BRT – Bus Rapid Transit – a well-known transportation strategy which since first pioneered Curitiba Brazil in 1974 has seen many successes, and a fair number of disappointments. Fortunately all these projects are quite well documented, such that a real shared learning experience is underway. Today there are more than two hundred cities on all continents with working BRTs, of a huge variety of variations. All of that is well known and abundantly covered by the literature.
The great thing about BRT is that, if you get it right, it not only serves as a high performance option to being stuck in traffic in your car, but that it also provides an opportunity for rethinking the street system and provide improved contusions for cyclists and pedestrians. But without a doubt the second most important contribution of BRT is that it takes space away from cars, while at the same time giving the drivers a better option.
BRT in Penang
BRT is a great and, I would say without hesitation, even necessary strategy for Penang. However a word of caution: BRT is not an option that you buy off the shelf and plop down on the street. It is something that a city and its team of advisors have to work very hard to study, tailor and implement to meet the unique specifications of your city.
So as part of our learning curve just in is an excellent article on a hotly contested BRT start-up (and shortly close-down) in New Delhi which is getting considerable attention not only there but in the transport world more generally. Today we share with you a report by one of the principal advisors to the project, Professor Dinesh Mohan of the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi, along with a few references that see all this from other perspectives. (We thank the author for permission to reprint here.)
This issue of January 2015 marks the start of our third decade of publication and it is appropriate to use this occasion to thank the hundreds of people who have written articles for the journal over the last 20 years and carried out the onerous task of external reviewer and kept us on our toes with comments, criticism and suggestions. I am especially grateful to the support and encouragement I have been given by Eric Britton in France, Helmut Holzapfel in Germany and Paul Tranter in Australia. When I think of this team of wonderful people I know that sustainable transport will very soon migrate from the world of rhetoric to the world of delivery.
I also want to thank Jeff Kenworthy (Curtin University in Australia but now working in Frankfurt) who in addition to sending us a steady flow of truly excellent articles has kept up a running commentary on world events and was instrumental in successfully connecting this journal with a funder and a partner (announced below).
Introducing World Streets Worldwide New Mobility Knowledge Browser, 3.0
KNOOGLE: Use it like Google, but . . . the great advantage over the usual Google search is that (a) it is much more compact and focused in its offering, because (b) it scans and reports on the work and offering of the carefully selected key sources that are leading the way.
Click here to test KNOOGLE: http://knoogle.ecoplan.org
This New Year’s editorial contributed by Sujit Patwardhan focuses on his home city of Pune, India’s eighth largest city with five million people densely packed into a land area of about 700 sq. km. But despite the vast dimensions of their problems, the potential solutions are basically the same as those encountered by cities around the world that are struggling with these challenges. As Sujit reminds us, the key, the crux, the indispensable thing that will do the job is to apply the strong medicine which most cities and national governments find simply impossible to swallow: namely major curtailing of car access,parking and traffic in the city. And yet, and yet . .
This carefully compiled seasonal report from Todd Litman of the Victoria Transport Policy Institute is a fine tool and up to date source guide for researchers and policy makers worldwide. We are pleased to present it in its entirety here, together with references you will find handy to take these entries further. Thanks for your fine continuing work Todd.
Lyon, 23 November 2014
Dear Penang Friends and Participants in the Sustainable Penang/New Mobility Agenda program,
An end-year note from Lyon to let you know that in the year ahead my colleagues and I intend to persist in our efforts to support the efforts to bring sustainable transport to Penang. For the time being and to keep the project alive, this takes the form of (a) maintaining our Sustainable Penang/New Mobility Agenda website at https://sustainablepenang.wordpress.com (currently being kept up to date and followed by 153 people both in Penang and beyond) and the supporting Facebook site at https://www.facebook.com/SustainablePenang (117). (You can see a bit more about how these information and exchange points are working in the two maps at the end of this posting.)
After careful consideration I have come to two conclusions about the reality of the transport situation in Penang which I firmly believe are critical to your future and which I would now like to share with you. Good news, and less good news.
Demand for women-only public transport rising globally
A headline in The Rakyat Post, a self-proclaimed independent daily in Malaysia’s capital Kuala Lumpur published an article under this heading. You can read the full text here.
Editor’s note: This saddens me greatly, not only for the indignities, affronts, and dangers suffered by women in these cases, because somewhere out there must be a better solution than this.
121 years ago for the first time, and only as a long, hard and for the most part lonely fight, did women gain the right to vote as full equals in New Zealand — and it has taken more than a century for women to be able to exercise full voting rights in all but a handful of countries in the world. It has been a long and hard battle, and one is not sure that such measures as discussed in this article are really a step in the right direction.
Complex problems in complex systems tend to resist single solutions.