Birmingham’s micro-transit experiment has been getting some national attention. Read on to see what national newsletter The Hustle said about Birmingham’s micro-transit, as well as several ways Birmingham is cutting down on traffic.
The Hustle, a fun daily newsletter focused on tech and business news, recently mentioned Birmingham in an article about public transit. In the age of social distancing, buses, subways and other public transit options are running on empty. For instance, public transit in Lubbock, Texas is down 50%. On the other hand, micro-transit projects are just getting started. Essentially, micro-transit is publicly-funded Uber Pool.
In addition to its social-distancing benefits, micro-transit can help clear up downtown traffic. Instead of each individual driving their car to downtown every morning, imagine if half of those people took a micro-transit option like Birmingham’s On-Demand.
3 Steps Birmingham is Taking to Clear up Traffic
Micro-transit is just one of several tools in the City of Birmingham’s transportation toolbox. Birmingham is taking several steps to make transport in The Magic City as easy and stress-free as possible.
1. Birmingham On-Demand
Launched back in December, Birmingham On-Demand is a corner-to-corner public ride-sharing program powered by Via. The six-month pilot program is funded by the City of Birmingham and the Community Foundation of Greater Birmingham.
Birmingham On-Demand is just like Uber or Lyft—but at a fraction of a cost. For just $1.50, you can book a quick trip to most of downtown and a section of West Birmingham.
To use Birmingham On-Demand, simply download the app—available for free on the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store. And if you don’t have a smartphone, you can always give Birmingham On-Demand a call at 205.236.0768.
As of July 1, you don’t need change to park in downtown Birmingham. The City of Birmingham slapped special ParkMobile stickers on roughly 4,000 parking meters throughout the city. With the free app, residents and visitors can pay for their parking through their phones.
Parking with ParkMobile is as easy as picking up a mobile order from Chick-Fil-A:
- Enter the zone number posted on stickers and signs around the meter.
- Select the amount of time needed.
- Touch the “Start Parking” button to begin the session.
ParkMobile is a major step in Birmingham’s mission to modernizing the parking situation in downtown. Birmingham has also planned additional parking decks to keep up with demand.
3. Smart Cities Collaborative
In January, Birmingham joined 12 other cities in a nationwide, peer-learning program known as the Smart Cities Collaborative in order to improve the management of the city’s curbs.
Curbs are important. They form a link between transportation and local businesses—which explains why they’re in such high demand. You’ve got parking, trash pickup, and water management all competing for the same space used by micro-mobility, outdoor restaurant seating and pedestrians.
The year-long Smart Cities Collaborative program allows cities to share ideas, test theoretical mobility services and provide valuable insights. This conversation helps these cities each develop the best practices that encourage and improve accessibility in city life.