Civil Engineering Professor Mitra to Study Impact of Shared Micromobility Impacts on Smaller Cities

Suman Mitra, assistant professor of civil engineering.
University Relations

Suman Mitra, assistant professor of civil engineering.

The SMILIES project (Shared Micromobility for affordable-accessible housing) is a community-engaged pilot project to improve the accessibility to jobs and essential activities for affordable housing communities in small and mid-sized cities and rural areas by leveraging the explosive growth of shared micromobility services. The availability of shared micromobility services such as e-bikes and e-scooters have increased in popularity across the nation in recent years.

The objective of the SMILIES project is to determine the degree of impact that shared micromobility services can have on accessibility to jobs and essential activities, household transportation costs and energy consumption for residents of affordable housing communities in small and mid-size cities and rural areas. Affordable and accessible housing for working families is increasingly scarce across the United States, in particular for rural areas and small to mid-size cities.

Mitra is joined on this project by civil engineering assistant professor Sarah Hernandez as co-principal investigator and Rogelio Garcia Contreras, director of social innovation at the Sam M. Walton College of Business as senior research personnel on the project. The $50,000 grant will fund the SMILIES project in deploying shared micromobility services in Fort Smith to establish the business, operating and sociodemographic conditions under which shared micromobility services can improve accessibility to jobs and essential activities for affordable housing communities.

The SMILIES project is in response to Track A–CIVIC Innovation Challenge–Communities and Mobility; a collaboration between the NSF and the United States Department of Energy. To learn more about the CIVIC Innovation Challenge, please visit their website.

Contacts

Mike Emery, media specialist
Department of Civil Engineering
479-575-4954, maemery@uark.edu

Suman Mitra, assistant professor
Department of Civil Engineering
479-575-7455, skmitra@uark.edu

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