DRCOG: A new model for regional micromobility data collaboration

Mar 18, 2021 3:23:51 PM / by Meghan Prichard

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When the Denver Regional Council of Governments (DRCOG) and its members met in early 2019, they shared a common goal: to manage emerging micromobility programs in a coordinated and consistent manner throughout the region. When it came to shared micromobility data, rather than developing independent resources and tools for each agency, they sought a different solution — a coordinated and shared micromobility data management approach.

DRCOG has been using Ride Report for the last year to share information across jurisdictions and agencies, while better understanding shared micromobility in the region. We spoke with Transportation Technology Strategist, Emily Lindsey, at DRCOG to learn more about how these combined efforts are panning out.

Seeking a coordinated approach

With shared scooters and bikes emerging and growing as mobility options, DRCOG, regional partner agencies and local governments needed to analyze data, pull metrics, and see real-time street information quickly on an ongoing basis.

Standard practice in many regions involves cities developing program execution and management on their own. This limits the ability to benefit from information and resource sharing; each agency reinvents the wheel its neighbor next door had just spent a lot of time and effort developing. This also means a lack of consistency around how core metrics are calculated, meaning apples are compared to oranges when looking at regional or statewide statistics.

“Our member governments wanted to address shared micromobility data in a consistent way so that we weren't developing all of these resources and roles from scratch every time a new program launched," says Lindsey, “Local governments in the Denver region have a long history of collaboration and coordination. When shared micromobility came to the region, we were presented with an opportunity to continue these efforts.”

DRCOG and its member governments saw an opportunity to take a more coordinated approach to data management while avoiding the need for each agency to develop in-house expertise or go through their own procurement process. DRCOG decided to procure a set of data tools that the whole region could use and selected Ride Report.

Enabling cross-agency data sharing

Ride Report worked with agency staff to track down historic and current data from operators in the Denver region. With each participating agency having unique dashboard views customized to its own interests, agencies are able to glean real time and historic insights into shared micromobility in the region, including reports and visualizations that once had taken weeks of manual analysis to put together. Staff from across the region, regardless of their perspective, role, or interest area, now have the same source of truth for shared micromobility data.

The capabilities of this shared dashboard provided staff with the assurance that they could execute innovative and scaled micromobility programs. Since operators view the same metrics through their version of the dashboard, they are able to focus on broader policy goals like providing trips in opportunity areas rather than reinventing methods to calculate regulatory compliance.

Using Ride Report, partner agencies in the Denver region have been able to better understand more about the different tools, capabilities and metrics needed to enable micromobility data sharing. “It has been exciting to bring our vision of cross-jurisdictional and multi-agency data sharing to life," says Lindsey.

Saving time and money

Now, when a new shared micromobility program in the region launches, DRCOG members have a ready-made playbook for them to plug into and manage data.

"It's enticing for our member governments because they don't have to spend valuable staff time developing new tools or procuring services that help them manage shared micromobility programs in their community,” says Lindsey. “Communities, both large and small, can really just log in and go.”

Beyond the tool, DRCOG is gaining valuable insights from the Ride Report team and other clients around the world that offer different models to inform the future of their data sharing program.

"It has been really valuable to us to get practical, policy level insight as new programs and subsequent agreements are put together," says Lindsey.

Interested in using our data management tool to manage and optimize your micromobility program? 

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Tags: Cities, Customer spotlight

Meghan Prichard

Written by Meghan Prichard