Several cities are ready to adopt new forms of mobility which will include micromobility services, ride-sharing, and ride-hailing. And the companies of these new mobility platforms are ready to share all their data with these cities. Cities will now need ways to properly use their data and analyze it all.
This is where Populus comes in. Populus, which just raised a $3.1 million seed round from Precursor Ventures, Relay Ventures and others, helps cities make sense of the influx of transportation data. This brings the startup’s total funding to $3.85 million.
The platform is designed to enable cities to access vehicle and trip data from shared-mobility operators. City planners can view where people park and ride scooters, for example, to better determine the best place to put scooter parking areas and dedicated lanes.
“One of the key issues that cities face around mobility services (in general), is that these services are arriving faster than most cities can keep up,” Populus CEO and co-founder Regina Clewlow told TechCrunch via email. “They are fundamentally changing transportation choices and travel patterns in ways that are unpredictable and unmeasured, making it very difficult for cities to design and manage public infrastructure (a job that only they can do). With access to better data and more importantly, information, we are finding that our customers, such as Arlington County in the D.C. area, are able to design infrastructure that can help shared mobility services grow safely and sustainably – such as new bike lanes and scooter corrals.”
To date, Populus works with Washington, DC and cities in the SF Bay Area and Los Angeles region. Given that most cities require shared-transportation operators to share data with them, it’s easy for Populus to come in as a third party. Populus also offers real-time data from rideshare companies to inform curbside management and pricing. Back in December, Populus partnered with Lime to facilitate data sharing from its car-share service, LimePod.
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