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How Cary Used AI to Develop and Pass Its Policy Recommendations for E-Scooters with the Town Council

Cary, NC, USA
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Cost

Initial:
1 Thousand USD

Project Status

Operational since 2018

Challenges Addressed

Transportation
Pedestrian & Bicycle Safety
Mobility & Access

Motivation

Smart city

Funding / Financing

General Fund/Existing Public Funds

Project Type

Technology
Tool
Service

At a Glance

The Town of Cary, NC, needed to provide its e-scooter policy recommendations to the Town Council. The Town decided to take a data-driven approach before they made any decisions and used Zencity’s platform to gain insights from residents.

Problem Addressed

The Town wanted to take a data-driven and strategic approach to e-scooters to figure out what was best for its community within the context of its recently adopted comprehensive community plan. It was important for Cary to look not just at what other neighboring cities were doing, but to also understand what their citizens’ felt about the transportation innovation. Cary wanted to gauge broader public perceptions about the e-scooters and measure their impact on the community.

The Town of Cary used/is using Zencity's platform to gain resident insights to address this/these challenge(s).

Solution(s) Used

From the first day the scooters landed, Cary began using Zencity to track resident sentiment

and discourse around them. Zencity automatically aggregated city-wide resident-generated data points from sources like social media, local news sources, and more. With the use of advanced AI, the data was categorized, sorted, and tagged a negative, positive, or neutral score over a three month period. The Town then the results to present its recommendations to the Town Council.

Outcomes

  1. Though there was a loud vocal minority that disliked e-scooters, the majority of the population held a neutral view on e-scooters.
  2. The Town decided to take a "wait and see" approach as being the most beneficial strategy for its residents.
  3. The Town Council accepted City Hall's recommendations to continue monitoring with Zencity the situation and to adopt some amended ordinance language to reflect this.
  4. The Town's approach was well received by the community and local press alike.

Something Unique

The Town of Cary was able to gain access to the voice of the silent majority and not only the vocal minority to be able to build a more nuanced approach to its town policy.

Who Should Consider?

Any city that wants to take a data-driven approach to their city's policies.

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