It was when a fourth friend’s child was killed that I began studying traffic fatalities as a public health crisis. I realized that carmakers’ new safety features cannot keep up with our devolution as drivers. Every day we are in a perverse lottery where 100 “tributes” across the U.S. will die.
Once I decided not to accept traffic deaths, the cloud over my brain lifted. I could think creatively about a better, safer, cleaner, cheaper, simpler, slower mobility alternative.
Instead of shedding tears with fatality experts, I began to talk with experts on light electric modes. I learned about the work already being done—practical, exciting possibilities unknown to most of us. Imagine the air quality and environmental benefits of a more sustainable mobility option, one with a smaller footprint.
What makes this paradigm shift possible? It’s the protected infrastructure that we call LEAN LanesTM, providing safe, continuous flow passage for Neighborhood Electric Vehicles (NEVs), scooters, pedicabs, bicycles and motorized bicycles.
Our vision is a world in which people can get everywhere they need to go within their communities using low cost, low emission, safe mobility choices. We envision protected networks of paths, free like sidewalks, that become a platform for low cost autonomous technology innovation.
Big data, meet Tiny TransitTM.
This grassroots movement is percolating across the U.S. I urge you to check out our Kickstarter campaign, ‘Tiny Transit Startup.’ We are seeking support to enable us to reach out to communities, provide online resources, and help cities strategize, pilot and implement LEAN networks.
Economic development is a passion of mine. Light, low speed modes can enable everyone to participate in the economy. A family stressed by having to spend 20% of its income on transportation can slash that expense by 50% to 75% or more. Seniors marooned in their homes, breadwinners without transportation to get to better jobs, communities aiming to build economic resilience, cities struggling to rein in taxes—all of these can be better served with a low cost sustainable option. It’s an economic, social equity, and financial home run.
With Kickstarter support, Tiny Transit Strategies will become a Benefit Corporation, a relatively new type of for-profit entity in which the mission is to produce positive impacts on society and the environment. These impacts have priority over profits. This structure will help ensure the integrity of our vision.
Please let us know what you think. Ask questions. If you are working in this emerging industry, perhaps you can help with answers. All of us are learning as we go. Thank you for taking time, and I hope to see you on Kickstarter. Stay tuned!
Susan Engelking, Founder