Join us to participate in the upcoming 2019 City:One Challenge. 

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 (  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 -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, 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


Join the conversation:

Photo of Christina Cheng

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

Photo of Hannah Katz

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

View all comments