Passport’s Picks of the Week

Insight. Research. Data.

This week’s installment of picks of the week is full of invaluable insight into the transportation industry – the innovations that are happening, the factors that influence customer experience, the future for public transit, and more. Get a glimpse into what the Passport team has been sharing this week:


Poor people pay for parking even when they can’t afford a car

You might not necessarily think about it, but when you head to the grocery store for your weekly (or daily) trip parking is embedded in your product prices. When you head to the movie theater for a matinee, parking is included in your ticket price. Maybe you have an apartment and you don’t drive, parking may still be included in your monthly rent. For Los Angeles, the minimum parking mandate reduces the number of units in an apartment complex by 13%. Although these options are arbitrary, they can greatly influence the poor, which are the least likely to own a car. According to Donald Shoup, UCLA economist, “people who are too poor to own a car pay more for their groceries to ensure that richer people can park free when they drive to the store.”


Apple Maps will remember where you parked your car

Early this week, Apple announced their newest operating system, iOS 10. Like most of their system updates, the operating system will be available early fall. Word (rumors) on the street believe that Apple will be launching a car, however, it hasn’t been confirmed. What we do know is that one of the features in iOS 10 helps people remember where they parked their car. Say so long to the days of wandering aimlessly through parking lots searching for your car. With the Apple Maps feature, users will have the ability to “drop a pin to locate the car’s stationary location when a journey terminates somewhere other than the user’s home address.” In maps, a parked car icon will appear along with your current location and users will have the ability to get directions and be provided with an estimated time to get to the car.


The Future of Transit Funding: Are you ready?
Where exactly will public transportation be in the future? For some time now, things have been heating up in Congress over the future of funding for public transit. Reduced budgets have impacted the transit industry for years, however, programs funded through appropriations by the Department of Transportation would reach the lowest levels in 14 years, causing many agencies to think strategically about their operations. What can they live without? What makes the biggest impact? Conclusion: expansion. More infrastructure, more buildings, more rails…


LA’s Using Energy Savings From LED Streetlights to Charge Electric Vehicles

In Los Angeles, going green just got a new look: LED streetlights. After converting to LED streetlights, LA is reaping the benefits of excess power to charge electric vehicles. Replacing the streetlights took approximately 4 years and cost $57 million, but the project has been successful. The streetlights have saved the city over $9 million a year in energy costs, as well as 60,000 tons of CO? emissions. That’s huge! Electric car owners are also taking advantage of the excess energy – 100 new charging stations are being added to the city to handle the energy. The Level 2 chargers provide 240 volts and can provide up to 20 miles of power per charging hour for electric cars. The LAPD have announced that they want to install 1,000 electric car charging stations by 2017.


Frustrated? Customer Support Greatly Impacts Customer Experience

Long wait times, re-directs, the cringeworthy on-hold music. Sound familiar? We’ve all been there. When it comes to customer experience, support can make or break a brand in a matter of seconds. Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon, said it best “if you make customers unhappy in the physical world, they might each tell six friends. If you make customers unhappy on the Internet, they can each tell 6,000 friends.” It’s so true. How many times have you resorted to social media to blast a company after a negative experience? How many times have you made your experience known via Yelp? Word-of-mouth on the Internet packs an incredible punch. To overcome one negative experience, there needs to be 12 more positive experiences to get over it.