Populus expands partnership with USDOT to leverage micromobility data to improve transportation safety

Oct. 15, 2021
Building on its existing footprint as the system of record for cities to manage shared micromobility data, Populus will work with the U.S. Department of Transportation to to accelerate transportation safety.

Populus will begin Phase II of a U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) funded initiative to build digital solutions to accelerate transportation safety.

In partnership with micromobility operators, Populus will leverage data from the more than 80 million trips from shared bikes, electric bikes and electric scooters on its platform to help public agencies deliver safer streets.

The main goal of this initiative is to deliver departments of transportation with new digital and predictive solutions that decrease traffic fatalities on U.S. roads. Populus will work with USDOT and strategic partners to leverage big data from micromobility to reduce the risks of crashes and improve transportation safety outcomes. More than 15 cities are participating in the initiative, including Cleveland, Washington D.C. area cities, Bay Area cities, Lexington and Charlottesville, among others.

“We are excited about the opportunity to partner with Populus and the USDOT to advance both the city of Charlottesville and the industry’s understanding of the safety impacts of e-scooters,” said Amanda Poncy, Bicycle and Pedestrian coordinator at city of Charlottesville. “Through this project and our recent partnership with Populus, we have the opportunity to use all of the data available to make informed decisions on policy and infrastructure development.”

In a Phase I project funded by USDOT last year, Populus demonstrated how innovative e-scooter exposure data can be combined with other safety-related data to inform safety improvement decisions made by public agencies. Through a new expanded scope of work funded by USDOT, Populus will integrate additional datasets with micromobility GPS exposure data, including municipal and regional bike network data, bike master plan data and crash data, to develop and recommend safety improvements for participating cities. Populus will build safety-focused dashboards using the combined data sources with input from partner cities and USDOT micromobility and safety experts.

USDOT’s Safety Data Initiative aims to evolve from retroactive to proactive analysis. By integrating existing and new data sources, the USDOT hopes to identify and address emerging risks from new modes and patterns of transportation so that they can intervene more quickly to save lives. By moving towards predictive analysis, USDOT hopes to reduce the number of fatalities that occur on US roads each year.

“Populus is excited to work with USDOT on the Safety Data Initiative to expand our partnership with public agencies and micromobility operators to leverage new sources of data to save lives on city streets,” said Regina Clewlow, Populus co-founder and CEO. “As cities around the world make more rapid changes to their infrastructure, we are committed to helping them leverage new digital solutions and new data to ensure that they are safe for everyone who drives, walks, bikes or scoots.”