The premier organization for TDM professionals

Executive Spotlight: Sandra Phillips

Posted: 04/28/2022
Category: Member Spotlight

What is your elevator pitch about your organization?

movmi is an agency focused on Shared Mobility, from micromobility, carsharing to Mobility-as-a-Service.  Our services include research, education and the co-creation of new shared mobility services. Our clients range from public agencies to Fortune500 companies to new mobility startups.

Our nimble, 6-person team has extensive expertise in all aspects as we have been involved in over 70 shared mobility projects worldwide. In addition, we have curated a community with more than 60 diverse shared mobility innovators. This allows us to provide our clients with courses, pilot programs and policy recommendations that are cutting-edge and inclusive from the start.

What are you and your organization seeking to achieve?

Our social purpose is to build healthier communities by co-creating innovative mobility solutions that increase transportation options, while reducing dependency on private car ownership. And we know that shared mobility services are key in doing that. It is a better way to get from point A to point B while using resources vastly more efficiently and avoiding over-investment in vehicles and infrastructure. It is making safe, efficient, convenient and affordable transportation more widely available, societally and globally. We will continue our work until every community – big or small – has integrated some form of shared mobility into their transportation options.

How did you get to where you are today?

I was hired by car2go in 2010 to introduce their carsharing service in the Canadian market. Naively, I had a vision that shared mobility was beneficial also for smaller cities, especially if it was integrated with public transit. But I wasn’t very successful in turning this into reality inside a global automotive giant. So, in 2014 I founded movmi with the intention to expand the reach of shared mobility. Winning the TED/BMW Next Visionary contest in 2017 and my TED talk integrating shared mobility with public transit really accelerated movmi’s work.

How have you seen the TDM industry change?

I have seen three changes:

  1. We moved from focusing support on one mode to a catalogue of TDM measures: i.e in 2010, Vancouver allowed developers to reduce their number of parking spaces if they added a carsharing vehicle (ratio 1:4).
  2. The pandemic has highlighted that our transportation systems often impact low income households the most, so there is more attention on equitable TDM measures.
  3. The past two years have shifted commuting behaviors significantly and some of these changes will stay and TDM has to adjust these changes.

Where do you see the industry going in the next 10 years?

Most on-demand shared mobility services collect a plethora of data – something that we don’t have from individual car trips. Today the focus is on creating data standards and clear guidelines on who gets to use it, in 10 years this type of data will be the baseline to devise any TDM. Another area that is gaining traction, is Behavioural Insights: I personally think learnings around the timing and simplification of TDM messaging will become mainstream in the next 10 years.

What brought you to ACT? What has been the most memorable part of your involvement in ACT?

We have attended a few of ACT’s conferences in the past (pre-Covid) and always enjoyed the quality of content. In the past two years, several people that we work with are members with ACT and have highly recommended the TDM certification program. We’re working towards at least one certified member of our team by the end of the year.

What keeps you motivated?

The fact that in Canada 25% of all GHG emissions are produced by personal transportation and that people have a hard time switching from their personal cars because there are no reliable alternatives. It is high time we changed both of that.

What has been the most fulfilling moment in your career?

Our team has won a Clean50 project award for the Shared Mobility Compass Card pilot project where we worked with public transit, carsharing and bikesharing in Vancouver to integrate all the different modes into the existing public transit farecard. The results are very promising: over 60% of participants shifted their behaviour and are using public transit, carshare or bikeshare instead of their personal vehicle. Additionally, over a third of participants have tried a new transportation alternative and over a quarter have started to combine different methods). This project is the TED vision in real life.

What is a great piece of advice you have received? Have you put it to use?

When I was preparing my TED talk, one of the speaking coaches kept telling me to “Simplify the message, remove any unnecessary information and focus on the story”. I used to focus so much on sharing every statistic to show how well I know the subject, which totally misses the point of speaking to more people that just want to know how we solve their daily mobility problems. Since then, we work very hard to communicate so anyone can understand the benefits of shared mobility.



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