What is the Innovative Mobility Accelerator?

Post

The Mobility Accelerator is a program for SACOG members to develop and launch pilot projects to solve transportation challenges with innovative mobility solutions. This accelerator is modeled after SACOG’s Civic Lab program which takes best practices from start-up and technology accelerators—identifying a clear challenge statement and key partners and then working to develop flexible pilot projects. Civic Lab Year 1 resulted in eight project teams,10 pilot projects across the region, over $3M in combined funding. Many of the key components from Civic Lab will be replicated, specifically, a human-centered design program that gets to the root cause of an issue, using empathy to understand user pain points and rapid prototyping and iteration with affected stakeholders. 

Key features of the program:

Ready funding: The accelerator dedicates $1.5M to implement pilot projects that are designed in the Accelerator. 

Ability to apply as a “free agent”: Individuals interested in participating in the Mobility Accelerator can apply as a free agent and will be matched with a project team. Examples of a free agent could be a mobility stakeholder, Civic Lab alumni, non-profit representative, transportation management organization, local employer, or other relevant representatives.  

Access to a bench of pre-qualified vendors: SACOG will pre-qualify a bench of implementation vendors (e.g., Lyft, Gig, etc. ) but will also solicit for performance measurement and project design vendors. These vendors will be matched with teams to support not only the launch but implementation and measurement of pilot projects.  

A compressed timeline: The accelerator will begin early April and be delivered over a 12-week timeline. This is compared to the 12-month Civic Lab program. Teams will participate in workshops, interact with private sector vendors, and discuss project opportunities with end-users and expert consultants.

Application categories: The Mobility Accelerator will solicit applications from teams looking to reduce VMT and solve challenges in the following categories: suburban and rural areas; disadvantaged communities; disabled individuals, older adults, or youth; and commercial corridors.  

Application process:

Applications take 30 minutes or less. You’ll describe your mobility challenge within four categories, add cross-sector team members, submit acknowledgment from a local elected official or executive leader. Accepted teams participate in the 12-week accelerator to design pilot projects that address these challenges. Pilot projects will launch starting in late summer. There is a nominal $1,000 program fee.