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Skip Descant

Staff Writer

Skip Descant writes about smart cities, the Internet of Things, transportation and other areas. He spent more than 12 years reporting for daily newspapers in Mississippi, Arkansas, Louisiana and California. He lives in downtown Sacramento.

Five startups were selected to develop pilot projects to help speed the adoption and deployment of electric vehicle fleets. The project, known as the Mobility Studio, is a partnership between Ford Motor Co. and Newlab.
After pulling shared e-scooters from Miami streets, the city commission decided during a special meeting to continue the pilot program through early next year, this time with more oversight and regulations.
Even in California — the largest electric vehicle market in the country — getting chargers installed in multi-unit housing is met with significant obstacles that range from ownership inertia to power supplies.
As America moved forward from the pandemic's initial throes, transportation experts examined their role in social equity as they considered eliminating fares, expanding transit lines and starting a "mobility revolution."
The new infrastructure bill has transportation and transit agencies thinking about which projects to prioritize to advance cleaner and more efficient transportation systems for the next several decades.
The federal grants program that funded the Smart City Challenge is set to grow to $500 million under the recently passed Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, vastly expanding transportation innovation opportunities.
On-demand transit projects, like Metro Micro in Los Angeles, are proving instructive to how larger fixed-route services can evolve to be more convenient, flexible and equitable forms of mobility.
The nation’s third largest transit provider is considering several approaches to reducing congestion and single-occupancy trips, while giving residents and visitors more transportation options.
A new report by StreetLight Data shows the shifting trends in biking travel across major metro areas. In some cities, biking activity has surged about 50 percent, while others have seen declines for one reason or another.
With the passage of the federal infrastructure bill, transportation leaders in Illinois are gaining hope that the high-speed rail project that would connect Chicago to St. Louis can gain momentum.
Top officials at the U.S. Department of Transportation are beginning to lay out a vision for how the recent passage of a $1.2 trillion infrastructure package will unfold and begin funding projects across the nation.
Passage of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act by Congress will send billions in new public funding to projects that expand broadband and encourage the adoption of zero-emission vehicles, among other initiatives.
Even smaller transit systems like Valley Regional Transit in Boise, Idaho, are turning to account-based fare payment systems in a push to modernize the transit experience and integrate it with other mobility options.
The E-DRIVE, developed by the Georgetown Climate Center and M.J. Bradley and Associates is a digital tool to aid policymakers and planners in locating new high-speed charging for electric vehicles.
Multibillion-dollar economic development investments in the Memphis area have city and economic leaders reimagining the region’s next chapter as a place for urban tech innovation and smart technologies.
The Privacy Principles for Mobility Data include seven guiding ideas for the public and private sectors as micromobility options like bikes and scooters become more ubiquitous across U.S. cities.
Philadelphia will begin the process of transitioning its fleet of more than 5,500 vehicles to electric. The transition comes as the city moves forward with a goal to be carbon neutral by 2050.
The availability of charging options remains a key factor in the decision to switch to an electric car. And it’s part of the reasoning behind a plan to have 10,000 car-charging sites on New York City curbs by 2030.
Electrification, congestion pricing and how streets are used could all greatly influence the future of transportation in cities, say speakers at the Smart Cities Connect Conference and Expo.
Public-sector and industry leaders remarked on the future of work at the Smart Cities Connect Conference and Expo, saying remote should be the default to improve efficiencies and aid in recruitment.

In one of the first panel discussions at the Smart Cities Connect Conference and Expo, cybersecurity took center stage as experts advised for more spending, education and collaboration as threats increase.
The Smart Cities Connect Conference and Expo in Washington, D.C., opened its in-person gathering today after a two-year hiatus that sent the regular meeting to a video-conferencing posture.
At the heart of the Beta District in Central Ohio is the U.S. 33 Smart Mobility Corridor, a 35-mile “living lab” to test and deploy transportation technology. The corridor was officially unveiled last month.
The Fremont Police Department in California has been testing electric vehicles for a few years and is in the process of making its fleet fully electric. However, full adoption can't occur until charge times are reduced.
Harris County, Texas, is turning to a managed private network to bring broadband connectivity to disadvantaged households. Officials hope the effort will increase access to distance learning.
Las Vegas has entered into a partnership with Cox Communications to set up a “managed private network” in a public park. The system uses video surveillance, sensors and other technology to evaluate park activity.
The COVID-19 pandemic forced government organizations to explore newer creative avenues to engagement with the community, taking meetings and other events out of conference rooms, and interacting with more community members.
The National Smart Coalitions Partnership was formed by regional smart city organizations from Colorado, Texas, Missouri, Illinois, Arizona and Florida with the goal of furthering collaborations across the country.
Cruise and Waymo received “deployment” permits from the California Department of Motor Vehicles for their autonomous vehicle operations in the Bay Area, clearing another hurdle to for-hire commercial AV service.
The Louisiana Office of Motor Vehicles has adopted new technology to better manage the flow of customers and transactions through its offices in the midst of the disruptive COVID-19 pandemic.