Category Archives: Mayor/local govt

Editorial: No FPT without SCR (Systematic Car Reductions)

This is a simple fact! Free Public Transport (FPT) has no possible justification whatsoever unless your governing officials are willing to do something about adjusting the other half of the modal mix to bring down car ownership and use in the city strategically and as quickly as possible . . . SCR – Systematic Car Reductions.

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The tools for achieving these necessary adjustments in the modal split are well known, experience-proven and widely used in cities of all sizes in many parts of the world. There is no possible justification that competent public authorities not be aware of these proven tools and policies. They include most notably: Continue reading

Zero Fare Public Transport in Tallinn shows a way

The topic of “free public transport” (FPT), or better yet “zero fair public transport” (ZFPT), is one that has gotten considerable attention here in World Streets over the last several years, on the grounds that it is an extremely rich concept which is worthy of careful attention. If at first humanistic and caring glance it appears to be a great and just concept, the fact is that like much of life it is more than a little complicated. Let us have a look at a recent article which first appeared in the pages of our sister publication Citiscope, which we reproduce here with their and the author’s permission. ZFPT in Tallinn, an insider’s view
estonia tallinn bus fpt

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Brainstorm: Carsharing, and New Thinking about Transport in Cities

World  Carshare  Cities Program 2013 : Brainstorming notes of 11 April 2013

invisible car - 2

1. There are many many different ways to share cars in 2013 (far more in fact than most of even the experts talk about when they make presentations on carsharing).

2. This mix of ways of delivering these services is evolving at a speed that makes it a real challenge to keep up with the pace of developments. Even for the experts. Continue reading

Big House Equity Outreach: Bring in All Local Actors, Views & Implementation Partners

Too often when it comes to new transport initiatives, the practice is to concentrate on laying the base for the project in close working relationships with people and groups who a priori are favorably disposed to your idea, basically your choir. Leaving the potential “trouble makers” aside for another day. Experience shows that’s a big mistake. Instead from the beginning we have to take a . . .

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Program Announcement: World Carshare 2013 Policy/Strategies Program for Local Government

CS -mindmap-horiz-20feb13

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. Continue reading

The future of the car in the city: Vol. 1., No. 1. Carsharing Policy Guide for local government

car in fog on street-largeDear Reader,

The future of the car in the city is morphing fast and is going to be very different from the suddenly long gone 20th century. But this we here are all well aware of. After all we have been swapping information and insights on these issues and challenging each other for more than a decade on a number of New Mobility fora.

Today we want to share some information with you on a new collaborative project that is just forming up, namely to create an expert  guide for mayors and local government specifically  in the field of carsharing. Continue reading

What is the right price for “Free” Public Transport?

No Dorothy, it would be nice but there is no such thing as a free lunch. Not even in Kansas. Our cities need money to operate and maintain all the many parts of their hopefully high quality “public transport” systems”, but they also need schools, sanitation, health facilities, elderly care,  parks and public spaces, security, jobs to give everyone a chance for a full life in a peaceful community . . . and the long list goes on.  Transport, which can finance itself largely, if you have the brains to get it right, should not be poaching from these no-less critical basic needs of the community.  More,  we need our public transport systems (21st century definitions) to be both freely and extensively used (what is sadder than an empty bus!) — and at the same time build in provisions so that the system is fully equitable as well as efficient. Continue reading

Op-Ed: Priority for Public Transport in Tallinn

Priority for Public Transport in Tallinn (Probably the Best)

- Eric Britton, 06. september 2012 01:00

Op-Ed from today’s Estonian Times: http://goo.gl/7gkFJ (in Estonian) Continue reading

What do you think the mayor is thinking about when you walk through the door this morning to talk to her about that very important transport issue?

When I or anyone else with a transportation issue burning in the front of our brain, walk into City Hall  to talk to the mayor about the important topic which bring us into her office, here is what we implicitly assume is her dominant preoccupation behind these exchanges:

If only it were so. Continue reading

On Building New Mobility Ecosystems: The mayor has some questions

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I understand Professor that you are preparing a major public address on new transport ideas for our city tomorrow. My staff tells me you are calling it “On Building New Mobility Ecosystems”. Now that sounds quite intriguing, but can you tell me in a few words that you have in mind to talk to us about? Continue reading

Op-Ed: What/who keeps holding back New Mobility reform?

If you get it, New Mobility is a no-brainer. However, while the New Mobility Agenda is a great starting place, it is not going to get the job somehow miraculously done just because it is the only game in town when it comes to sustainable transport. There is plenty of competition for all that space on the street and  between the ears. We have a few potential sticking points here that need to be overcome first. Let’s have a quick look to get this exchange off the ground. After some years of talking with cities, and working and observing in many different circumstances, here is my personal shortlist of the barriers are most frequently encountered in trying to get innovative transportation reform programs off the ground, including even in cities that really do need a major mobility overhaul. Continue reading

CarSharing: A 1% solution (And why it is a critical 1%)

The learning process has been long and painful. But it is almost 2012, the results are in, and we now know this one thing for sure: There are no one single, mega-dollar, build-it, big bang, fix-it solutions for transportation systems reform. No, the process is far more complex than that. Successful 21st century transport policy depends on the coordination and integration of large numbers of, for the most part, often quite small things. Small perhaps in themselves, one by one, but when you put all these small things together you start to get the new and far better transportation systems that we need and deserve. Large numbers of small things, each doing their part in concert. We call them “one percent solutions”. And carsharing is part of that complex process. Continue reading

A Mayor’s-Eye View of Sustainable Transportation

The letter that follows is, as you will quickly surmise, not an actual communication from one elected official in one case, but rather a composite, the distillation of experience that I have had over these last years of trying to push the sustainable transportation agenda in many parts of the world, almost always in conjunction and in dialogue with mayors and other city leaders. As you will see, it is not that they are adverse to or not interested in the concepts behind sustainable transportation and sustainable cities. It is just that they have a great many other things on their mind, including staying on top day after day of the considerable challenges of managing their city — and, in not very long, running once again for reelection. This is the political reality of which those of us who would be agents of change must be aware, that politics is the art of the possible. Now let’s turn the stage over to our mayor:

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World Share/Transport Forum II. Changzhi, China

Changzhi, China. 24 October: The Second World Share/Transport Forum opens in Changzhi today, with the mission of looking into the concept of Share/Transport for selective adaptation, application and extension in Chinese cities. The Forum is supported by a collaborative effort led by the China Urban Transport Development Strategy and Partnership Demonstration Project (CUTPP): National Development and Reform Commission, the World Bank and the Global Environment Facility (GEF). It builds on and extends the pioneering work on share/transport initiated by the international team who laid the base for the first World Forum that was convened in Kaohsiung Taiwan in September 2010.

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Rethinking Car Free Days in Taipei City

Your editor was kindly invited by Mayor Hau Lung-pin to come to Taipei City this year to discuss preparations for the celebration of the city’s tenth successive Car Free Day — and as part of this collaborative brainstorming process to draw on my experience of some seventeen years working with this, one hopes, transformative transportation approach in different cities around the world. Continue reading

The Transportation Majority. (And why can’t our politicians count?)

 Policy makers have given ample proof that they just don’t get it. They plan and spend hard-earned taxpayer money for a distinct minority of all citizens and voters. It is amazing that they still manage to get elected. What’s going on in their heads? Continue reading

Autolib’ to the starting line

This weekend saw the first public testing of the much bruited Autolib’ carshare project currently getting underway here in Paris. And as you wait for our in-depth coverage, on-the-spot  interviews and film  we thought you might find it handy to refresh your understanding of the basic objectives and challenges, with this reprint of our 10 December 2010 article in which we try to take a balanced view of this ambitious transportation project.  You will be hearing a lot more about Autolib’ in the coming months. If it works, it will be a major transformative project and will make a lot of people start to think in quite different terms about how they are going to get around in the city in the future. (For a quick print update try here and here.  And for a short video, here) Continue reading

Car Free Day in Vilnius. Finally a mayor who really cares.

Have a nice day

Here is a rough chronology showing how information gets around in the world-wide sustainable transport network in 2011. Last Monday, 1 August, someone named (whom we do not know but whom we definitely like and who by all indications lives in Lithuania), uploaded a 104 second video onto YouTube with commentary in Lithuanian, showing a dynamic mayor dealing directly with the classic sustainable transport problem of illegally parked cars encumbering circulation in designated bike lanes in the capital city of Vilnius. That was the first stop on a lightning journey around the world that in a few days brings us here. Continue reading

III. The Female Quotient. Women shaping the future of transport in cities: Who, how, where?

29 July interim progress report:
This off-the-cuff collaborative brainstorm is proving a pure learning experience. We started out with a single long-held idea: i.e., the importance of getting all aspects of the sustainable transport planning and policy establishment on to a gender-level footing. And against that understanding we set out on Tuesday  to see if we could, with a little help from our friends, come up with a convincing list identifying a certain number of outstanding women leaders working in our field who, though their excellent preparation, their strong convictions and their courageous pioneering actions, are literally redrawing the new mobility map (and the mental maps) of our cities. And all that at a level of excellence that captures the attention of others in other places, and inspires them to study, emulate and perhaps even to surpass the original project, approach and policies. Continue reading

1st National Working Party on Carsharing in France “The Culture of Carsharing”

The following notes were prepared on the fly to guide my presentation as the “closing summary” I was invited to make at the closure of the Strasburg conference. I took it as my task to sum up a certain number of observations that the formal presentations and the lively exchanges over the day brought to mind. And then to round them out here with some other findings and recommendations that I hope will be useful to the carshare community in France. The presentation itself was in French, but if you turn to Youtube.com you will see an informal commentary in English to round out these bare notes.
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Outreach for success: Local Actors & Implementation Partners

Too often when it comes to new transport initiatives, the practice is to concentrate on laying the base for the project in close working relationships with people and groups who a priori are favorably disposed to your idea, basically your choir. Leaving the potential “trouble makers” aside for another day. Experience shows that’s a big mistake. We have to take a . . .
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The Battle for the Streets of New York City

What was the song? “If you can do it here you can do it anywhere. New York New York”? Well there just may be something to that. Here is some of the latest on how the proponents of more and safer biking in New York City are using social media to gain support from the citizen base, while at the same time an irate lobby is doing its best to keep the streets as they were and, as they hope, ever shall be. Amen Sister. (BTW, this is by no means a unique conflict. It could be your city.) Continue reading

Mobility, Democracy and Politics: Interview with Monsieur le Maire

What’s happening on the new mobility scene in France in 2011? Here you have, in French but with good subtitles, an interview by one of the outstanding political innovators in the field of sustainable transport policy and practice in France. Roland Ries is serving his second term as mayor of Strasburg, and at the same time heads up the national transport political group GART. He also, by the way, as a member of the French Senate drafted the law defining carsharing in France, thus opening up a part of the way to more and better carsharing nation-wide. Spend three minutes with this short video to get a feel for what the leading edge in France is thinking and doing about transport in cities. You will quickly see that this is a world-level message. Play it for your mayor and talk to her about it.

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Día sin Coches en Bogotá XI : Carlosfelipe Pardo reporting live from the street on occasion of the city’s 11th Car Free Day

This just in from our fearless embedded reporter on the streets of Bogotá Día sin coches XI. Carlos refers in his email to the seminal project which kicked off the basic structure for organizing days without cars back in 1994 under the title “Thursday: A Breakthrough Strategy for Reducing Car Dependence in Cities” . Later Thursday provided a part of the blueprint for the first Car Free Day to be organized in Bogotá under the exceptional leadership of then-mayor Enrique Penalosa on the first Thursday of the new millennium. You can download Thursday here. Continue reading

Vision and virtuosity in the Big Apple: Managing the transformative moment

Dear Mrs. Mayor,

If you are considering a public bicycle project for your city, may we respectfully urge you to take a page out of New York City’s book on transportation innovation in the context of a previously car-based city.  So before your project  starts exposing hundreds, thousands of innocent people to the daily dangers of untamed traffic, think first to plan and build those key hundreds of kilometers of protected city cycling provision for the men, women and children of all ages who will be taking to your streets.  After all, that’s your job.

The editor, World Streets

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