Mobility Marketplaces are flexible multi-story hubs for mobility, energy, and services that meet the needs of the traveling public and the people who provide mobility servces.
This ACES Research Report, published by the Discovery Institute, identifies the sizeable private-equity investment opportunities for Mobility Marketplaces, self-sustaining concession-funded hubs of economic activity that will serve as the center of community microgrids and a marketplace for a wide variety of mobility options.
The future of energy is demand-side generation and storage. Homes and businesses become producers, supporting community-scale microgrids. Utilities take on a new role of balancing the grid and providing for high-intensity uses. Mobility Marketplaces become the hub of this energy revolution, providing vehicle charging for a wide variety of mobility services and offering share-based local generation for homes and businesses not suited for the installation of solar photovoltaics or heat pumps that can serve whole-envelope energy needs.
During research tours conducted in 2017, 2018, and 2019, Discovery Institute Fellow Scott O. Kuznicki undertook analysis contrasting the amenities offered by public transit facilities in the United States with those offered in countries around the world. Stunningly, in his home region of the Pacific Northwest, Park & Ride facilities clung to decades-old models involving bond-financed construction and operation by taxpayer-funded public transit agencies, a model that offered very little cost recovery beyond punitive parking charges.. These facilities were merely parking lots when, in fact, they could serve uses far beyond simply storing cars for people who chose to use public transit to avoid inadequate motorways and/or expensive parking fees in city centers.
The Mobility Marketplaces concept, developed in 2018, envisions multi-story, flat-deck structures that can serve parking needs now while also serving as hubs for thousands of delivery and rideshare workers, offering respite and relaxation in safe and welcoming lounges. These facilities will necessarily harvest energy from sunshine, becoming the center of community microgrids, offering low-cost energy production and on-site energy storage.
These slides from an updated ACES Northwest Network Research Report present the results of a two-year project identifying the sizeable private-equity investment opportunities for Mobility Marketplaces. These marketplaces for transportation services will also be a one-stop shopping solution for commuters and people connecting to safe and personalized on-demand shared-ride services, fixed-route, fixed-schedule public transit, and a wide variety of flexible and affordable mobility options. Revenue from on-site concessions and energy production will ensure a reliable investment and could draw far more than just private equity funding.
This work is made possible by the Transportation Futures Fellowship from the Cascadia Center for Regional Development, a program of the Discovery Institute in Seattle, Washington. The Discovery Institute promotes a culture of purpose, creativity, and innovation.