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City of Miami Beach Multi-Modal Transportation Application

The City will create a technology solution that will gather comprehensive transportation data and present it in a singular user-friendly app

Photo of Talmage Thornhill
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The solution will create immediate impact for the public and will support long-term improvements to how people get around the county by creating an innovative tool that will provide comprehensive data so users can make better transportation decisions. The City of Miami Beach (City) proposes to create a multi-modal app that will improve how people get around the City utilizing all available modes of transportation. City staff conducted research and was unable to identify an app on the market that is similar to the proposed solution, which makes transit simple and is advantageous to the user.  The solution entails the user opening the app and programming their point of origin, destination, trip purpose, and the modes of transportation they would like considered. The app will use various algorithms and gather data from other applications to recommend a planned trip. The planned trip may include one or more modes of transportation. Currently, applications like Google Maps and others, are limited vehicle, transit, and walking trip planning. Given all the available modes of transportation, the vision for this application is to bring in data from trolley, ride-share, bike-share, and other modes to take part of a comprehensive trip planning application. The user will also identify the purpose of the trip and each trip will be assigned a cost per time depending on its purpose (i.e. the time spent in transportation to work has a higher monetary value than the time spent in transportation to a recreational location). Environmental impact costs will also be included as part of the trip cost based on the mode (i.e. a trip on bike is less impactful to the environment that a trip via private vehicle). The application will calculate monetary value to time based on the trip purpose, cost of the trip (fares), and environmental impact costs and provide the user with options. Miami Beach is one of the most walkable cities in Miami-Dade County, making it an ideal testing ground for multi-modal innovations. The City will capitalize on the diversity of available modes to provide travelers with options, including bike-share, walking, the free City trolley system, Miami-Dade Transit, ride-share, and private enterprise options such as Free Bee, which provides travelers with free rides on small electric vehicles. One of transportation's biggest challenges today is the absence of a singular point of information. A user who is considering ride-share services has to toggle between private enterprise apps and existing government transit apps to compare pricing. The proposed project solves the problem by gathering data from multiple sources and presenting transit options in an easy-to-read format on one platform.  

Describe who will use your solution (1,000 characters)

All those who live, work, and play within the City of Miami Beach are potential users of the solution. With millions of visitors each year from all over the world, the project has the potential to impact many people. The app will be especially useful to visitors, who may not understand the differences in transit options across the region. Users will be able to program their point of origin, destination, and the modes of transportation they would like considered, and rely on the app to present the best option considering their unique needs. For example, for a user who is traveling from North Beach to Middle Beach for brunch, the app may recommend a mixture of walking to a central location, taking a Citi Bike, and walking to the restaurant. The app will provide users with a comprehensive cost including fee of services, travel time, and carbon footprint of the trip. This is an innovative feature that provides users with more accurate information about the true cost of transit choices.

Describe your solution's stage of development

  • Initial Design - you are still exploring the idea and have not tested it with users

Tell us about your team or organization (500 characters)

The City of Miami Beach’s Department of Transportation works to ensure city residents and guest to our tropical paradise have a safe, efficient, balanced and environmentally sound transportation system. Under guidance of the City Commission, the department helps guide the Transportation Master Plan goals; effort set forth to achieve an overall multi-modal vision for the City’s transportation future.

Size of your team or organization

  • 501+

Funding Request

  • $75,000

Describe how you would pilot your idea (1000 characters)

The awarded funding will be utilized for development of the idea into the application. Once developed, the application will be tested within the City of Miami Beach. The City’s Transportation Department will work with the City’s Transportation, Parking, Pedestrian, and Bicycle Facilities committee to test the application prior to launch. The City will contribute in-kind staff time to ensure the success of the project and will utilize its sponsorship team to seek additional support. The City will research different maintenance and cost structures to determine what innovative pricing structures may be possible.

Describe how you would measure the success of your pilot (1000 characters)

To gauge the success of the pilot, the City will track the number of downloads and users of the application. The City tracks the modal share for residents and visitors and will compare baseline data to post-pilot data to determine if users are actually changing their behavior. The City's goal is to reduce automobile dependency by 21% in 20 years. The City will monitor the data frequently to determine if reductions in vehicle use occur as a result of the app deployment. The application will help promote more multi-modal options that the public may not be familiar with thus supporting the City’s modal vision. Ultimately success will be measured by the reduction in automobile dependency and travel times. The City will use the pilot to determine the next iteration of the app; further development may provide new features such as an interface to request ride-share vehicles, reserve Citi Bike, real time transit locator, and traffic information.

1 comment

Join the conversation:

Photo of KatieWalsh 100

Thanks Talmage, and especially thanks for getting this idea in just before the deadline. There are other 'all encompassing app' ideas on the platform, on the first page of the challenge indeed - have a quick look and if you can outline what makes yours unique in a word of two in your description that would be useful. Katie - Facilitator