District of Columbia launches first Mobility Innovation District

Oct. 21, 2022
The MID’s goal is to show how mobility innovation can make a city more equitable, sustainable and safe.

The first Mobility Innovation District (The MID) in the District of Columbia, was launched with an aim to improve equitable access to transportation for residents and visitors in Southwest and create a global innovation hub to show how mobility innovation can make a city more equitable, sustainable, safe and prosperous.

The MID’s establishment was marked at an event attended by District of Columbia Mayor Mayor Muriel Bowser, the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development (DMPED), the Southwest Business Improvement District (Southwest BID) and community leaders. DMPED provided a $3 million grant to the Southwest BID to support the creation of The MID.

“Through the activation of our beautiful waterfront, we have brought more jobs, opportunities, retail, restaurants and entertainment to Southwest DC. In turn, that means more people coming to and through the community,” said Mayor Bowser. “By creating the Mobility Innovation District, we can reduce congestion, ensure more neighbors are benefiting from new opportunities and build a greener, more sustainable DC.”

During the event, Mayor Bowser said that Circuit, a micro-transit company, was selected to create a new mobility service for residents and visitors that will circle the Southwest neighborhood. The goal is to reduce congestion and its harmful effects on the environment and our quality of life.

Circuit will help connect some of the city’s leading attractions and top dining destinations with fixed transit options and economic opportunities. The on-demand service will be bound roughly by Independence Avenue to the north; 15th Street SW and waterfront to the west; Q Street SW to the south; and South Capitol Street to the east – with the extension into Capitol Riverfront/near SE service area from M to New Jersey Ave SE to I Street SW.

“One in four adults nationwide lacks access to safe, reliable transportation. The solutions we uncover will help create a more equitable city and create models that can be replicated nationally, so every Washingtonian and American can access opportunities and make the most of their fair shot,” said Deputy Mayor John Falcicchio.

The Southwest BID also announced new Requests for Proposals for projects focused on Universal Basic Mobility (UBM) and electrification. The UBM pilot will provide residents with a transportation stipend that they can use on a wide range of public and privately operated transportation options. The project will provide insight into what future modes of transportation are needed to serve residents who currently face a barrier to employment due to lack of transportation. The electrification project will aim to deliver electric vehicle charging infrastructure in public places where it does not currently exist, with the goal of advancing the adoption of electric vehicles and micro-mobility modes like electric scooters and bicycles.

“The Southwest is the perfect neighborhood to test and pilot new mobility ideas and technologies,” said Steve Moore, executive director of the Southwest BID. “The MID plants the seed for future-forward mobility solutions, new job training possibilities and the attraction of new business. Mobility solutions make a real and lasting contribution to the quality of life of our neighbors. And there are certain assurances as we step into the next three years of this project: safe mobility.”

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