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TransportationCamp makes a pit stop on Ithaca campus

For the third year, TransportationCamp – a series of events taking place around the country to engage and educate people in the transportation field – was held April 6 in Klarman and Goldwin Smith halls and streamed live via Zoom and Facebook Live.

The goal of the event was to promote networking and learning, and to show how fresh ideas may help create more sustainable and economic modes and uses of transportation. It was co-organized by Cornell Transportation and Delivery Services and Tompkins County.

During the morning, attendees set the agenda by suggesting subjects to discuss. These were then organized as one-hour sessions. Topics included addressing barriers for people with disabilities; transportation network companies; geofencing (a virtual perimeter of a real-world geographic area); safety regarding mobility; grocery and prescription deliveries; standardizing measurements across Medicaid programs; and bike share programs.

Attending via Zoom was keynote speaker Jenny Milne, a researcher from the University of Aberdeen, Scotland, where she studies mobility as a service with a concentration in rural environments. Milne, who is on the Scottish Committee of the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transportation, discussed open and closed transportation data and the smart transportation of people and products.

Attendance ranged from 52 to 277 people throughout the day on site and across the world.

“I loved learning what other mobility managers are doing across the state to get people access. [It’s] one of the best programs I attend every year,” said Frank Doldo, mobility manager for St. Lawrence County, New York.

Another hot topic was autonomous vehicles (AVs). “I enjoyed hearing about transportation issues in upstate New York, including rural mobility, AVs and equity,” said Lisa Kennedy, smart mobility adviser for the Greater Buffalo Niagara Regional Transportation Council.

“Participating in TransportationCamp is a completely fresh experience for me to engage in many transportation fields. The proposed sessions were interesting and enlightening,” said Wenzheng Li of Tompkins County’s Department of Social Services. “It was a great friendly environment, and communication was fun compared to other formal conferences.”

The event was a useful venue to bring together collective knowledge about new and emerging technology in carpooling and ridesharing, said Dawn Montanye, Way2Go team leader at Cornell Cooperative Extension Tompkins County.

“In particular we are asking questions about what on demand carpooling and ridesharing apps exist and what are peoples’ experiences,” she said. “This would take an independent researcher months; here we can get information and feedback on lived experiences within an hour or two.”

Gary Cremeens is new media, outreach, marketing and projects manager for Cornell University Transportation and Delivery Services.

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Jeff Tyson