understand the concept, I think it is necessary to clearly define what is meant by mobility management, and then to determine how this concept can be used to revolutionize the provision of transportation services within a community.

Let me begin by addressing what, in my view, effective mobility management is NOT. It is not simply the collection and dissemination of transit-specific schedule and fare information, although this can certainly be an important part of any mobility management program. It is not the coordination of a dial-a-ride or similar curb to curb service in response to ADA requirements; while again, information about such services is often vital to an effective MM program. It is not a catch all for addressing all of the unmet transit needs of a community; yet an effective MM program can certainly assist in identifying where these needs truly exist.

What mobility management IS, is the art of developing a comprehensive database of all available means of transportation within a given community, and then pairing individual needs with the most appropriate means that meets the need. Often the determination of what truly meets the need is the most difficult part of mobility management. Potential passengers often have a very different perspective on what is needed as opposed to what is desired or preferred. Part of effective mobility management is often taking the time to counsel the individual and help them understand the difference. The key word here is “time.” True mobility management can not be achieved when the focus of the “customer service” aspects of the program are to minimize call duration or limit the subject matter to only transportation-related issues. Failing to recognize the synergy between a client’s personal life and how their need for transportation revolves around the other issues they face is a recipe for disaster in any mobility management effort.

Tune in over the coming weeks for a continuation of this discussion, as I delve deeper into this mystery we call mobility management.

Mike Culver is a Certified Community Transportation Manager with over 30 years of experience in the transportation industry. As the Director of Operations, Mr. Culver sets MMP’s strategic goals as well as providing oversight for all of MMP’s programs including mobility management, travel training, community outreach, and ADA eligibility certification.