The Silicon Review
‘Increasing awareness and education about additional and advanced transportation options for people.’
Mobility Lab is a research-and-development initiative for “transportation demand management – moving people instead of cars.” It is based in Arlington, Virginia, which has one of the largest transportation-demand-management programs in the U.S., and removes 45,000 car trips from the county’s roads each work day.
Mobility Lab nurtures innovations to a fundamental requirement of human life: better transportation options for everyone. It is a place of collaboration, education, and continuous improvement for moving people in more healthy, efficient, and sustainable ways.
What is TDM?
One of Mobility Lab’s primary roles is to measure the impacts of “transportation demand management” services in Arlington County, Virginia – frequently cited as a national leader for public transportation. Third-party research shows that Arlington’s TDM work has been very successful, even though TDM investment pales in comparison to the dollars required to build roadways. TDM outreach work throughout the county helps shift 41,000 car trips each work day from solo-driven cars to some other forms of transportation. That’s roughly the equivalent of the number of vehicles on six lanes of I-66 and I-95 during the three-hour morning rush hour. Thus TDM cost-effectively supports the investment the county has made in its land-use plan and transportation infrastructure, resulting in better use of Arlington’s transportation system.
TDM is the flip side of infrastructure. It focuses on helping people use the infrastructure in place for transit, ridesharing, walking, biking, telework, and driving. It is cost-effective in guiding the design of our transportation and physical infrastructure so that alternatives to driving alone are naturally encouraged and our systems are better balanced.
TDM thus underlies most of the important new initiatives of today: transit-oriented development, complete streets, walkable activity centers, livability and sustainability initiatives, and integrated corridor management.
How is TDM changing transportation choices in Arlington County and beyond?
Mobility Lab’s original research supports the case for how and why transportation demand management improves communities. It is fortunate to be embedded within the county government, studying from within a world-class “living laboratory” of transportation development.
The Mobility Lab team works in-house with innovative TDM partners like BikeArlington, WalkArlington, Capital Bikeshare, Arlington Transportation Partners, goDCgo, The Commuter Stores®, And many others in the region. It also serves to communicate the best practices from around the world back to Arlington’s leaders and citizenry.
The Three pillars of Mobility Lab
Research – about how Arlington’s transit-oriented development works. The company is embedded within the living laboratory that is Arlington County Commuter Services. It produces and disseminates cutting-edge original transportation research that details why so many of Arlington’s roads are free of the traffic that clogs so many urban areas.
Collaboration – to bring about innovation. Mobility Lab is a convener and engager of top minds on transportation in the D.C. region, nationally, and internationally, regularly holding online collaborations and events like Hack Days, Transportation Camp, and educational symposiums on topics ranging from sustainability to real-estate development and beyond.
Communication – about best practices. It is a leading online source for how we can improve our lives by making better transportation choices than the ones our society has been trained to embrace. The company wants to share your research, as well as build a database of readable, entertaining, and usable best practices to work with an array of partners advocating for better policy and increased funding for those working in the TDM industry.
Mobility Lab Technology – Transit TechTo benefit from the use of multiple transportation modes, especially transit, people need reliable information that will help them plan their trips. With the widespread adoption of smartphones, which nearly two-thirds of all Americans now use, it’s easier than ever for people to consider trying new transportation options.
Because of these options in places like Washington, D.C., New York City, Chicago, and Los Angeles, it is becoming easier to combine walking, biking, driving, ridesharing, and transit for getting to social activities and work. Data transparency is leading cities and agencies to prioritize real-time information that will connect citizens to a more vibrant lifestyle.
Mobility Lab and Arlington County are constantly seeking to improve transportation through technology with events like our Transportation Camp, its Transportation Techies group, and tech partnerships like CarFreeAtoZ, TransitScreen, and Transit Near Me. These efforts are making smarter transportation choices a way of life.
Meet the Key Executive
Lois DeMeester, CEO: Lois founded Mobility Lab In 2010, recognized today as an innovative transportation research think tank focused on best practices in mobility management and technology, working to move people instead of just cars. She is the founder and CEO of The Destination Sales & Marketing Group, Ltd (DS&MG). Since its inception in 1992, DS&MG has become the leader in the fields of transportation demand management, transportation grant administration, and program development. Lois has led the company from a two-person operation to its current status as a national entity with 40 employees.
In 1998, Lois founded Arlington Transportation Partners, a group committed to assisting Arlington County employers attract and retain top-notch workforces with highly valued transportation benefit programs. Lois serves as the Executive Director for BikeArlington and WalkArlington, and she and the rest of her team of DS&MG experts also provide brand strategy, market research and analysis, TDM, sales, marketing, and communications services for Capital Bikeshare, DC Circulator, and goDCgo – ATP’s partner organization and TDM counterpart across the river in Washington, D.C.