AUSTIN, Texas, Sept. 14, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The City of Austin, together with Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI) and the City of Denver, today announced their partnership to transform Austin and Denver's mobility future. The partnership will leverage the power of emerging technology and innovation to expand transportation options to address congestion, costs, commuting, safety, and the environment.
RMI chose Austin and Denver for this innovative project after a national search. Austin was chosen as the lead implementation city because of its strength as an education and technology center, its entrepreneurial culture, and collaborative government. Google recently picked Austin as the second city in the country for testing their autonomous vehicle.
Mayor Steve Adler said, "Austin is growing fast and we are at a crossroads. To make progress on our city's mobility challenges, we need an 'all of the above' approach—that means embracing innovative solutions. We've had an explosion of new technology for car-, ride-, and bike sharing, transportation apps, web capability, and more, none of which were in place five to ten years ago. This partnership will give Austin the capacity to leverage these technologies on a broad scale to keep people moving and improve their lives."
The partnership will also strengthen efforts underway to address immediate transportation needs. Council Mobility Committee Chair Ann Kitchen said, "This partnership will work hand in hand with the new council's initiatives to address the serious congestion and safety issues Austinites are experiencing every day."
RMI and the City of Austin will work together over the next several years to develop innovative solutions emerging from local and national businesses, industry leaders, and entrepreneurs. For example, the program will improve the information available to the public through mobility apps. This will help people know what all their options are when they are deciding how they want to get somewhere.
"We want to change the way people think about mobility. The program will focus on enhancing transit information, offering a wider variety of cost-effective and convenient commuting options, and ultimately moving towards mobility as a service. We will also advance fleet electrification and work to support the realization of self-driving vehicles," said Jeruld Weiland, managing director of RMI's Mobility Transformation program.
The collaborative partnership will also work with the City of Denver as the lead scaling partner for the program. RMI, Austin, and Denver will work together to ensure that best practices can be shared and applied across the United States, and globally.
"The timing of this partnership could not be more opportune for the city," said Council Mobility Committee Chair Ann Kitchen. "Together we will work with our community partners and leverage our collective efforts to address the growing safety and congestion problems. We are also pleased it will enable us to continue to be a leader in the nation for development of strategies and solutions to meet our ambitious sustainability goals. The potential is very exciting."
Mayor Steve Adler and Mobility Committee Chair Ann Kitchen will be holding a press conference in Austin on Monday at 09:30 CT to launch the partnership.
For more details, please contact Mike Heymsfield at Edelman: RockyMountainInstitute@edelman.com, (650) 762-2847.
About Rocky Mountain Institute
Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI)—an independent nonprofit founded in 1982—transforms global energy use to create a clean, prosperous, and secure low-carbon future. It engages businesses, communities, institutions, and entrepreneurs to accelerate the adoption of market-based solutions that cost-effectively shift from fossil fuels to efficiency and renewables. In 2014, RMI merged with Carbon War Room (CWR), whose business-led market interventions advance a low-carbon economy. The combined organization has offices in Snowmass and Boulder, Colorado; New York City; Washington D.C; and Beijing.
Austin, Texas is the 11th largest city in the United States and is located in Travis County. Austin is referred to as the "Live Music Capital of the World". It has a thriving park network and is often cited as one of the fastest growing cities in the nation. Consequently it is faced with transportation challenges and opportunities that accompany its rapid growth. Austin's transportation portfolio includes an international airport, highways, tollways, intercity bus service, local bus service, and a rail line, ground transportation options including everything from limos to transportation network companies, as well as walking and biking accommodations.
CONTACT: Mike Heymsfield at Edelman: RockyMountainInstitute@edelman.com, (650) 762-2847Source:Rocky Mountain Institute