In this episode of the Smart Community Podcast I have a great chat with Crissy Ditmore, the Director of Strategy for Cubic Transportation Systems, where she is working on the expansion of Mobility as a Service across the globe. Crissy is also Chair of the Board or the TravelSpirit Foundation North America, Co Chair for the Mobility on Demand Alliance Public Policy Committee, is active with the Coalition for Smarter Transportation and a 2019 MaaS Transit Magazine Top 40 Under 40. It’s fair to say she was a perfect guest for our #mobilitymarch series.
In this episode, Crissy and I discuss her background of over 15 years in the mobility industry and why she’s so passionate about the opportunity for mobility to be an equaliser and reduce divides within our community. We talk about Digital Equity when it comes to mobility, especially Mobility as a Service, and the importance of real stakeholder engagement in this space. Crissy shares with us her perspective on the future of transport and how mobility is only one part of the value chain of happiness in the Smart Community ecosystem. We talk about the importance of enabling equity through policy decisions, and how emotional intelligence in difficult conversations is what’s needed for better integration and fewer silos. We finish our chat discussing the emerging trends of balancing new innovation with improving on existing solutions, as well as the things that Crissy wishes were trending in mobility.
As always we hope you enjoy listening to this episode as much as we enjoyed making it!
What we cover in this episode:
- Why Crissy is so passionate about mobility
- How mobility and accessibility options can be an equaliser or increase community divide
- Digital Equity, MasS and how we make sure we’re addressing the needs of the whole community
- The importance of real engagement, community storytelling and co-creation of Smart Community projects
- An example of a grassroots campaign from early in her career that has informed Crissy’s current perspective on community engagement
- Crissy’s view on the future of transport and Smart Mobility
- How mobility is only one part of the value chain of happiness in the Smart Community ecosystem
- The importance of enabling equity through the decisions that we make in our policies
- The need for emotional intelligence and suspension of egos in the difficult, targeted conversations required for better integration
- Being open to changing direction and improving on goals
- Emerging trends of balancing new innovation with the opportunities inherent in improving on existing solutions
- Things Crissy wishes were trending in mobility
“I always have been passionate about mobility mainly because where I grew up, we actually didn’t have great public transportation. We weren’t well served. And as I got older and went to other places, other cities, I really saw the benefit that it provides…It’s one of the great equalizers of history. Just having access to wonderful transportation…it’s always been very exciting and encouraging that you can become whatever you want, because you have the mobility to get there.”
“Obviously, you’re never going to be able to meet every need all the time. But if you’re very narrowly focused on delivering one type of service to one type of user, you’re greatly limiting your own community’s ability to interact and be healthy, happy, productive members of that same society.”
“A Smart Community is a purposeful city design that allows you to maximize citizen welfare. That’s through institutional, physical, social and economic infrastructure. Notice I didn’t say technology. A lot of cities do use technology to help bridge that gap but but we’re having an ever increasing divide of intelligence around how to use technology as well as an equitable divide of who can access the kind of technology that you need to leverage to interact in that environment.”
“MaaS is not an app, because an app is never going to define for you a policy end goal that meets a public good. That’s why when we’re designing these systems, many times it is in the best interest of everyone that a public sector entity is in charge of the policy making, so that those that have vulnerabilities in some way, [their] needs are met.”
“Just because it’s new doesn’t mean it’s good. Sometimes the best option is improving on something that we’ve been doing for a while. That sounds weird coming from a person who likes new and innovative approaches. When we’re having the conversation on the new and innovative approaches, let’s not abandon the good that we’ve been building upon at the same time.”
Connect with Crissy on LinkedIn, or Twitter and Instagram @fabcitycrissy
Connect with me via email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Podcast Production by Perk Digital