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DorobekINSIDER: Looking at mobility as a service

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These days we hearing about many things being delivered “as a service.”  Recently, I got to moderate two days of discussions about something called mobility as a service [MaaS].
Sometimes called transportation as a service, the concept is an interesting one — as its core, it would reorient transportation around getting people from place to place, but opens up other modes of transportation above and beyond the car. Transportation consultant Jack Opiola had the best definition that I heard: “Mobility as a Service (MaaS) is the seamless, infinitely adaptable delivery of mobility, together with associated travel information, necessary ticketing and payment services, across all modes of transport.”
The Mobility as a Service conference, organized and sponsored by ITS International, was the first of its kind conference in the United States. (By way of transparency, I was paid to moderate; I was not paid nor asked to write anything.)
Why it matters: If you live anyplace where people want to live, transportation is difficult at best, and that’s on a good day. We are all impacted by it… and talk about it… and grouse about it. But it is such a unique eco-structure — EVERYBODY has an opinion on it… it is very political… and there is a ton of ‘why don’t they just…’ Furthermore, government is only one player among many players. But there are also broader impacts — on the Earth… on our bodies as we spend hours sitting in vehicles.
Some take-aways from the MaaS conference:
  • Transportation isn’t easy — This was my digest take away — transportation is just SO complex. One of the biggest challenges is… well, us… us and our cars. We love them. And we seem to be addicted to them… and sitting alone in them, seemingly regardless of how long it takes. It is the primary ways most people in the US get from point A to point B. But there are all other kinds of modes of transportation — bicycles, ride sharing/taxi hailing apps, scooters, pedestrians, transit like bus and rail. There are multitudes of options, but in the end, government organizations only control a portion of those methods. Therefore there is a real need for different organizations to work together.
  • MaaS - car - bus - bike - 60 people

    One of the images used by transportation experts (h/t Robin Chase)

    The challenges are real — One of the main discussion topics in any urban area is the commute. Roads are congested. This is particularly true in cities. While there is general agreement that new roads simply don’t solve transportation problems, for cities, in many cases, building new roads isn’t an option. Cities are also constrained because there simply isn’t space to construct new roads. Beyond that, the car has been detrimental to our health (Forget sitting at your desk — what about sitting in your car?) Not to mention the health of the planet… and all that wasted productivity. (Robin Chase, one of the founders of ZipCar, said, “The car dominated city as reached its zenith.”)

  • The government is part of the mix, but there are a lot of players — a lot of transit is governed by a government organization, but there are so many players — drivers, bikers, engineers, politicians. (There was much discussion of European models where there is a goal — spoken or unspoken — of eliminating the need for cars. Call me skeptical but it is hard for me to imagine that in the US… Worth watching — Atlanta has created a regional transportation authority — ATL — that is meant to pull the desperate government pieces together. There will definitely be lessons from the ATL experience.)
  • The opportunities feel real — There does feel like an alignment of planets where changes can happen. And you are seeing it happen already around the world — even here in the US where there are people who are shifting to cities because they don’t want to own a car — and these days, they have options… many options. And we have seen change coming faster than we ever imagined. Who would have guessed the spread of “ride sharing” or taxi hailing apps like Uber and Lyft would become so ubiquitous so quickly — and so utterly disrupt the taxi industry? Jack Opiola, Transportation Consultant noted the idea seemed unthinkable not long ago, but times have changed.
  • Driverless cars could be heaven – or hell   — Everybody is watching what comes of driverless cards. Among these transportation experts, there was a general assumption that is will be here — and sooner than we think.
    MaaS - driverless cars

    h/t Dr. Kari Watkins

    But there is the very real possibility that, if truly driverless cars become a reality, then the roads could be packed with even more vehicles — and people who don’t care how long their commute takes because they are able to work in their self-driven car.

  • First mile – last mile — One of the real challenges is what transportation experts call the “first mile – last mile” — that is how does one get from “point A” to their transportation — and from where the transportation method drops a person off to get to “point B.”
  • MaaS - before and after

    One Asian city has been able to transform a roadway to a open area where people can visit. (h/t Robin Chase) 

    There could be unforeseen opportunities — One of the more intriguing presentations by transportation consultant Jack Opiola looked at the the electronic tolling devices used in Portugal — think of the EZpass used along most of the East Coast toll roads. The Portugal system has grown over the years to where users can use the electronic tolling device to… buy gas… pay for parking… even make purchases at McDonalds. San Francisco has a Clipper Card, which can be used across multiple modes of transportation, as detailed by Jason Weinstein, Assistant Director, Electronic Payments, Metropolitan Transportation Commission, San Francisco. But there are also real opportunities for communities to turn areas that have been dominated by cars and return them to places that are inviting for people. Some of that is already happening, even in the United States, where there is less need for parking because younger people use alternative methods to get around — Lyft, bikes… even scooters.

Bottom line: Wow! The world is changing — and fast.
Want more? Find the presentations from the MaaS mobility conference.
Presentations that I found particularly thought provoking:

Written by cdorobek

May 29, 2018 at 3:52 PM

Posted in DorobekInsider, Technology

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03.06.2012: DorobekINSIDER: The TAG Challenge and helping government be entrepreneurial

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So… day two of GovLoop Insight’s DorobekINSIDER. Thanks so much for being here.

Here is what we have for you today…

* We all remember tag — we all played it as kids. But what if the technologies of the Internet and the networked world could be brought to the game of tag. The TAG Challenge is going to be testing that concept later this month. And this challenge is being made possible by a State Department grant. You’ll learn about this innovative new program.

** You face big problems. How would you like to be able to tap the best minds to help solve those problems — or at least move the ball down the field. We’ll tell you about Fuse Corps…. we’re going to talk to Peter Sims, the author of the DorobekINSIDER Book Club book, Little Bets… he’s the man behind this program and we’ll get details…

** AND… feds, you have a TSP account? We’re going to have the DorobekINSIDER exit interview with the man who has kept you informed about what was going on with your Thrift Savings Plan account… he has just retired. We’ll talk to Tom Trabucco.

After the break… some updates on yesterday’s program… and the stories that impact your life for Tuesday 6 March 2012… the government world in 120-seconds…

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by cdorobek

March 6, 2012 at 1:17 PM

DorobekINSIDER + GovLoop = Helping you do your job better

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As some of you know, last year, I made the decision to leave my post as anchor of the afternoon drive program on DC’s Federal News Radio. And I made that decision, in part, because I was having a child and I wanted to be a father.

Nicholas has just passed 9-months. And it has been an amazing nine months. There are challenges, mind you — many of us are used to fixing problems, and with a child, you quickly learn that it isn’t always possible to fix those issues.

When I left the afternoon show, I promised that I wasn’t going to disappear. And I haven’t. But I’m really excited about what I’m doing now.

As you know, my mission is summed up in six word: Helping government do its job better. And I work to do that… through this blog, through audio and video content… through events… and I now am going to be working with GovLoop. I have been doing these Friday weekly reviews for several months now. And we will continue to focus on the issue of the week on Fridays. But there will be more: the DorobekINSIDER program will also be here each weekday.

Our goal is to post by noon ET — you can stream us at lunch, so while you’re feeding your body, you can also have some food for thought.

The program will be similar to my former radio show: A mix of news and newsmakers, innovators, thought leaders, books… and even some off the wall kind of stories. We will focus on leadership, technology, acquisition, policy, pay and benefits and your career. Yes, we’ll occasionally have somebody who just blows your socks off… but we’ll also have those “boring but important” stories — our vegetables that are so important to our thought diet. But we’ll also have some fun. (Yes, that too!)

One of my own goals is to challenge myself to find new ways of reporting and telling stories… those stories that help you do your job better. And I think GovLoop is the perfect partner in that quest.

Radio microphoneWhile the GovLoop Insights DorobekINSIDER program will be similar to my former program, there will be several significant differences. First, we aren’t slaves to a clock. If a conversation is going really well, we’re going to keep going. There is no need to hit news at the top of the hour… or weather and traffic, for that matter.

But the most significant difference is GovLoop. We are working to integrate DorobekINSIDER content into GovLoop in a number of ways. The most significant: We are hoping to crowdsource the production of a radio program. We are going to be as transparent as possible — and what we are working on (and why)… about the questions we plan to ask. And we hope that you will be involved. Is there an issue that we should cover? Are there questions we should ask? Is there a challenge you are facing?

We are also working to integrate content across GovLoop’s communities. If we do an interview with somebody, we hope you will offer your thoughts, insights and analysis to the discussion.

If you have ideas about how we can do that, let us know. To put it simply: We don’t have all the answers. And we do believe that all of us are smarter then each of us individually.

We will also be using some of the awesome GovLoop content as fodder for this program — so keep up the good work.

Many things will not change. This is journalism — and it will continue to be. There are always questions about why somebody covered something in a certain way. If you have those questions, ask us. We actually love those questions.

Here is how this will work, as of right now. The full show will be posted on each day at about noon ET. And the full show will be available on iTunes… or stream it using apps like Stitcher, where you can stream audio… or even listen on SoundCloud — yes, there is an app for that… and a mobile version.

We will also post each interview individually on DorobekINSIDER — along with the relevant links where you can get more information… and to the community on GovLoop where the discussion is happening. And there will be highlights of those interviews in the community sections. It sounds more complex then it is.

And, of course, we’ll be on all the platforms: Facebook, Twitter, Google+. Yes, even LinkedIN. Find those links here.

The team

I have an awesome team working with me on the program. Emily Jarvis is the producer of the program. Emily was my producer for my WFED program. She is one of those young people who educates me. She is smart and passionate — and always eager to learn. She can be reached at

And Stephen Peteritas, who has been producing the Friday Issue of the Week program, is still part of the team. He is working to integrate content throughout GovLoop. Stephen can be reached at

Finally, a few words of thanks… to Scott Burns, the CEO of GovLoop’s parent company, GovDelivery… to Steve Ressler, the founder of GovLoop… and to Doug Mashkuri, GovLoop’s director of business development. I have known each of them for years. I had many options about my next steps — and I selected GovLoop because of their vision for this platform… and the fact that they share my passion about those six words: Help the government do its job better. I’m thrilled to be working with them.

I’m so excited about this. I often tell people that I am the luckiest person on the planet. I love what I do every day. I get to help smart people tackle big challenges.

And I think these are remarkable times. Yes, in some ways they are very difficult times — and you know that. But they are also amazing times. And you can do amazing things.

Are we ready? Let’s do it.

And we’ll see you online…

Written by cdorobek

March 2, 2012 at 12:34 PM

Looking for the DorobekINSIDER radio show?

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As I noted earlier this week, today is my last day at Federal News Radio 1500 AM.
All of the radio interviews are archived here.

Written by cdorobek

March 25, 2011 at 11:58 AM

DorobekINSIDER: The next chapter

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Change is never easy. So it is with some trepidation that I decided to leave Federal News Radio 1500 AM.

Not to worry. I’m not going anywhere. I’m still going to in this market — and I do have plans. I’m not really going anywhere. I’ve been covering the issues facing government agencies for a very long time — and I plan on continuing doing this for a very long time.

There are a couple of reasons for the change. First off, in case you don’t know, I am going to be a father very soon and I want time to spend time with my new baby boy. For me, this is a once in a life opportunity and I am blessed to have the opportunity to spend some time with my son.

Beyond that, I also am looking for new opportunities to grow… to innovate… to create — and producing a radio show each day leaves little time for anything else.

I do have plans. Not all of them are fully locked down, so I hope you’ll give me some time to do that. I will share them as soon as I can.

I can say that the DorobekINSIDER will continue at (If you found the DorobekINSIDER through Federal News Radio’s Web site, that will change in the weeks ahead.)

I’m hoping to create a platform that uses all kinds of platforms. But, as always, my mission can be found in eight words: Help the government accomplish its mission more effectively. That won’t change.

I’ll continue to be around… in fact, I hope to be around MORE…

As we say in radio, stay tuned!

A huge thanks to the people at Federal News Radio, who took a print guy and taught him radio. In particular, Francis Rose, Amy Morris, Julia Ziegler and WTOP’s Judy Taub, all of whom have been real mentors in the art of sound. UPDATED: Trying to write quickly, I forgot two essential people to thank. First, Lisa Wolfe, the program director for Federal News Radio. She gave me this great opportunity — and I simply cannot thank her enough for that. With key hires of experienced people who have covered the federal government, Federal News Radio has become a player — and quickly.

Finally, at Federal News Radio, I somehow forgot to thank Mike Causey. Causey is, quite simply, a legend. He has been a mentor to so many journalists — and he shows us how it is done each and every day. I have worked with him twice now… and it is nothing short of an honor.

It has also been an honor to be associated with WTOPJim Farley, WTOP’s vice president of news and content, had the idea for a Web radio station that would cover feds. A decade ago and the site has evolved into Federal News Radio. Farley is so passionate about making WTOP the information resource for Washington, it is simply infectious. He is, quite simply, the best.
I also have to thank John Meyer, director of Digital Media for WTOP and Federal News Radio. He has been with Federal News Radio from the start — and always saw a future.
Thanks to all for their help.
And to all of YOU — for listening… for reading… for helping… for doing what you do… Thanks so much.
Please stay in touch…
You can always find me at… My contact information can be found here. In addition:
E-mail: cdorobek at
Facebook: Both CDorobek and DorobekINSIDER
Twitter: Both CDorobek and DorobekINSIDER

Written by cdorobek

March 23, 2011 at 9:57 AM

Posted in DorobekInsider

DorobekINSIDER: Mike Causey’s most read posts for 2010

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In the first week of the new year, we looking back – and look forward… by looking at what you determined were the big stories.

Mike Causey's Federal ReportAll week, I’m highlighting the most read items across Federal News Radio’s programs. Yesterday, I posted the 100 most read items on the DorobekINSIDER. Tomorrow, we’ll post the most read items for the Federal Drive; Thursday for; and Friday for In Depth.

Today, the most read posts by Federal News Radio’s senior correspondent Mike Causey:

About Those Buyout Rumors…
Retirees $250 Tax Credit
Big Career Changes Coming at You
FEHBP Premiums, Co-Pays Going Up
Pay Freeze and Job Cuts, and Furloughs, Oh My!
Christmas Eve-Eve Bonus Holiday?
2011 Pay Raise Poker Chip
Federal Pay Raise: The Chosen Frozen
Pay, Pensions, Premiums Under the Knife
Thanksgiving Day Bonus Holiday: For Some
Best Places to Retire According to Those Who Know
Super Investment for Office Elders
Will Black Friday be a day off for feds?
Who’s on FERS?
TSP Balances: Size Counts
Accidents Happen: CSRS vs. FERS
FEHBP Premiums: Burying The Skunk
Your 2010 Lucky Numbers
Benefits, Retirement on the Chopping Block?
Pay Freeze & Pay Raise
Health Care Reform & Your FEHBP
Pay Freeze & Retirement
Federal Pay Freeze: A November Surprise?
Pay, Pensions Facing Firing Squad?
TSP Millionaires & Record Rollovers
East Coast, West Coast Pay Spread
Investing Unused Leave
2011 Pay Raise: Coulda Been Worse
Cadillacs, Dependent Kids & the FEHBP
How’s Your Pay Raise? Compared To What?
Snow Day: May Day!
Below-The-Radar-Raises Targeted
Feds Get Early, Extended Halloween
Higher Health Premiums: Just Wait!
Politics and Your 2011 Pay Raise
Down the Road: Pay Freeze and Job Cuts and Furloughs
Is Your Pension a Target?

Written by cdorobek

January 4, 2011 at 5:15 AM

DorobekINSIDER: The 100 most read items for 2010

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Happy New Year! What a great time to look back – and look forward… and to think about fresh starts.

The coming months are going to be interesting, no doubt.

All week, I’ll bring the most read items across Federal News Radio’s programs – Mike Causey tomorrow; the Federal Drive on Wednesday; on Thursday; and In Depth on Friday.

But today, the 100 most read items on the DorobekINSIDER:

POLL: What do you think of the proposed pay freeze?
Federal pay up over 400 percent since 1969
Managing the fear of cutbacks among federal workers
IRS releases TSP contribution limits for 2011
Obama orders cuts in federal building costs
DorobekINSIDER poll: Did OPM make the right decision to open DC offices on Friday?
TSP end-of-year deadlines approaching
Analysis: What the pay freeze means to feds
Thrift Savings Plan update
Boeing may be losing edge in Air Force tanker award
Why TSP calculators don’t always work
How safe are your federal benefits?
Chances good for passage of TSP/annual leave bill
More TSP participants taking out money early
Federal intern program violates hiring rules
OPM targets poor-performing feds
Toss out that time card, get more productive employees
Why your office fridge could be hazardous to your health
Should feds work on Columbus Day?
POLL: How will the new Congress affect your job?
Why there’s been a backlash against feds lately
Analysis: What will happen to your pay?
Obama: Federal jobs may stay vacant
POLL: How big is the ‘bad government worker’ problem?
DorobekINSIDER: CA CIO Teri Takai to be named DOD CIO
TSP contribution limits for 2011 explained
How to manage older workers
TSP funds climb in July
Super bar codes gaining popularity in U.S.
Do agencies keep poor performers on the job?
Long-term tips for your Thrift Savings Plan
Your wireless router could leave you vulnerable
Are teleworkers happier?
DorobekINSIDER: An open letter to OMB: Stop the public sector bashing
How to make that performance review work for you
Budget top issue at TSP meeting
Author explores age of entitlement in “The Narcissism Epidemic”
POLL: Deficit commission recs hit feds
Rep. Connolly: Pay freeze unfair to feds
Most TSP funds suffer losses in May
FBI shuts down Sentinel computer program
TSP funds show gains in October
New TSP website launches
Berry lauds agencies for vet hiring
How to tune out noise in your office
Analysis: Causey and Miller on the pay freeze
Cool Jobs: USPS preserves stamps in cave
New Air Force motto gets mixed reviews
Investors make slight shifts to higher-risk TSP funds
Al Qaeda magazine calls for attacks on D.C. government workers
Elective deferrals for your TSP explained
TSP readies for debut of L-2050
How to make telework really work
Why continuous monitoring is gaining popularity
DorobekINSIDER: OMB’s government performance self-assessment
DorobekINSIDER poll: What should be the federal government’s operating status for FRIDAY?
The TSP as a model for other 401(k)s?
For TSP investments, most play it safe
DorobekINSIDER: Back to work for feds in DC, OPM defends closure decisions
TSP updates website, automatic enrollment options
Grassley: DoD IG’s lax oversight results in fraud
Was the Smithsonian haunted?
Vampire killers under federal contract?
The DorobekINSIDER iPad review: Will you see them in government?
Government still faces numerous teleworking challenges
2010 and Beyond: Causey on the ups and downs of the year
Board objects to proposed TSP fund
Causey on health plan options in Open Season
DorobekINSIDER: DOD issues its much anticipated Web 2.0 policy
Analysis: What does public anger mean for feds?
Rule would change contractors’ hiring practices
Fantasy TSP – Are you in?
How to get more minorities, women to participate in TSP
Coast Guard Academy named top college
Dorobek Must Reads – June 2
Telework requires ‘culture change’
Poll results: Should feds work on Columbus Day?
Automatic enrollment in TSP starts next week
Fed satisfaction survey reveals vast amount of info
‘Government Doesn’t Suck’ rally puts human face on government
Causey: How agency budget cuts will affect you
Can a Facebook post get you fired?
Public-private pay gap is widening
Federal pay raises safe … for now
TSP numbers: Look past the short term trend
DorobekINSIDER: GSA reorganizes, Interior shuffles – and the CIO (apparently) moves
Survey: Performance reviews get poor ratings
Election watch 2010 – and what it means for porn
Hiring reforms could mean big changes for veterans
Will feds get a half-day off on Dec. 23?
Google sues U.S. government
Last-minute open season tips
How to get your TSP questions answered
Comments needed for TSP beneficiary designation
Can Facebook get you fired?
DorobekINSIDER: Helping out a Postal employee in a time of need
Inside the secret new Internet browser