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CoMotion LA in the International Media

‘Global Partnership for Informal Transportation’ is Launched

November 17, 2020

— Major International Mobility Partnership Announced at first day of CoMotion LA LIVE 

— The Partnership to work with informal transit systems in cities of Global South to advance innovation, improve services, and promote rapid decarbonization 

Los Angeles, CA – Transportation leaders from the public and private sector welcomed the announcement of the launch of the Global Partnership for Informal Transportation (GPIT) on the first day of the CoMotion LA LIVE Conference in Los Angeles. The announcement was made by NewCities Chairman & CoMotion CEO John Rossant. “The promises of the mobility revolution — connected, efficient and decarbonized transportation — must now be extended to the cities of the Global South, where informal transportation networks are the primary way billions of people move around,” said Rossant. 

An initiative of NewCities, Agile City Partners and CoMotion, GPIT has already received an enthusiastic reception from leading institutions across the mobility and economic development landscapes. GPIT works with public and private sector partners around the world to enhance innovation in these entrepreneurial networks, increase their access to new technologies, and accelerate decarbonization. Rossant also announced that Benjamin de la Peña, the former Chief of Strategy and Innovation of the Seattle Department of Transportation and Founder/Director of Agile City Partners, will become the Executive Director of the Partnership. 

GPIT is in conversation with several other global institutions and potential partners that share the Partnership’s vision and will likely join the initiative in the following months.

Gina Lucarelli, Team Leader of UNDP’s Accelerator Labs, said, “We’re excited to see how the Partnership can help leverage the ingenuity and innovation of the people who build and operate these services. It is critical that organizations join forces to connect local innovators to a wider innovation ecosystem and help grow their bottom-up solutions on the global stage.” Gina added, “It’s not just about helping them find the right technology, it’s about building on their experiences to shape the policies of tomorrow. I see informal transportation systems as an important research agenda that gives us insight into informal innovation.” 

Daniel Moser, Management Head of the Transforming Urban Mobility Initiative (TUMI) said, “We are excited to explore how we can electrify these homegrown transportation systems that serve and employ billions of people around the world. We cannot transform urban mobility without acknowledging the role of informal transportation and engaging all the players in the sector.”

Devin DeVries, CEO and co-founder of Where Is My Transport added, “The mobility ecosystem in emerging-market cities is complex; informal public transport doesn’t behave like formal public transport. Striving to support better public transport experiences for everyone, everywhere, means a focus on informal transport is essential.”

In its first year, the Partnership plans to establish a database that captures the global landscape of informal transportation; convene leading players and thinkers—transport workers and operators, tech entrepreneurs, researchers, and public sector innovators in a virtual or hybrid conference; and, begin setting the agenda for decarbonizing the sector by producing research that estimates the carbon emissions from informal transportation.

Additionally, the Global Partnership for Informal Transportation aims to:

  • Connect key players into a global community for knowledge and action
  • Find and scale innovations and propagate effective technologies
  • Support entrepreneurs and operators
  • Create viable business models
  • Educate city leaders and the general public
  • Mobilize private sector investment
  • Promote healthy and competitive markets
  • Produce critical research
  • Support the development of appropriate policies and public investment

“We believe informal transportation systems—the tuktuks, matatus, jeepneys, bodabodas, ojeks, auto rickshaws, peseros and colectivos of the rapidly growing cities of the Global South—can be powerful engines for economic mobility and for creating more sustainable and inclusive cities.” said Benjamin de la Peña, GPIT Executive Director.

The announcement came as global transportation leaders convened at CoMotion LA LIVE, highlighting the flagship mobility event’s shift to a virtual format. Leaders of this new initiative will speak on November 19th at 8 AM Pacific, further laying out the group’s vision, and underscoring the importance of this development for the Global South.

About NewCities

NewCities is a global non-profit committed to shaping a better urban future. The organization has a decade’s experience curating and producing innovative content about the most important emerging urban trends through tailored events, editorial features, and actionable research. NewCities brings a ‘whole-city’ approach by convening and connecting key stakeholders of the urban ecosystem: residents, governments, academic institutions, civil society organizations, and business communities. Its activities are inspired and supported by its global network of members, whose insights help determine the most pressing challenges faced by cities. Twitter​ ​Facebook​ ​LinkedIn​ 

About CoMotion

CoMotion is a global platform where leaders of the most innovative transportation and technology companies around the world meet with urban policymakers to share ideas, do business and plan the new mobility future. CoMotion organizes exclusive world-class events such as CoMotion LIVE, CoMotion LA and CoMotion MIAMI, and is the new mobility industry’s premiere source for news, insights, and analysis.

About Agile City Partners

Agile City Partners is a boutique global urban consulting company. ACP’s singular goal is to bring the agile mindset to the cities it serves. We face planetary challenges and global disruptions, so our cities need to learn quickly, to respond, to move fast. ACP believes agility helps cities to be truly inclusive, to fight climate change, and to be resilient.



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