Charles Dicks is a Senior Associate with the Mobility Team at Rocky Mountain Institute, headquartered in Boulder, Colorado. Charles is based in Austin, Texas and sees TDM professionals as an important key to his work.
1. How did you get involved in TDM?
I’ve been involved with two start-ups, both transportation service providers, which focused on bringing better mobility and commuting alternatives to the market. That work led to a serendipitous introduction to the Rocky Mountain Institute, which had recently partnered with the City of Austin to implement their Mobility Transformation project. A key focus of that project is accelerating Commuting-as-a-Service offerings, which basically means integrating new mobility solutions and deploying them to commuters through employers. This is the project that I’m involved with, and it’s become clear over the course of it that TDM practitioners, both inside the enterprises as well as in the local TMAs, are among the stakeholders which are critical to the project’s success.
2. How did you get involved in ACT?
As mentioned above, a large portion of our practice’s work involves commuting, and understanding the ecosystem of providers and customers (and developing working relationships with them) is critical to our efforts. Once we learned about ACT, it quickly became clear that its membership was made up of just the kinds of participants that we needed to get to know. So joining ACT became a bit of a no-brainer.
3. What do you see as the future of TDM? Any specific challenges?
Keeping up with and making sense of the new flood of available mobility options is definitely a challenge. Historically, the range of options was pretty clear, and the focus could be on managing them and trying to drive adoption. Today, it seems that new entrants emerge daily. And understanding who does what, who is going to survive in the long term, and how they all fit together is tough. In the long term, the potential upside to shifting commuters away from SOV behavior is huge. In order for everyone to realize all of that potential value however, I think TDM practitioners are going to have to get out in front, facilitate learning and feedback to/from providers and the market, and help make it all make sense for the users.