#315 Local Mobility Improvements for Communities in the Region (LINC: Linking our Networked Communities)

Principal Investigator
Ray Gastil
Start Date
July 1, 2020
End Date
Sept. 30, 2021
Research Type
Grant Type
Grant Program
FAST Act - Mobility National (2016 - 2022)
Grant Cycle
2020 Mobility21 UTC


Local Mobility Improvements for Communities in the Region (LMICR) researches better local mobility. RCI will partner with Quaker Valley Coalition of Governments (QVCOG) and 2-4 COG members.  LMICR adds a synergistic approach to ongoing commuter-focused last-mile work, including critical intra-community trips, ranging from getting seniors to medical services, to connecting diverse age/income groups to jobs and recreation. Key research includes income-targeted ride share, non-urban core micromobility, and last-mile urban design.

The Local Mobility Improvements for Communities in the Region Study (LMICR) will address the opportunities and challenges of increasing local mobility, employing engagement, data, and analysis to clarify and specify needs,  as well as the tools and programs to meet them. 

The Remaking Cities Institute (RCI) proposes this study in coordination with a regional government entity, the Quaker Valley Coalition of Governments, and will work directly with the residents and stakeholders of two to four municipalities in that coalition, looking specifically at Bellevue, Avalon, Ben Avon, and Emsworth for this initiative. 

LMICR  will build on earlier work by RCI regarding corridors and communities in the Pittsburgh metropolitan region, including the “Route 51 Corridor Transformation Study” (RCI, 20xx) and “Millvale Mobility: Connecting Millvale to the River and the Region” (RCI, 2018). It will also harness the partnerships and data developed through Phase 1 of “The Regional Highway Corridor Research Study – Proof of Concept,” an ongoing Moblity21 UTC project, by addressing a research, develop, and deploy strategy to specific communities and potential programs to address their local mobility needs. The research team will bring wide knowledge of best practices, local knowledge, current data, and community priorities to the study process and  completion.  

The project begins with a recognition of core mobility needs that are not generally met in communities throughout North American metropolitan regions, particularly those outside of the urban core. These include first- and last-mile mobility, often understood as getting to longer haul bus and/or other mobility options for commuting to the region’s downtown or other regional job centers. LMCIR, however, will also look at the critical need for local trips for non-regional commuting purposes. The study will identify how improved local intra-community mobility could: 1) connect those who live outside of local business districts, including seniors, to services, from medical appointments to shopping and community activities; 2) connect employees to jobs located in their local or adjacent communities; and 3) meet the equally critical opportunity a greater range of age and income groups to connect to recreation and entertainment in local business districts, parks and riverfronts 

The study will work to identify the synergies and overlaps between different types of current and potential future local trips, so that a local mobility for all approach can be developed and ultimately deployed. Local mobility will provide an intergenerational opportunity for greater independence and quality of life, for seniors cut off from local center resources to young non-drivers. Relevant tools  and policies include rideshare service that are income-targeted, and shuttle services that include non-commuters, and user platforms tooled to the demographics and density of these communities. 

LMICR will also work to identify the synergies between urban form and successful local mobility. It will build on with the existing heritage of “Complete Street” urban design in these historic towns, as well as more recent initiatives to better connect local communities with pedestrian and bike routes along their interconnected main streets. Local Mobility improvements, whether ride share, pedestrian, bike, or an approach to micro-mobilty designed in response to the needs of towns outside the urban core, will strengthen community economic viability and livability. LMICR will contribute to research, development, and potentially deployment of strategies for “last-mile urban design,” which works to sustain and enhance places which provide hubs of activity, from business districts to the riverfronts. 

Importantly, improved local mobility has the potential to contribute to intergenerational equity and quality of life. Working efficiently, an improved service would decrease the total number of vehicle miles traveled and decrease the demand for downtown parking, reducing carbon emissions and reducing the need for the costs and disruption of new surface or structured parking, helping to sustain the character and economy of these communities.  

Project will be completed in the 7/1/2020 - 6/30 2021 period. 

Q3 2020
- Final Scoping
- Physical Conditions Data Collection

Q4 2020
- Municipal and Service Provider Interviews
- Organizational Data Collection

Q1 2021
- Preliminary Findings
- Develop Scenarios for Improved Mobility 

Q2 2021
- Develop Deployment Scenarios for Improved Mobility
- Final Findings and Report

Deployment Plan
Expected Accomplishments and Metrics

Individuals Involved

Email Name Affiliation Role Position
rgastil@Andrew.cmu.edu Gastil, Ray Remaking Cities Institute PI Other
squick@andrew.cmu.edu Quick, Stephen Remaking Cities Institute Co-PI Other
jjwilson@andrew.cmu.edu Wilson, Jenn Joy Carnegie Mellon University Other Other


Amount of UTC Funds Awarded
Total Project Budget (from all funding sources)


Type Name Uploaded
Data Management Plan DMP.Local_Mobility_Improvements_for_Communities_in_the_Region.pdf March 16, 2020, 12:48 p.m.
Presentation 315_-_Presentation.pptx Sept. 30, 2020, 10:12 a.m.
Publication NA Sept. 30, 2020, 10:12 a.m.
Presentation NA Sept. 30, 2020, 10:12 a.m.
Progress Report 315_Progress_Report_2020-09-30 Sept. 30, 2020, 10:48 a.m.
Progress Report 315_Progress_Report_2021-03-31 March 29, 2021, 6:12 a.m.
Final Report Final_Report_-_315.pdf Oct. 12, 2021, 4:43 a.m.
Report Final_Report_-_315_Final.pdf Nov. 8, 2021, 8:25 a.m.

Match Sources

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Name Type
Quaker Valley Coalition of Governments Deployment Partner Deployment Partner