On Principles of Efficient Congestion Pricing (William Vickrey)

Wiliam VickreyWilliam Spenser Vickrey, winner of the Nobel Prize for Economics, is considered the father of Congestion Pricing. He first proposed it in 1952, for the New York City subway system, recommending that fares be increased in peak times and in high-traffic sections and be lowered in others. Elected officials considered it risky at the time, and the technology was not ready. Later, he made a similar proposal for road pricing.

This review was written in 1992 by Todd Litman, executive director of the Victoria Transport Policy Institute, to summarize some of the defining  principles set out in Vickerey’s extensive path-breaking early extensive pathbreaking contributions which in many ways defined the field. This essay can be found in its original form in the website of the Institute  at http://www.vtpi.org/vickrey.htm.

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Editorial: No ZFPT 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

Zettabytes, Open Systems and Worrying about Equity

Zettabytes, Open Systems and Worrying about Equity

This is the first in a series on big data and its impact on society from CSPO co-
zetabyte-image-largedirector Daniel Sarewitz, published in Slate on 27 Dec. 2012. It also appears on As We Now Think, a site edited by the Consortium for Science, Policy, and Outcomes at Arizona State University. ASU is a partner in Future Tense with Slate and the New America Foundation.

We share this with our readers with one eye to our on-going Zettabytes/Open Systems series that will be getting close attention in the year ahead — with the other eye to our Equity-Based Transport series, also to continue full speed ahead in 2013. Continue reading

Top Twenty World Streets Postings in 2012

While you are away from the office and the pressures to stay on ws-newsstand-smallfocus, here for your holiday reading pleasure are the twenty most read articles to appear in World Streets over 2012.  Quite a varied lot, and when your editor reads them he generally prefers to do so not at a desk but seated comfortably with a tablet or largish window smartphone in hand to take advantage of those unstructured unexpected free moments that can pop up in any day. After all, World Streets is for the reflective back of your mind, not the whirring front. Continue reading

Signals, Perception, Behavior : Questions, Blurs and Hints

In transportation circles, most often in Europe but not uniquely there, we often hear the term “behavior modification”, which is usually brandished as something brain2that somebody else has to learn to do and cope with. More often than not this matter of behavior modification when it comes to how, when and where people drive cars, but we can also hear about it with reference to pedestrians, cyclists and other drivers and street denizens. And as we can see from the results, this matter of behavior and modification turns out to be quite a challenge. Continue reading

Cities, Transport and Equity in Africa: Unasked Questions

In a fair world it should be unthinkable to ignore the needs of close to one billion africa-girls-in-trafficof the poorest people on the earth living in its second-largest and second most-populous continent. A part of the world with already one-third of the population living in cities, most of whom in slums, and with the flow of people from the country side continuing at record rates.

The transportation arrangements in most people’s daily lives in Africa come in several flavors, few of them appetizing: ranging from world-class traffic jams making it close to impossible to negotiate the streets of the larger cities for hour each day, to at the other extreme no provision for vital survival transport (water, wood for fires, food) for the remainder of the continent. Continue reading