Announcing Anna Zivarts as the 2024 Annual Conference Keynote Speaker

NABSA is looking forward to bringing annual conference attendees to Philadelphia to meet, learn from, and network with shared micromobility professionals from across the globe at our Ride, Thrive, Belong: Building Community Through Shared Micromobility Conference – the only global shared micromobility-focused conference of its kind.

We are excited to announce Anna Zivarts as the conference keynote speaker this year! Her presentation will take place during the Opening Plenary on October 8th.

Anna Zivarts is a low-vision parent, nondriver and author of When Driving Is Not an Option: Steering Away from Car Dependency (Island Press, 2024). Anna created the #WeekWithoutDriving challenge and is passionate about bringing the voices of nondrivers to the planning and policy-making tables. Anna sits on the boards of the League of American Bicyclists, the Pacific Northwest Transportation Consortium and the Washington State Transportation Innovation Council. She also serves as a member of TRB’s Committee on Public Health and Transportation (AME70) and the National Aging and Disability Transportation Center Coordinating Committee.

We checked in with Anna to discuss the conference, shared micromobility, and her book. Here are some of her thoughts:

Q: Why is shared micromobility an important piece of the transportation landscape?

A: I loved having access to Citi Bike when I lived in NYC, and actually the first ebike I ever rode was one from that system. I had been skeptical that I could use an ebike up to that point, and it made me realize how transformational that power boost could be. Now I own an ebike, but everytime now when I go to a new city, I look up if there’s a bike or scooter share system available. Especially when the systems are priced affordably, it is such an amazing way to experience a city.

Q: How does designing a transportation system that treats the needs of nondrivers as essential make our communities better for everyone?

A: Car-dependency is a bummer. It means that we have to create all this storage for cars in our urban and suburban environments. This adds to the cost of housing, and the costs of groceries. It also means we have to invest massively in road building and road maintenance for all these cars to get to where they need to go. But beyond those land use costs, car-dependency has huge public health costs, including injuries and deaths due to road collisions; air and tire dust pollution; and a lack of safe, comfortable places in communities for people to get outside and walk, roll, or bike.

Nondrivers can more easily imagine a future where we transition away from car-dependency because, in addition to all these broader harms, nondrivers also experience the isolation and lack of opportunities created by car-dependency. When we start to imagine how our communities could work without everyone driving everywhere they need to go, that’s how we begin to untangle car-dependency.

Q: Why did you decide to write When Driving Is Not an Option, and how has your experience as a low-vision nondriver influenced the book?

A: Growing up in Washington State as someone with a disability, I didn’t know any other adults who couldn’t drive. I moved to NYC so I could have the same mobility as my peers. Living in NYC it didn’t matter that I didn’t have a license and couldn’t get one. On returning to Washington to be closer to my family to raise my son, I started to meet lots of other people who couldn’t drive through my work at Disability Rights Washington, and I realized that I wasn’t alone. I started thinking about this book because I wanted to make these stories visible. First, so that other nondrivers would know there were a lot of other people in a similar situation, and second, so that we could start to organize and demand communities that worked better for us.

Q: How does the conference theme of Ride, Thrive, Belong: Building Community Through Shared Micromobility resonate with you?

A: Bikes, scooters, cargo bikes, family bikes, adaptive bikes, ebikes, longer range and more durable powerchairs — there’s such incredible potential to expand mobility access and community inclusion for more people. But unless we’re intentional about designing communities and mobility systems that meet our diverse needs, these systems will continue to perpetuate exclusion. Let’s be intentional and prioritize access for people who currently have the least choices. That’s how we are going to reduce car dependency and build towards more inclusive communities.

Q: What are you excited about sharing with the 2024 NABSA Conference audience?

A: While shared micromobility can provide incredible access and open new avenues to active transportation for many, there are so many ways we can work to improve inclusivity. We need to make sure the pricing isn’t excluding people who want to use the devices, and misparked devices don’t block critical pedestrian pathways. And a wider range of devices that can meet our mobility needs will help expand who can benefit. I’m excited to see more shared e-trikes, cargo and family bikes and more spacious, safe and separated infrastructure to use to get around on these devices.

For more information and to register for the conference, go to