Running out of cars? Let’s have a closer look at the evidence

green-carGlen Lyon of the University of the West of England draws our attention to a recent expert event in Britain looking critically at the evidence and debates surrounding ‘peak car’. The article to which he draws our attention provides a detailed written account of a roundtable discussion on the topic which took place in London on 20 May 2014. Much needed, it is now available at: http://eprints.uwe.ac.uk/23277/. A summary follows.

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KpVV/EcoPlan Survey: You, Carsharing & Local Government

utrech workshop cover page - 2may14

Think you might wish to participate in a short collaborative survey in which we trying to improve our understanding of the relationship between carshare suppliers and local government in a cross-section of countries and environments?  We are hoping to cover cities of a range of sizes, including both high performers and those as yet without much of a strategy.  It will be important to cover both ends of the spectrum.

You will find a PDF of the one page survey – - > here.   (In MS Word – - > here.)

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Dead End in Brazil? Interview with O Globo Brazil.

In the day before the opening of the World Cup in Brazil, where traffic chaos is expected to be the rule of the day (missed opportunities there?) this is a video transcript of a 20 November 2013 interview with Bolivar Torres, Brazil Sao Paulo Traffic congestionBrazilian journalist with O Globo, a leading Brazilian newspaper.  His topic: Notably unsustainable transportation and trends in Brazilian cities — seen from an international perspective. What to do? How to move from today’s failing and inconsistent ad hoc Old Mobility policies which are not getting at the roots of the problems? Perhaps toward a New Mobility Agenda?  And what if anything could have been introduced in time to improve traffic and life quality conditions for all during the coming World Cup and Olympics?

* See corrective note on photo below.

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Obligatory National Cycling License (A Modest Proposal)

World Streets, together with a number of our readers and supporters, including city cyclists and others working in the sector, UK cyclist traffichave decided to take a public position on obligatory National Cycling Licenses. And that around the world the appropriate agencies and legislative groups, city by city and country by country, will step forward one at a time and when they are ready to pass into their law a requirement that certain road users must take and pass a rigorous National Cycling License examination.

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Selected issues defining carsharing in your country

FB xcars 28oct13In the context of the ongoing World Carshare 2014 program, we have been asked by several considering authors to provide some context and perhaps indicate some issues or questions concerning matters that our readers might be interested to know more about in order to better understand the evolution of carsharing in their country.

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Will the real cost of car ownership kindly stand up

Carsharing changes our relationship with the cars we owned and loved and hated over much of the century just behind us. And one of the points we hear from proponents again and again is that carsharing offers substantial savings, because the cost of owning a car has become much higher than in the past. Surely the cost of car ownership in the 21st century —  and all that goes with it including direct and indirect costs, among them depreciation, insurance, petrol, maintenance, parking, etc.,  — is no light burden. But how expensive is it really? In this article, carsharing expert Dave Brook digs into the numbers and reflects on the true cost of ownership for most car owners in the United States.

canada cost car ownership

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XCars and Carsharing on World Streets: 2009 – 2014

xCARS: NEW WAYS OF OWNING AND USING CARS IN  21ST CENTURY.

The 2014 work program focuses on carsharing, but not limited to this one new form of car use.  Coverage of different main forms: Traditional, One-way,  P2P and private.  Carsharing by its various names and different forms is one of the fastest-growing new ways of getting around in cities and outlying areas for day-to-day travel. Over the last decade it has increasingly proven itself to be an effective mobility option, serving thousands of cities on all continents.

carshare invis1ble parked car

*  Click here to go to archives covering period 2009 – 2014 *

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World Carshare 2014: Policy/Strategies Program for Local Government

Carsharing has a brilliant, in many ways surprising and certainly very different future — a future which is already well in process. Carsharing is one of the fastest growing new mobility modes, with until now almost all services occurring in the high income countries. But it is by and large new, unfamiliar and does not fit well with the more traditional planning and policy structures at the level of the city. This is a problem. And addressing this problem is the goal of this cycle of reports and events in the year ahead.

CS -mindmap-horiz-20feb13

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World Carshare/Going Dutch: Open Library for collaborators

canada carshare logoAn informal shared library has been set up in support of this group project for the KpVV to serve collaborators and contributors – in the form of a Dropbox file which you can find at https://www.dropbox.com/home/Going%20Dutch

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Transforming transport in Penang – and the earlier the better

Transport in Penang (and all around the world for that matter) relies on non-renewable sources of energy. Think 20 cars with one person in each vehicle, versus one bus with 20 passengers. The former creates traffic jams and worsens pollution to detract from the overall liveability of a city. It is often argued that supplying more roads only creates more demand for their usage. With 10,000 more vehicles added to Penang’s roads each month [1], we will have to commit ourselves soon to a decision to enhance sustainable transport.

Think City Bhd invited Prof Eric Britton, managing director of EcoPlan International in Paris, founder of World Car Free Days and longtime advocate of sustainable transport initiatives, to Penang with the purpose of studying the transport system, meeting stakeholders and hosting a series of events to come up with ideas and a new perspective for transportation improvements across the state. Thus, Sustainable Penang: Towards a New Mobility was arranged as a two-week itinerary that featured 11 focus group discussions, three master classes, a lecture, a symposium and dialogues with MPPP, MPSP and the Penang Transport Council.

Malaysia Penang heavy traffic in GT

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Does carsharing promote balanced and sustainable economic growth?

The short off the cuff answer is: yes definitely. But let us dig deeper.

car-pollutionThe answer becomes even more self-evident if you turn the question around and ask: does an automobile-lifestyle promote balanced and sustainable economic growth. We all know the answer to that one.

A well thought-out carsharing policy — which incidentally is not really possible unless you first have a well thought out overall mobility strategy – – will make a contribution to promoting balanced and sustainable economic growth. How is that?

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Why buses represent democracy in action

Enrique Peñalosa, former mayor of Bogotá, was  responsible for introducing a number of in terms of transportation and public space innovations. In this short video he  talks here about buses versus cars (really people v. cars) and the experience of Bogotá in giving clear preference to buses with their now world-famous Transmilenio  (BRT) mass transit system. As mayor  he also introduced a number of innovations including land-use, parks and public space projects as well as Bogotá’s Bike Paths Network. If you listen to his talk you will see the very large number of issues and themes which relates to the situation in Penang today. Let’s see what we can learn from Bogotá.

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Congestion Relief Strategies for Asian Cities

This article by Todd Litman of the Victoria Transport Policy Institute has just appeared in the December 2013 issue of the United Nation’s “Transport and Communications Bulletin for Asia and the Pacific.”  It reinforces many of the strategies and principles set out in the New Mobility Agenda 2014/15 program, and  provides useful reading for anybody concerned with transportation, mobility and public space improvements in Penang and George Town.  A summary introduction to the full paper follows extracting a final section on Optimal Congestion Solutions  and the Conclusions. The full paper is recommended and freely available at http://www.unescap.org/ttdw/Publications/TPTS_pubs/bulletin82/b82_Chapter1.pdf.

penang_bridge_toll

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Corbusier-Free Cities

To be quite frank, to the point and a bit rude, the famed 20th century Swiss architect, designer, artist and general polymath Le Corbusier when he donned his urbanist hat provided us with several striking examples of how to build a city for cars.  We are extremely fortunate that most of them never got off the drawing board. But today, the Danish architect Henrik Valeur tells us about one that did and what perhaps Indian planners and urbanists can now do something to rectify.

wpd-le corbu transit city future Continue reading

World Carshare 2013 – Notes for Short Reports

carshare covered carCarsharing is most unevenly distributed over the world map. There are great extremes, running from countries like Switzerland in which it is universally known and widely practiced, to the situation of most countries on the planet where even the word is not much known.  For this reason our 2013 country profiles have to be ingenious and flexible, one size will not fit all, if we are  to give our readers a feel for the full range of practices and issues. Let’s have a look, starting with some “carshare basics”.

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Nordic Carsharing: The City of Oslo

norway carsharing ad

This 2011 report by May Hald, Petter Christiansen and Vibeke Nenseth of the Norwegian Center for Transport Research on carsharing in Oslo gives us a good feel not only for carsharing activities in that one city but also more generally user preferences and choice factors in Norway and Scandinavia.

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The Three Faces of Carsharing: France 2005

Here by way of historical background to accompany our just getting-underway World Carshare 2013 update please find some working notes that I pulled 107208-38together for the purpose of a presentation at the first official government meeting on carsharing in France (seven years after we set up our own unofficial working group with the OECD in 1998). What you have here was extracted from a much longer thinkpiece that I was  drafting on the subject at the time. Have a look and let us know if you find some vision in what follows. Or the lack thereof if that is your read of the evidence as et out here and available from other sources.

 - – > Full report available here.

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Why are americans driving less? (Guess!)

Jarrett Walker, the transport planning consultant behind the Human Transit  US PIRG group cover photoblog has done all of us a favor by providing a short review on an excellent report freely available from the U.S. PIRG Education Fund Frontier Group under the title  A NEW WAY TO GO: The Transportation Apps and Vehicle-Sharing Tools that Are Giving More Americans the Freedom to Drive Less.. The PIRG report announces its colors, opening with the words . . .

Most Americans want to drive less. For some, it’s a matter of economics. Transportation is the second-largest household expenditure, after only housing, and ahead of food, clothing, education and health care. Owning, maintaining and fueling a car is a significant drain on household budgets, especially when times are tight. For others . . .

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“Carsharing 2000″: Sustainable Transport’s Missing Link

Paris, 21 October 2013. How much we learned about car sharing, and more importantly sustainable eb-tallinn-statementtransport in cities, over the last decade and a half? To put that question into perspective, please find below the full text of a year 2000 collaborative report prepared here in Paris with the help of knowledgeable colleagues from around the world which does a pretty good job of summing up the state-of-the-art state of thinking about these matters at the end of the 20th century. Have a look at this 13 year old overview of the industry and its prospects, and tell us what you think.

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The xCar: New Ways of Owning and Using Cars in the 21st Century

This is a collaborative thinking exercise addressing essentially a single question. But one of many parts. What is the “modern motor car” going to look like in the decade immediately ahead?  Will it be  more of the same?  Or will it mutate into a very different form of mobility?  Who is going to own it?  And how is it going to be used? Where will it be driven (and eventually parked)?  Will it be piloted by a warm sapient human being, or will it be driverless? Will it still have wheels, doors and tires? What will be its impact on the environment?  And what will be the impact of the “environment” on it? On public safety? On quality of life for all.  Will it be efficient, economic and equitable? Who will make them and where?  Is it going to create or destroy jobs? And how fast is all of this going to occur?  . . .

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North American Carsharing Trends: 2013

fb-ws-carsharing-18oct13

This contribution by Susan Shaheen and Adam Cohen in which they pick out and analyze  some of the main trends and eventual future prospects of the carshare “industry” in North America is the second country report in this World Streets 2013/14 series updating our readers on the latest developments internationally in this fast-moving, fast-developing field of new ways of owning and using cars. To access all the reports in this series thus far, you are invited to click to  http://worldstreets.wordpress.com/category/carshare/

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