SAE Blog Text

Meet the Author: Michele Kyrouz

Posted: March 26, 2024

How can we design mobility solutions that work for everyone?

In The New Mobility Handbook—2024 Edition author Michele Kyrouz explores the relationships between new mobility technologies, cities, and the people who live in them.

A lawyer and podcast host, Michele created the book to address mobility challenges faced by cities today, and provide solutions for how cars, micromobility and transit can work together in cities.

The 2024 Edition updates the handbook to reflect additional changes in the industry and policy suggestions for how cities can work with new mobility companies to achieve common goals. 

“Cities have been asking how we can disrupt personal car dominance for over 60 years. The answer lies with new mobility technologies that offer attractive alternatives to personal car use,” Michele said. “But new technologies require that cities use classic urban planning principles of road pricing and reallocation of space to counter negative externalities. In order to encourage multimodal cities – where car rides are often the right tool for the job – it’s important to regulate all car rides not just penalize ride services like Uber or Waymo, and to carve out space for micromobility and public transit.”

Michele has actively socialized her ideas with industry leaders in an attempt to identify solutions. Over the years, as new technologies were introduced, Michele noticed two recurring viewpoints were often at odds.

“We have the urbanists and the technology people. The urbanists say that we need to prioritize public transit above all else. In the other camp, we have technology companies who want to try to solve these transportation problems using new technologies,” Michele said. “Both sides want the same result, to encourage multimodal travel in cities, but there has been unnecessary friction and an either/or mentality that is counterproductive.”

Cities often point to “transit first” mandates to prioritize public buses over all modes, criticizing everything from bikes and scooters, to Uber and autonomous ride services, for taking riders away from transit, Michele shared. But public transit alone has not made a dent in personal car usage in cities.

 “Transit first policies are a misnomer, as they were designed to reduce personal car usage by promoting bikes and taxis as well, not just public transit. Micromobility offers the same benefits as public transit - good road geometry and reduced pollution – and is attractive to different riders,” Michele said.  

Michele believes cities should invest in infrastructure like bike lanes and parking spots for bikes and reduce the regulatory fees and burdens to make micromobility a more sustainable business model. She suggests that cities should promote, not penalize, new mobility modes that are popular to help reduce personal car use.

“Cities need multimodal approaches, and so we need to use the right tool for the job, and that means making more attractive options available,” Michele said. “Not everyone is going to ride the bus, or a scooter, so we need all the modes available and priced appropriately to encourage multimodal travel.”

The New Mobility Handbook is currently available online.


From 2017 to 2021, Michele hosted the Smarter Cars podcast about the future of transportation, and from 2021 to 2023, Michele served as general counsel for a shared micromobility provider.