As we are seeing in these pages Penang in general and Georgetown in particular are giving serious attention to the possibility of creating a public bicycle system for the city. As a first step they have issued a Request for Proposals which is shortly to come online. This is a great thing because there are many reasons to create conditions for safe and agreeable cycling on city streets across the state.
Thanks to the Dutch Kennisplatform Verkeer en Vervoer (KpVV) (which I roughly translate to the Knowledge Platform for Traffic and Transportation) for this excellent update (June 2013) on the situation for carsharing in the Netherlands. It is part of a series entitled “Trends and developments in the field of sustainable and smart mobility”. The numbers are interesting and tell a story, and their analysis is first-class. Recommended reading and in the hope that we shall shortly be able to share with our readers similar country reports and updates of the state of car sharing in other countries, both in Europe and beyond.
This excellent review of ridesharing history, practices, trends and issues in North America was recently presented by its author, Susan Shaheen of the University of California, Berkeley, to a Webinar organised by the Ridesharing Institute. You may want to give particular attention to her last two pages which are more forward looking: Key Questions from Workshop and Factors to Consider.
When one introduces shared taxis one has to guard against the danger that they take people off buses and trains (or off their feet or bikes) rather than off cars. If so they will actually increase the number of motor vehicles, and furthermore unless the system is transparent and available to casual users (i.e. one doesn’t have to live in the area, belong to a club, or book ages in advance) they may prevent the development of genuinely comprehensive mobility systems.”
One of the main strategic underpinnings of New Mobility Agenda, and certainly of everything that appears here in World Streets, is that if we are ever to reinvent transportation in our cities, as we so badly need to do, we must in the process free ourselves from our old ways of seeing, thinking and doing things. For example, when you think “bicycle” . . .
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
The regeneration of Poynton Town Centre and its high street, Park Lane, involved a bold approach to the busy traffic intersection in Fountain Place. Martin Cassini’s short film documents the background to the project, and the dramatic changes in the fortunes of Poynton, and explores the implications for other towns and cities struggling to cope with the impact of traffic.
On 10 Nov. 2010, World Streets ran an article under the title “The P2P carsharing saga continues: The WhipCar story” by the young entrepreneurs introducing their new WhipCar P2P carsharing start-up, which story you can find here – http://wp.me/psKUY-13b. After more than two years of hard work in developing an entirely new, uncharted market for Britain, they have just decided, in their words that: “we have discovered there are still barriers to widespread adoption of peer-to-peer car rental in the UK. As a small team with limited resources, we have taken a good long look at these scaling challenges. And, after much thought, we have made the extremely difficult decision to close WhipCar.”
Let’s have a look at what they have to say in terms of lessons learned, and at the end of this short piece share with you a couple of thoughts on the meaning of this in the broader context of carsharing and P2P.
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
Transport in cities is a steep uphill affair. If we ever are to transform the quality of the mobility arrangements in our cities, there are certain basic truths about it that need to be repeated again and again. By different people, in different places and in different ways. Until we win.
Cycling in most cities: You and I know it. It is broke. It cannot be “fixed”. It needs to be reinvented from the street up. All of which is easy enough to say, but what in concrete terms does that mean? This article which appeared in the Guardian a few days back by Peter Walker, reports on the testimony of Dave Horton a cycling sociologist who pounds the table on five basic truths of cycling in cities. Continue reading
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
The British journalist, editor and cycling activist Carlton Reid is in the process of finalizing a “massive free e-book” due for publication this Spring at http://www.roadswerenotbuiltforcars.com/. His book provides valuable historical background on how we in Britain and the United States got into the present no-choice single-mode road systems that have provided the authoritarian main model for the fast (and less fast) developing countries as they rush to urbanization. The lessons of history, if learned, can, we are told, help us better understand the present and on that firm base decide what we wish to become in the future. So with thanks to Carlton Reid let’s see if we can learn this particular hard lesson from Britain: Continue reading
This report on carsharing history, practices and prospects in Italy is contributed by Carlo Iacovini who has been one of the most active figures in the development of the industry in Italy since he became actively involved in planning and developing new carsharing systems in 1996.
Here is a “free transport project” that is working remarkably well: In the Spring of 2005 the community of Greater Lyon in cooperation with their supplier JCDecaux launched the world’s first mega Public Bike System, Vélo’v. The project put some 3000 bikes into service, available in about 300 stations spread for the most part over the City of Lyon. All this is successful, amply detailed in many places and continues to this day to yield yeoman service for some 60,000 registered users (including the author). To gain access to the system, in addition to one day or one week tickets, the user pays an annual fee of € 25, and when using a bike a caution is debited from the users credit card until it is returned to a parking slot. From a user perspective it is a very successful system and use experience.
* But where is the “free public transport” element?
Brief. Joy ride: IEA test-drives the Parisian electric car-sharing system
As electric vehicles reduce oil consumption and vehicle carbon emissions on a per-kilometre basis, a team from the International Energy Agency recently checked out the innovative Parisian car-sharing system that allows tourists and residents to criss-cross Paris for a modest fee – and an even more attractive cost in carbon emissions: zero. —> Click here for article.
Brief: Carsharing set to take up another 300 parking slots in Sydney - on top of the 450 spaces it already holds on the city’s streets streets that privately owned cars are banned from using. Lord Mayor Clover Moore has revealed Sydney City Council’s target to get 10 per cent of residents into a car share program by 2014 is on track, with up to 300 new members a month. Of those, a third are businesses and the remainder residents. –>Click here for full text
From the World Carshare Consortium: I would like to offer a “thought experiment” with anyone here who may wish to jump in with their ideas. criticism and/or proposals — or perhaps only to pull up a chair and see what happens in a case like this. The short story is that I would like to see what, if anything, happens with a simple change of title and focus for this group — the World Carshare Consortium at http//worldcarshare.com + + World Streets on Carsharing at http://worldstreets.wordpress.com/category/sharetransport/carshare + Facebook page on carsharing http://www.facebook.com/groups/worldcarshare/ + YahooGroups discussion forum at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/WorldCarShare — which for almost 15 years now has been focusing its attention strictly on the varieties of carsharing that are fast multiplying and taking an increasingly important role in the mobility options of people in cities around the world. Carsharing has a brilliant, in many ways surprising and certainly very different future, which in fact is already well in process. But there is more to our story than that. Continue reading
Paris: Ambitious mobility plans for economy, efficiency and equity.
This ambitious effort on the part of Paris’s mayor and his team is well worth following, even if for some it is may be a bit inconvenient for those not able to easily read in French. The original article appears here. And here in the event is the Google translation. (You may note that this article appears in a journal loved and run by the French Right, the mayor’s fierce opponents, so caveat lector.)
The Young Scholars/Future Leaders program organized in association with the inaugural Kaohsiung World Share/Transport Forum provided a highly innovative and useful component of the 2010 event, which we are keen on build on and extend in the future. To this end, we publish here today background information taken from the original event, as a stepping stone in the direction of bringing the entire program up to date and making it one of the key building blocks of the still to be decided 2013 World Forum. More to follow on this shortly but for now read on here.
- Now available at http://www.globalride-sf.org/paratransit/Guide.pdf Continue reading
NEW REPORT: Public bikesharing—the shared use of a bicycle fleet—is an innovative transportation strategy that has recently emerged in major North American cities. Information technology (IT)-based bikesharing systems typically position bicycles throughout an urban environment, among a network of docking stations, for immediate access. Trips can be one-way, round-trip, or both, depending on the operator. Bikesharing can serve as both a first-and-last mile (connector to other modes) and a many-mile solution. Continue reading
I was thinking that, since the concept of “slow” has been around for a while, but applied to concepts such as food and “living” in general, one could think of applying it to transport policies and projects… that is, create the term “slow transport” or “slower transport”, but responsibly. Below are some notes that could generate ideas towards that direction: where the concept comes from, why and how we can apply it, and some obstacles or possible problems. I will be as brief as possible, since I could write for ages about this. My main concern would be to develop a (or yet another) way of justifying the promotion and development of sustainable transport. And my main worry is that we could just generate a new empty term related to urban transport (we have enough already). Continue reading