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Dec 5, 2020
Sharon Feigon: Shared Mobility Pioneer Sharon Feigon Shared-Use Mobility Center Sharon is the Founding Executive Director and CEO of the Shared-Use Mobility Center (SUMC), a nonprofit, public interest organization that works to address the environmental impact, accessibility, inequity, and cost of transportation by connecting the public and private sectors, building and sharing knowledge, and developing solutions that achieve shared mobility for all. The organization is grounded by an understanding that mobility can and must support economic development and a reduction in the fossil fuels that contribute to climate change. Under her leadership, SUMC has championed that mobility is a right for all and has been a clearinghouse for vital shared mobility developments, research, tools, and best practices. Resources created under her direction include the pioneering Shared-Use Mobility Reference Guide and the Shared Mobility Toolkit, groundbreaking research for the Transportation Research Board that has shaped the understanding of the relationship between transit and shared mobility, action plans for cities and regions across the US, and the industry’s only mobility knowledge hub: the Mobility on Demand Learning Center. The organization has run pilot projects and provided technical assistance in dozens of cities across the US, convened the leading Shared Mobility Summit in North America annually since 2014, and is currently supporting close to 100 projects nationwide. With more than 35 years of experience working on urban sustainability including transportation, land use, housing policy, and green design, Sharon has also taken an entrepreneurial approach to champion new businesses and nonprofits that address societal needs. Sharon’s vision of the changing field of Shared Mobility has been instrumental in shaping what it is today. From the start, she believed and showed how it could complement and improve transit while providing greater options and opportunities in multiple settings. She has worked in partnership with leading shared mobility experts in the US and abroad to develop this vision into a global industry, burgeoning with possibilities. She speaks frequently about her learnings at conferences and symposiums worldwide. SUMC Achievements Under Sharon’s Leadership AIM-NNET Mobility Network: Through Sharon’s efforts, SUMC was selected by the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) to establish and operate the Accelerating Innovative Mobility National Network (AIM-NNet), which provides technical assistance to projects nationwide that advance innovation in public transportation and mobility. Clean Mobility Options: SUMC was named co-administrator of the Clean Mobility Options Voucher Pilot Program, which provides $20 million in voucher-based funding for zero-emission carsharing, carpooling/vanpooling, bikesharing/scooter-sharing, innovative transit services, and ride-on-demand services in California’s historically underserved and tribal communities. FTA Integrated Mobility Innovation Program: SUMC is providing technical assistance toward the successful implementation of 25 FTA-selected transit projects that execute innovative mobility solutions in urban, suburban, and rural areas. Mobility-on-Demand (MOD) On-Ramp: Under Sharon’s direction, SUMC led an FTA-funded effort to provide technical assistance to six transit agencies, helping them convert their innovative mobility pilot project ideas into implementable business plans. MOD Innovation and Knowledge Accelerator (IKA): SUMC led the MOD Innovation and Knowledge Accelerator, which provided a structured community for transit agencies in the FTA MOD Sandbox program to exchange ideas, discuss challenges that emerged while implementing mobility pilot projects, and share solutions. National Shared Mobility Summits: Since 2014, Sharon has spearheaded SUMC’s National Shared Mobility Summit, the most comprehensive mobility conference and expo in the US that has nurtured and encouraged startups, facilitated new partnerships, and guided the creation of exciting new transportation options. 2020 saw the first, successful virtual summit. Research and Analysis: SUMC has researched the growth of shared mobility across the US and world. For the Transportation Research Board’s Transit Cooperative Research Program, Sharon was the Principal Investigator for three groundbreaking studies that investigated the intersection of public transit, shared mobility, and other private urban mobility services. Low-Income EV Carsharing: Sharon led SUMC’s technical assistance to the City of Los Angeles on a $1.6 million project to bring all-electric car-sharing to low-income communities, and she helped launch similar projects in the Bay Area and California’s Central Valley. Shared Mobility Action Plans: Sharon headed the creation and ongoing implementation of Shared Mobility Action Plans for Los Angeles County and the Twin Cities, each focused on local policy and program development for integrated mobility hubs, carsharing, TNC partnerships, and microtransit. FHWA Peer to Peer Car Sharing Pilot: Sharon led Chicago-based Peer-to-Peer (P2P) carsharing demonstrations for the FHWA Value Pricing Pilot Program. Sharon’s Impact Pre-SUMC and the Foundation of Shared Mobility Prior to SUMC, Sharon was the CEO of IGO Carsharing, the nonprofit organization that started carsharing in the Chicago region. Under Sharon’s leadership, IGO grew from a small pilot project into a successful operating company with 15,000 members in 45 neighborhoods. Worked with the Chicago Transit Authority to create the first combined carshare/transit fare card in North America Developed solar canopies and charging stations that helped introduce renewable charging and mobility hubs to the region Partnered with operators throughout the world to launch the first association of carshare operators and developed best practices for growing carsharing as a mobility service Was foundational for informing SUMC’s work on mobility hubs and shaping our role in the conversations on mobility as a service, data sharing, and multimodal fare payment Before taking the helm at IGO, Sharon was the Director of Research and Development at the Center for Neighborhood Technology (CNT) for over a decade, where she directed research initiatives for urban innovation and sustainability. Coordinated startup and program development for Center for Transit Oriented Development Managed a transportation-on-demand (TOD) project in Miami-Dade County that led to the creation of a methodology for understanding the value of TOD Lead author for TCRP Report 93, Travel Matters: Mitigating Climate Change with Sustainable Surface Transportation Led the renovation of the Center For Neighborhood Technology’s building to become one of the first LEED Platinum projects in the country, created the LEED for Neighborhood Development standard, and set a model of how beautiful design and strong sustainability measures could be affordably achieved. An advocate for social change from the start, Sharon worked with partners early in her career to develop new organizations for tenants’ rights, and new policies in Seattle that fostered better land use and energy practices. Each of these efforts grounded her belief that strength can come from collective action in support of justice and fairness for all. Areas of Expertise Member, Lightfoot Transportation & Infrastructure Transition Committee Member, Mayor Emanuel Transportation and Mobility Task Force Member and past Co-Chair, TRB Committee on Emerging and Innovative Public Transport and Technologies (AP020) and TRB Subcommittee on Emerging Rideshare Solutions (AP020(2)) Founding Director, Car Sharing Association Member, TRB Committee on Transit and Mobility Management Appointee, Governor’s Electric Vehicle Advisory Council (State of Illinois) Member, U.S. Green Building Council National Committee to create LEED Neighborhood Development Standards Member, Mayor’s Taskforce on Public Vehicles in Underserved Communities (City of Chicago) Member, Mayor’s Pedestrian and Bicycle Advisory Councils (City of Chicago) Key Publications Feigon, S., and Murphy, C. (2018). Broadening Understanding of the Interplay Among Public Transit, Shared Mobility, and Personal Automobiles. TCRP Research Report 195. Transportation Research Board: Wash., DC. Feigon, S., Murphy, C., and McAdam, T. (2018). Private Transit: Existing Services and Emerging Directions. TCRP Research Report 196. Transportation Research Board: Washington, DC. Murphy, C. and Feigon, S. (2016) Shared Mobility and the Transformation of Public Transit. TCRP Research Report 188. Transportation Research Board: Wash., DC. Feigon, S., Hoyt, D., McNally, L., Mooney-Bullock, R. (2003). Travel Matters, Mitigating Climate Change with Sustainable Surface Transportation. TCRP Report 93. Transportation Research Board: Wash., DC. Feigon, S. Hoyt, D., and Ohland, G. (2003). “Lindbergh City Center.” Chapter in Dittmar, H., and Ohland, G., eds., The New Transit Town: Best Practices in Transit-Oriented Development. Island Press.