Please register today to join others in shaping the Cities of Tomorrow!

Safe Shift

To help employees safely & conveniently get to and from work, which benefits employers by improving retention, productivity & service.

Photo of Hannah Katz
78 48

Written by

As a City of Tomorrow, Pittsburgh must address the transit challenges of not just their daytime commuters, but also their off-shift commuters.  Often invisible, underrepresented and undercounted, night shift workers are a vital part of Pittsburgh’s booming economy.  Women work the night shift just as much as men, and this number is increasing.  However, security and safety issues are the most influential factors for women’s mobility patterns. A study that came out of NYU just this month states that “The median extra transportation cost per month for women, due to safety reasons, is between $26 to $50.”  On top of that, the National Sleep Foundation recommends shift workers take alternate transportation as opposed to driving themselves home, like taking public transportation or arranging to have someone pick them up at work because it is unsafe for them to get behind the wheel.  Transportation for third shift workers is a public health concern.  These compounding statistics highlight the need for safe and accessible transportation for the City’s female, night shift workers. 

Furthermore, two of ONEPGH’s stated stresses are unequal access to transportation and unequal access to employment.  Vision Zero is a stated goal of the City as well.   Safe Shift takes direct action to achieve a “resilience dividend” by relieving these chronic stresses and works toward removing night shift operators from driving with one activity by creating safe, accessible, and convenient transit at night.

Safe Shift will mobilize existing operators, in partnership with the Port Authority, used during the day for night time use to help third shift workers, specifically, women, get to and from work. The operators will provide a convenient microtransit service for employees without cars and incentivize those who have cars to leave them at home. Leveraging the Port Authority’s Access Vans, currently only used during the day, for night time service would provide ADA compliant service as well as reusing an existing asset. 

In terms of sustainability, it is Safe Shift’s hope to operate in partnership with Port Authority and that the services provided to night shift workers will impact employee retention.  Thus some of the dollars that employers save can underwrite part of the service. Additionally, *Moovit's multi-modal app, connects employees with the greater Port Authority transportation system. This has the added effect of promoting and enabling use of public transportation and does not detract anything from the existing transit ecosystem.

Moovit will provide the software including the following components:

  • White label ap
  • Multi-modal trip planner 
  • TimePro for real time information 
  • Communication tools
  • Survey capabilities  
  • Analytics

 

The data collected via the app will provide crucial information about the travel patterns of night shift workers & support the analytics to optimize routes. This information is not available in scale and not for specific Pittsburgh populations. 

*Our solution will be based on Moovit’s award winning app (https://moovit.com/).  Moovit is the world's largest urban mobility data and analytics company and the #1 transit app. Moovit simplifies your urban mobility all around the world, making getting around town via transit easier and more convenient. By combining information from public transit operators and authorities with live information from the user community, Moovit offers travelers a real-time picture, including the best route for the journey. Named Best Local App by Google in 2016 and one of Apple’s Best Apps of 2017, Moovit launched in 2012 and surpassed 200 million users in five years. Moovit provides Mobility as a Service (MaaS) products to governments, municipalities, private employers and transit authorities to help them improve urban mobility and increase riders’ satisfaction around the world.

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

Pittsburgh third shift employees & third shift employers, specifically focusing on women.
Our pilot proposal garnered interest from Mobiliti’s organizers, fellow participants, and several local stakeholders, including:
-UPMC
-Giant Eagle
-Pittsburgh Housing Authority
-Commute.org
-Partner 4 Work
-Port Authority of Allegheny County
-City of Pittsburgh

Describe your solution's stage of development

  • Pilot - you have implemented your solution in a real-world scenario

Tell us about your team or organization (500 characters)

We come from a wide range of backgrounds and skill sets. Team members include:
Ronda Craig, Outreach Specialist, Commuteinfo.org
Barbara A. Coffee, Housing Authority of Pittsburgh
Courtney Ehrlichman, The Ehrlichman Group
Hannah Katz, North American Operations Manager, Moovit
Paul Park, MBA candidate, Tepper School of Business, Carnegie Mellon University
Brian Swanson, Director of Sales Engineering, Moovit
Frank Kopas, VP Global Sales, Moovit
Bill Walker, Trade Institute PGH

Size of your team or organization

  • 2-10

Funding Request

  • $50,000

Describe how you would pilot your idea (1000 characters)

1st phase uses Moovit’s Mobility as a Service (MaaS) suite & a local team of experts to model how these resources can provide a beneficial & cost effective service for night shift employees. This phase provides quant. analysis of “how, where, and when” of nighttime commute patterns for Port Authority and employers to assess scope of operations. Specifically, a heat map of walking patterns & current modes of transit are key as well as journey maps of night workers. The typical process for these studies involves time consuming/expensive manual surveys. Safe Shift will use Moovit Urban Mobility Analytics (MUMA) for analysis, leveraging the ride information already available in Moovit’s transit data repository as well as targeted electronic surveys pushed through the Moovit App. We will work to get overall ridership data to calibrate these results to a high accuracy. Using this analysis, Safe Shift will provide recommendations on potential routes, on demand options, and potential ridership

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

We will implement an employee survey to gather feedback on mobility satisfaction. Key metrics will include:
Increase in employee perception of safety, use of public transit
Decrease in women’s spending on night- shift commutes, (less ride-hailing or taxis)
Satisfaction. Employees report an easier, safer trip to and from work
Support from the relevant communities
Employer recruitment and retention
# of app users
Frequency of app usage and ridership
Analytics confirm that routes are efficient (if statistically significant)
Reduction in average transit time for employees

78 comments

Join the conversation:

Comment
Photo of Christina Cheng
Team

I love that the team is leveraging existing resources/data and focusing on third party employees/employers for pilot.

Photo of Hannah Katz
Team

Thank you for your positive feedback about our pilot, Christina Cheng !

Photo of Laura Wiens
Team

I think it's really important to do transportation planning with a specific eye to the needs of women and service workers who work non-traditional hours, and I appreciate that your proposal does that. I certainly agree that giving users more information about timing and coordination of different existing transportation modes helps with ridership, comfort and satisfaction. However, I have a couple of concerns:

1. Major employers in the densest urban areas should be paying into public transit, because they disproportionately benefit from public transit, and that the operations of private microtransit shuttles cannabalize riders that could be combined into larger trips through public transit. If the idea is not merely to better coordinate existing transportation options but rather to run (or incentivize) more privately-operated microtransit trips, that is not a particularly "green" or sustainable urban solution.

2. This proposal assumes that low-income service workers are going to shuttle collection points, so either they are driving to a park-and-ride with their own vehicles, or they are taking public transit to get to those shuttle stops. It's not clear to me what great mobility problem this proposal solves, besides the technology to better coordinate and educate users about publicly operated and privately operated transportation options.

If the goal is in fact to provide greater transportation options-- affordability or accessibility-- rather than simply improved user convenience, we might talk instead about how corporations and our region could be fund more robust public transit service that operates 24/7.

Photo of Hannah Katz
Team

Hi Laura Wiens 

Thank you very much for your thoughtful feedback. We updated our published proposal to reflect changes since our first submission (we didn’t realize that we could make edits) We welcome you to check out the latest updates. The more dialogue, the better!

 Before, beginning to address your concerns, I will provide some quick context about our team and where the inspiration for Safe Shift came from. Safe Shift was an answer to the needs expressed by the local community (employees and employers) at the Pittsburgh Mobiliti event in early October. The Mobiliti workshop focused the responsibility for specific mobility needs of Pittsburgh residents on employers. Through multi-sector dialogue and problem solving, the participants worked together to find solutions within that space. Our team is comprised of people from all walks of life who at the time hadn’t known each other longer than 24 hours. We identified a common need echoed throughout the workshop: Transportation late at night has large gaps in service leaving people to walk long distances on dark roads late at night, and feeling unsafe. Some take rides with a passing jitney, which are typically low-budget, “fly by night” operations or ride-hailing services, both of which add to commute costs. Women are more prone to do this due to safety concerns, which results in another form of the “pink tax.” Working within the context of Mobiliti, our focus was to find the employer who could have the most impact addressing this need. We garnered interest from local stakeholders at the event and leaned into it.

1. Responding to your comment “Major employers in the densest urban areas should be paying into public transit, because they disproportionately benefit from public transit, and that the operations of private microtransit shuttles cannibalize riders that could be combined into larger trips through public transit. If the idea is not merely to better coordinate existing transportation options but rather to run (or incentivize) more privately-operated microtransit trips, that is not a particularly "green" or sustainable urban solution.”

This is an issue we are conscious of and we see Safe Shift as enhancing the current transit system on multiple levels:
FIlling existing gaps in transit overnight. Port Authority buses run every 2 hours overnight, which is a big challenge for UPMC employees - we spoke to a UPMC Manager about this. For that employee, public transit is not a good option. As a manager, it is not an option to show up late to work if the bus doesn’t come on time, or to wait long periods of time at a bus stop in the middle of the night (not to mention in the winter). Safe Shift, is a microtransit system to that is optimized for the employee’s/company’s needs.
Night time shift workers do not receive the same benefits as their daytime counterparts despite being a major part of every city’s economy. Safe Shift wants to address the needs of this underserved population now. Our solution can be implemented faster and more economically than government financing, by leveraging Moovit’s expertise in Mobility as a Service, activating latent public transit assets for night time use, employer sponsorship and continuous user feedback. Additionally, by going the route of the private sector i.e. employers, we hope to demonstrate that the financial model actually benefits companies with night shift employee retention/transportation issues. Ultimately, Safe Shift seeks to flip the script on privately-owned microtransit trips, and just like you suggest, coordinate safer trips for night time employees in partnership with public transit.

Photo of Hannah Katz
Team

Laura Wiens 
 
...continued...

To avoid cannibalizing existing transit:

Safe Shift will use Port Authority’s Access Vans that are not utilized at night. Nighttime use of the vans creates a double value for Port Authority. This is also something Port Authority has looked into to maximize their existing fleet.
Moovit’s multi-modal app integrates all existing transit services in the area, which makes it easier to get around in one comprehensive night time system. The shuttle routes will be mapped out based on the needs of the employees to either connect with existing transit when possible or a designated shuttle stop.


2. Responding to your comment “This proposal assumes that low-income service workers are going to shuttle collection points, so either they are driving to a park-and-ride with their own vehicles, or they are taking public transit to get to those shuttle stops. It's not clear to me what great mobility problem this proposal solves, besides the technology to better coordinate and educate users about publicly operated and privately operated transportation options.

If the goal is in fact to provide greater transportation options-- affordability or accessibility-- rather than simply improved user convenience, we might talk instead about how corporations and our region could be fund more robust public transit service that operates 24/7.”

We recognized this very issue as the team talked with prospective anchor companies and shuttle operators. We found that there is little analytic data on the movement patterns for this demographic. We need a clear picture of the “How, Where, and When” for Pittsburgh’s night time commuters to make a recommendation on solving the problem with the best transportation option. With this in mind, we focused Phase 1 on gathering data, analyzing, and documenting the problem so we can better collaborate with the community, employers, and the current public transit operations.

Looking forward to your thoughts!

Photo of Adam Edry
Team

Sounds great!

Photo of Courtney Ehrlichman
Team

Thank you Adam Edry !

Photo of Mitch Turck
Team

Yeah! Great work Hannah and team!

Photo of Hannah Katz
Team

A great workshop indeed! Looking forward to looking through the other pilot ideas and to see what comes next. Thank you Mitch and Adam for creating the space for idea sharing and innovation!

Photo of Courtney Ehrlichman
Team

Yes, that this project came from the local community and is for the local community is so exciting!

Photo of Vitali Greenberg
Team

Eventually someone considers the public transportation enhancement

Photo of Courtney Ehrlichman
Team

Thank you Vitali Greenberg !

Photo of Yoav Hirshberg
Team

big like! seems as simple but yet very powerful idea.
I liked the use of existing resources (public transit) with new technology

Photo of Courtney Ehrlichman
Team

Thank you Yoav Hirshberg !

Photo of Tamar Hirshberg
Team

Great idea! good luck!(:

Photo of Courtney Ehrlichman
Team

Thank you Tamar Hirshberg !

Photo of Gábor Fleischer
Team

This project sounds interesting. It reminds me the TV series ER (though it's in Chicago :) they could've used such an app.

Photo of Courtney Ehrlichman
Team

Thank you!

Photo of Fernanda Poretsky
Team

This idea really takes into consideration people's needs and is a great way to improve mobility by using technology that is already available. Congratulations to the team!

Photo of Courtney Ehrlichman
Team

Thank you Fernanda Poretsky !

Photo of Leo Chanea
Team

Makes total sense and can make a real impact in the lives of locals. Congrats Hannah and the team involved.

Photo of Courtney Ehrlichman
Team

Thank you Leo Chanea 

Photo of Noam Wallick
Team

This is a great proposal, really thought out and addressing the needs of all involved. Great job!!

Photo of Courtney Ehrlichman
Team

Thank you Noam Wallick 

Photo of Idan Segev
Team

Sounds well thought of - powerful, yet simple.

Photo of Courtney Ehrlichman
Team

Thank you Idan Segev 

Photo of Gabriella A
Team

An extremely creative way to utilize MaaS services to promote the use of public transportation, increase employee well-being & safety, and reduce carbon emissions. Congrats to the team for an impactful and forward-thinking proposal!

Photo of Courtney Ehrlichman
Team

Thank you for your upvote, Gabriella A 

Photo of Charlie Levine
Team

Safety and inclusion are such important issues in transportation that seem to be consistently missing from the current transit milieu and something I've experienced first hand in various cities across the globe. This actually looks like it has the capacity to improve the daily commute without increasing the number of vehicles on the road, congestion & emissions... way to go, the city of Pittsburgh for the progressive initiative, project leader Hannah Katz & Moovit!

Photo of Courtney Ehrlichman
Team

Thank you Charlie Levine !!!

Photo of Lara Kaufman
Team

this is an amazing proposal! :)

Photo of Courtney Ehrlichman
Team

Thank you Lara Kaufman !

Photo of Anette Mitrani
Team

Great idea!
For sure will change the quality of life for so many people.
Would love to see this in action and improving people’s lives!

Photo of Courtney Ehrlichman
Team

Thank you Anette Mitrani !

Photo of Tomer Asheroff
Team

Excellent work, no doubt a lot of thought has been made behind this proposal, I hope you will succeed!

Photo of Courtney Ehrlichman
Team

Thank you Tomer Asheroff 

Photo of Jessica Young
Team

Love this idea!

Photo of Courtney Ehrlichman
Team

Thank you Jessica Young 

Photo of Perry  Barnett
Team

The residents of Pittsburgh need a solution like this - Excellent proposal!

Photo of Courtney Ehrlichman
Team

Thank you Perry Barnett 

Photo of Kate Azima
Team

This sounds like a great concept to help improve people's urban mobility in Pittsburgh. Keep up the good work!

Photo of Courtney Ehrlichman
Team

Thank you Kate Azima 

Photo of Roy Bick
Team

Great job Hannah and the team!

Photo of Courtney Ehrlichman
Team

Thanks Roy Bick 

Photo of KatieWalsh 100
Team

Hi Hannah - I'm beginning to see a pattern with all the post it notes! Great workshop I think? Really fruitful with all these ideas tonight. If you think you need to make any edits to your post at all please do by 4pm EST - no more edits after that as the ideas go through to the Refine Phase. Katie - Facilitator

Photo of Courtney Ehrlichman
Team

Thanks for this KatieWalsh 100 

Photo of Shai Shamir
Team

What a great idea! I'm sure many people will benefit this solution.

Photo of Courtney Ehrlichman
Team

Thank you for your upvote Shai Shamir 

Photo of Netta Magen
Team

What a fantastic idea! Well done! Hopefully, many many people will benefit from this initiative that aims to improve their lives.

Photo of Courtney Ehrlichman
Team

Thank you for your upvote, Netta Magen !

Photo of Amitai Serphos
Team

Great initiative! Sounds like the future of mobility to me.

Photo of Courtney Ehrlichman
Team

Thank you Amitai Serphos for your upvote!

Photo of DeletedUser
Team

DeletedUser

sounds like a great and green initiative

Photo of Courtney Ehrlichman
Team

Thank you @DeletedUser for your upvote!

Photo of Sharon Salzman
Team

What a great initiative promoting both safety and green environment. I am sure the citizens of Pittsburgh will benefit from this idea.

Photo of Courtney Ehrlichman
Team

Thank you Sharon Salzman  for your confidence in our solution for the City of Tomorrow !

Photo of Stathis Kassios
Team

Absolutely great - green - helpful - necessary idea for Pittsburgh! Go go go!

Photo of Courtney Ehrlichman
Team

Thank you Stathis Kassios for your upvote!

Photo of Jojo Meng
Team

deserve trust. As a heavy user of the moovit app, I believe they know what they are doing. Highly professional.

Photo of Courtney Ehrlichman
Team

Thank you Jojo Meng  for your confidence in Moovit to provide an impactful solution to night shift workers!

Photo of Molly Bain
Team

Here's to safer and all-around more efficient transit--especially for workers whose labors are so needed at night!

Photo of Courtney Ehrlichman
Team

Thanks Molly! Did you know that it's actually a health hazard to drive after a night shift? https://www.huffpost.com/entry/driving-after-a-night-shift-is-seriously-dangerous-confirms-study_n_5679ed6ce4b06fa6887f6533

Photo of Courtney Ehrlichman
Team

Thank you for the upvote Molly Bain , night workers are a critical part of keeping our economy moving! Imagine patients without nurses at night or hospitals that don't cleaned or food that does not get distributed... Here's to shedding light on the night!

Photo of Diego Goldesten
Team

Amazing idea!

Photo of Courtney Ehrlichman
Team

Thank you for your upvote Diego Goldesten 

Photo of Dan Warner
Team

It is great to see great people working on this important problem!

Photo of Courtney Ehrlichman
Team

Thanks for your upvote Dan Warner !

Photo of Diana Avart
Team

Hi Hannah,

Congrats on being a Semi-Finalist! Don't forget to continue using the Share buttons found at the end of the post as you make updates during the Refine phase. This will encourage the community to continue to vote and engage with your submission, helping reviewers to get an understanding of which ideas have the greatest public support and also supporting you as you refine your proposal.

- Diana, Facilitator

Photo of Hannah Katz
Team

Thank you, Diana. Will do!

Photo of Courtney Ehrlichman
Team

Hi Diana Avart , I'm also part of the team with Hannah Katz ! Are we able to update the project at the top, or can we only do that through updates in the comments?

Photo of Courtney Ehrlichman
Team

Thank you Diana Avart ! We just realized we could update the proposal as we have definitely refined it quite a bit!

Photo of Mitch Turck
Team

Some guidance on measuring employee retention (or turnover mitigation), based on previous pilots that have operated with a public-private partnership:

Given the assumed short-term run of a pilot program, you'll want to focus on predictive metrics which, for the employer, are easy to come by and comfortable to report out on. Generically, that would most likely be:
- Absenteeism
- Tardiness
- Shifts filled

Photo of Diana Avart
Team

That is really helpful guidance, Mitch! Thanks for your support of the Pittsburgh semi-finalist proposals.

- Diana, Facilitator

Photo of Courtney Ehrlichman
Team

This is a super useful tool for helping to get buy-in from employers! thanks Mitch Turck 

Photo of Courtney Ehrlichman
Team

Mitch Turck  Thank you so much for your input, this really helps with sustainability and proving out the financial model.

Photo of DeletedUser
Team

DeletedUser

This is an important issue that needs to be addressed. The safety of employees should be a top priority for employers. I'm impressed with the thoughtful examination of the solution space and the innovative design for solving this problem. Well done.

Photo of Courtney Ehrlichman
Team

@DeletedUser thank you for your comment!

Photo of Courtney Ehrlichman
Team

Helping night shift workers is so important, especially women, who cite safety as the biggest concern for using public and private transport in five of the world's biggest commuter cities - according to a global poll released on Thursday, November 15th, 2018.