THANK YOU FINLAND ON YOUR HUNDREDTH ANNIVERSARY OF INDEPENDENCE AND EXEMPLARITY: Efficiency, equity, education, democracy, environment, accomplishment, modesty and fresh ideas . . . (You’d be singing too)

Part I: Flashmob in Helsinki

A flashmob choral intrusion that took place on one more winter day in the main train station of Helsinki, the capital of Finland. But what are they singling about?

(A flash mob (just to recall and in case you were out shopping at the time) is an unannounced event involving, by all appearance,s an unrelated group of people who suddenly emerge from the shadows and assemble in a public place, perform an unusual and unexplained act for a brief time, then quickly disperse and continue on their ways.  As you can just see here.)

Part II. A Finnish story

A bit of context in case you your Finnish history needs a reminder. Here you have a brief  introductory text (quickly translate, apologies) to an excellent  one hour documentary that has just appeared on Arte, the French/German public television. (Sadly not yet available in English, so you can test your French, German, Finnish and the striking images which tell a story of their own.)

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“Ils sont fous ces suedois” (The Swedes show us how to sort out taxis, “taxis”, Uber, ridesharing, carpooling, and the rest)

sweden-uber-stockholm

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Mobilien: Better, Faster, Cheaper. . . than BRT (for Penang)

While Penang is thinking once again about its transportation arrangements, we are hearing a lot of late about BRT and tramways — and rightfully. Both a huge improvement over earlier proposals for a mad spaghetti mix of intrusive monorails, elevated LRT/LRV systems,  Sky Cabs hanging uselessly in the horizon, over-built road infrastructure projects  to serve and encourage yet  more car traffic, and a backbreaking  proposal for a sea tunnel that would bring yet more traffic into the island and in the process extend and multiply today’s traffic mess and associated inconveniencies

But before we make up our minds let’s also give a thought to another less well known mobility option, the Mobilien.  It may be just what you were looking for.

Paris Mobilien 1

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Uber: Tough questions to our culture of innovation in Europe

Reaching new fundraising heights, Uber is now seeking to conquer the world — willingly or by force. Neither white knight nor bloodsucking scoundrel, Uber is posing tough questions to our culture of innovation in Europe

The smartphone-driven rideshare and taxi alternative service company  Uber,  founded in 2009 and headquartered in San Francisco, has announced for the second time in 2014, a billion dollar-plus fundraising! The company, which offers applications linking customers with drivers, now overtakes records previously held by Facebook: € 2.7 billion raised (with $ 600 million of additional potential), and a market valuation at $ 40 billion.

Yet if Uber is known to the public it is more for the controversies it is raising in its “war” against the taxis, which has in recent months turned into a crusade against all comers and for “free mobility”: against street taxis, against national governments and regulators, against local governments, and even against less controversial private hire services (in France the so-called VTC hire services have joined a lawsuit against Uber).

france paris uber taxi strike

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