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The Express Newsletter from Jawnt - #2

The Express Newsletter from Jawnt - #2

Vision Zero, biking to work, and updates on transit fares in this email update.

Jawnt Team
April 28, 2023

Subscribe to the Jawnt newsletter here.

Post initially published here

⏲️ in brief

🚸 In March, the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia (BCGP) hosted its Vision Zero Conference. Read about why Jawnt proudly sponsored the conference and what we learned in our latest blog post.

  • Vision Zero is a mission shared by cities across the world to reduce the number of traffic deaths to zero. Last year, 125 Philadelphians were killed in motor vehicle crashes. Better policy and safer infrastructure can prevent these deaths.
  • Local initiatives are making a difference. Speed cameras on Roosevelt Boulevard have led to a 36% decrease in crashes since 2020.
  • BCGP has played a pivotal role in making Philadelphia safer for cyclists and pedestrians, and their 2023 Better Mobility Platform outlines their vision for the future of traffic safety in the region.

🚲 Biking to work can be a key to unlocking employee wellness. Employers should prioritize making their workplace bike-friendly. Learn more in our blog post.

  • Biking to work has environmental, emotional, and physical benefits.
  • Companies can use the following three strategies to make it easier for their employees to bike to work:
  • 1) Offer proper facilities
  • 2) Adjust office culture to be more bike-friendly
  • 3) Provide financial incentives such as a subsidized bike share membership
  • Jawnt can help you get started by offering bike share as an employee benefit.

🎫 The evolution of transit fares

  • Here in Philly, SEPTA announced that it’s planning to upgrade its fare collection system to accommodate direct credit card and mobile payments.
  • Let’s take a walk down memory lane and see how transit fare payments have evolved over the last century.
  • That includes a look at the equity concerns of modern, cashless fare systems…
  • … as well as the nostalgia-fueled token memorabilia market.
  • Keep reading to learn more ⤵️

🚎 mobility news

A commemorative 1979 New York subway token. Photo: Andrew Dawes
A commemorative 1979 New York subway token. Photo: Andrew Dawes

🎫 Deeper Dive: The evolution of transit fares

  • The technology we use to pay for things has changed rapidly in the last decade. Swiping, inserting, tapping, tapping with your phone, etc.
  • All this change leaves transit agencies playing catchup, as they try to ensure riders have convenient ways to pay their fares.
  • With the recent announcement of their fare system upgrade, SEPTA emphasized the need to be able to adapt more quickly to future technologies.
  • This isn’t a new problem. Transit agencies have been adapting fare technologies for as long as they’ve been collecting fares.
  • Take New York: Electronic, coin-operated turnstiles replaced paper tickets in the subway in 1920, but when fares surpassed a dime in 1953, the system decided to mint its own currency.
  • Enter the token era. Tokens enabled agencies to raise fares without changing turnstile technology, and they remain an enduring symbol of fare payments, as well as collectors’ items.
  • But all good things must come to an end. By 1994, MTA's introduction of its MetroCard sparked a nationwide shift from tokens to computer-enabled fare cards.
  • Fare cards ushered in some of the features we know and love today, like the free transfer and discounted monthly passes.
  • Now, with mobile payments gaining popularity, agencies are adapting yet again. But when agencies race to catch up, who gets left behind?
  • Transit equity advocates have pointed out the necessity of maintaining cash fare options for riders without bank accounts or smartphones.
  • And for smaller agencies, whose fare revenues cover only a fraction of operating costs, it may be cheaper to eliminate fares altogether than to modernize fare payment systems.
E-Scooters won’t be a fixture of Paris’ streets for much longer. Photo: Vlad B

🛴 Parisians say “Non” to shared e-scooters

  • In a municipal referendum in April, residents of Paris voted to ban rental scooters from the city.
  • The electric scooters came to Paris in 2018, and prior to the vote, there were three companies offering a total of 15,000 scooters for rent.
  • The referendum came after some residents expressed frustrations with the scooters, saying that riders flout the rules of the road and abandon scooters in the middle of sidewalks.
  • The outcome has proven to be controversial in the micromobility community.
  • Paris’ mayor, Ann Hidalgo, a champion of bike infrastructure, called the vote “a victory for local democracy.”
  • However, with only 21 polling places for a city of 2.16 million, and fewer than 8% of voters casting ballots, the 'victory' isn't quite so definitive.
  • Micromobility advocates worry that it’s a “step backward” for the future of sustainable urban transportation.
  • Meanwhile, here in Philadelphia, shared e-scooters are still illegal under state law 🤷

🧡 Jawnt news

🚝 We’ll be attending this year’s TransitCon! We’re proud to sponsor the conference, which will focus on key trends and innovations in transit and urban planning.

🚌 Interested in joining the Jawnt team or know someone who might be? We’re hiring across all teams! Take a look at our current job postings.

🚴 May is Philly Bike Month, organized by our bicycling partner, BCGP! Here are a few things to look forward to:

  • International Ride of Silence
  • What? → A worldwide ride that honors bicyclists killed or injured by motor vehicles
  • When? → Wednesday, May 17th, 6:45 pm
  • Where? → Start at City Hall for an 8-mile route through Center City. Finishes at the Art Museum for a memorial bike lift.
  • More info here
  • Bike to Work & Wherever Day
  • What? → Celebrate cycling to work (and wherever!) with giveaways and raffles
  • When? → Friday, May 19th, 7:30 - 9:30 am
  • Where? → Penn Museum (3260 South S., Philadelphia, PA 19104)
  • Bonus! → Group ride to City Hall for Vision Zero press conference
  • Much more (to be announced)
  • Month-long scavenger hunt
  • Coloring contest for kids

Subscribe to BCGP’s newsletter to learn more!

💐 potpourri

🚆 With King of Prussia Rail on pause, advocates are eager to see how SEPTA reallocates its capital budget and are nervous for the agency’s long-term funding outlook.

🛒 Micromobility isn’t just for big cities! Walmart is hoping to get 10% of its HQ workforce in Bentonville, Arkansas to commute via bikes, scooters, and carpools.

Jawnt Team

The Jawnt blog

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