The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) awarded a partner consortium led by EIT InnoEnergy, the leading engine for sustainable energy, the opportunity to bring affordable and clean micromobility to five Rivertown communities in Westchester County, New York State. Project MOVER aims to reduce household transportation costs and enhance connections to good-paying jobs, services and opportunities outside the immediate community. The partners will deploy e-bikes, charging and docking stations and additional gear in a way that removes typical barriers the communities face with using shared micromobility offerings - like the need to own a smartphone or a credit card. Project MOVER was selected as a grand prize winner of the New York Clean Transportation Prizes program Electric Mobility Challenge and aims to serve as a blueprint for communities across the state.
Roughly 40 miles north of New York City, on the banks of the Hudson River, lies the Village of Ossining, home to a long-standing, ethnically diverse population of 27,000, with a growing immigrant community including many Black and Hispanic/Latino residents. Rising housing costs, language barriers and poor access to stable jobs have disproportionally burdened many families. In Westchester, where the cost of living is among the highest in the nation, those living in the Village of Ossining spend nearly 55% of their income on housing and transportation. Providing access to affordable, safe, and clean transportation for all is therefore key to improving the overall quality of life.
Project MOVER (Moving Onto Vast E-micromobility Replication) aims to do just that in a novel, collaborative manner.
"We have been looking for better ways for all in our community to get to the train, go to work, visit friends and relatives, worship, and shop locally," explains Mayor Rika Levin, Village of Ossining. "One such bold alternative is the use of e-bikes, which has been growing worldwide to much success but has largely been limited to metropolitan areas. While Project MOVER will help us to decrease our greenhouse gas emissions and traffic congestion, I cannot stress enough how important it will be in our ongoing battle towards a more equitable community - one which puts everyone in reach of the existing opportunities for education, career advancement, healthcare, and recreation."
Mark Vasu, US Operations Manager at EIT InnoEnergy, adds: "North America, with its notorious overreliance on cars, can learn a lot from Europe and its much more thought-out, multi-modal transport system. Combining those learnings with the communities' intimate knowledge of the local user requirements and our project partners' deep domain expertise, plus top-of-class technology has been key to this project."
Starting in the Village of Ossining, the implementation will later be expanded to nearby Rivertown communities of the Town of Ossining, Croton-on-Hudson, Tarrytown, and Dobbs Ferry.
ACTON, a Silicon Valley-based Mobility-as-a-Service pioneer with successful micromobility rollouts in 100+ cities globally, including Paris, San Francisco, and Sparta, NC, will serve as a technology partner. As such, ACTON will deploy and operate over 1,000 of its fleet e-bikes, 120 charging and docking stations and additional gear while providing the underlying AI-backed software platform.
Nelson\Nygaard, an industry-leading transportation planning firm, has brought its expertise in designing equitable and inclusive e-bike sharing systems and will support the program management, provide training and assist with the ongoing project evaluation.
Project MOVER will feature interwoven measures that will enable access to e-bikes for every community member and visitor. These include targeted fee and membership subsidies, e.g., for lease-to-own programs, building new bike "boulevards" between key destinations, introducing a dense network of e-bike-sharing stations for shorter bike trips, and an opportunity for longer yet affordable bike rentals. Access will be available to everyone, even those in the community that do not possess a smartphone, credit card, or even an ID.
For Project MOVER to meet the specific needs of the Village's diverse population, EIT InnoEnergy, ACTON, and Nelson\Nygaard co-designed the e-bike sharing system with the local administration and local NGOs. These NGOs, including Open Door Foundation, Neighbors Link, Interfaith Council for Action (IFCA), and Hudson Link, will support the implementation of the project as community partners supporting immigrant families, affordable housing tenants, and formerly incarcerated individuals.
NYSERDA President and CEO Doreen M. Harris said: "NYSERDA is proud to support Project MOVER which will help improve access to convenient, affordable, and clean transportation options. EIT InnoEnergy's focus on the needs of the community throughout the development of their plan ensures novel technologies can serve as tools for economic growth in underserved communities while also reducing emissions to fight climate change."
The successes and lessons gleaned from the Village of Ossining's initial deployment will be shared via the creation of an Electric Mobility Incubator—a knowledge exchange platform to support the expansion to nearby Rivertowns - while also targeting the goal of replicating the implementation across New York State. The project team has already identified 20 additional municipalities within a 30-mile range that have similar mobility needs and populations that would benefit from greater equity and access to affordable, sustainable mobility alternatives.
The $85 million New York Clean Transportation Prizes program is administered by the New York State Energy and Research Development Authority (NYSERDA) in partnership with the New York State Department of Public Service (NYSDPS) and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC).
Press Release Service by Newswire.com
Original Source: Consortium Led by EIT InnoEnergy Brings Affordable, Zero-Emission Micromobility to Underserved Communities in New York State