Op-Ed: How to make every day almost a Car Free Day in your City?

Hi Eric,

How to make every day almost a Car Free Day in the City?

A behavioral change can reduce the convenience of the personal car while increasing the convenience of multi-passenger shared taxis. This approach uses many carrots and one stick with the following features:

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India: The gender divide in urban mobility

– by VIDYA MAHAMBARE / SOWMYA DHANARAJ

 

While cab-hailing services have helped working women, their expansion may increase congestion and pollution

Only around one in five women in the working age takes up paid work in urban India. In China, the number three in five. One key determinant of women’s ability to work, namely, the role of travel mobility — the available modes of transport, time and distance, convenience, and the cost of travelling — remains unexplored in the Indian context.

Women tend to have lower travel accessibility than men for two reasons.

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Some smart Swedes show us how to sort out taxis, “taxis”, Uber, ridesharing, carpooling, and the rest

How our Swedish friends are leading the way by sorting out taxis, taxis, ride-sharing, carpools, P2P & other great ways of getting there without taking your own car . And in the process showing the way for us all.

Also check out the sharp posting here on “Uber: Tough questions to our culture of innovation in Europe” at  http://wp.me/psKUY-3Q9

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Happiness: The Transformative Role of Sustainable Transport

In the late spring of 2012 the diligent editor of World Streets was visited by a young Canadian writer who announced that he was working on a book about “Happy Cities”, and in this context wanted to talk  about my experience in and Charles Montgomery in trafficthoughts on the happiness arena, with particular attention to issues concerning ordinary people, people like Thee and Me, in our day-to-day lives: issues of mobility and public space, needs meet and unmet, individualism and community, time and distance, behavior and equity,  economy and democracy . . .  in Paris and around the world. Why not?  What the hell, maybe I will learn something from him.

Charles Montgomery’s merciless interrogation lasted a full day,followed by extensive correspondence over the course of the next year.  Toward the end of 2013 his book “Happy City: Transforming Our Lives through Urban Design” was published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux in New York. One year later the 368 page volume has just appeared in an affordable paperback edition, and is now widely available in bookshops, and of course the Internet. (PS. Support your local bookshop, it is a happier experience!) We thank the author and the publisher for permission to share the following extracts with our readers to celebrate the low-cost editions now available.

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Op-Ed. “Taxis as we know them are expected to disappear”

UK London taxi protest against uberAll of the protests taking place at varying levels of violence in different parts of the world against Uber and Uber-like taxi and shared-transport services are definitely not just an example of a one-shot phenomenon that will resolve itself in different ways in different places,  and then shortly go away, leaving things largely as they always were in our sensationally inefficient mobility arrangements in and around our cities.  there is a revolution going on in our world’s streets, and once this has advanced far enough, it is going to change the paradigm for mobility in and around cities forever.  No less!

The following article by the international expert Richard Darbéra makes this point clearly and from opening shot in which he announces no less than “taxis as we know them are expected to disappear “.  We invite you to have a look at this posting and to share your comments and/or challenges either here in world streets or on the associated Facebook site at https://www.facebook.com/WorldStreetsOnline

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Taxi?

xtransit-taxiThere is a revolution going on that is going to change the face of transport in and around cities in a way that no other has in the last century.  The starting point is that humble taxi that you cannot always find when you need it most —  that is to say a rolling metal box with rubber tires, a human being at the wheel, and some kind of engine propelling it along, with or without human cargo.   But this thing, this taxi as it is called, is in the process of being reinvented as a rolling, pliant always-on 21st century information system.  And of course we are looking into this closely in the pages of World Streets.

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“Worst Practices”: Regulations that prohibit shared taxis anywhere on the planet

“Regulations that prohibit shared taxis are an example of worst practice.” – Ann Hackett

In eleven short words Ann Hackett has put her finger on one of the most egregious “Worst Practices” in our field. And, as it happens, one that we know enough about to easily resolve.

USA NYC Taxi lady hailing source - thedailybeast

 

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Taiwan Mission Recommendations : 23–30 January 2014 (Peer Review and Commentary)

taiwan - taipei - scooters at stop light

 A morning like all others in Taipei traffic

Lyon, 3 February 2015

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

It had been a year and a half since I last worked in Taiwan, the longest separation since I started collaborating with colleagues there in 2009. During much of this interval, in addition to my teaching, editorial responsibilities and advisory work, I have been working on a most challenging new book under the title “General Theory of Transport in Cities”. The book aims to set out what I believe to be a much needed, consistent base for planning, policy and investment decisions in this important and fast changing field where ad hoc decision-making by unprepared politicians and ambitious interest groups has all too often prevailed.

This last year has been a period of deep reflection on my accumulated experience in the transport and sustainable development fields in cities around the world over more than four decades. As a result of this ongoing process, I find myself this time looking at the issues in Taiwan from this broader international perspective. My keynote address to the International Forum on Livable City & Eco-Mobility in Hsinchu on 29 January was the first in a series of international “road tests”, which are giving me a precious opportunity to present some of the main arguments from the book before expert audiences to test them and seek their critical comments and views.  The lively discussions that took place in Hsinchu during the forum and my four days there proved to be most valuable.

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Happiness: The Transformative Role of Sustainable Transport

In the late spring of 2012 the diligent editor of World Streets was visited by a young Canadian writer who announced that he was working on a book about “Happy Cities”, and in this context wanted to talk  about my experience in and Charles Montgomery in trafficthoughts on the happiness arena, with particular attention to issues concerning ordinary people, people like Thee and Me, in our day-to-day lives: issues of mobility and public space, needs meet and unmet, individualism and community, time and distance, behavior and equity,  economy and democracy . . .  in Paris and around the world. Why not?  What the hell, maybe I will learn something from him.

Charles Montgomery’s merciless interrogation lasted a full day,followed by extensive correspondence over the course of the next year.  Toward the end of 2013 his book “Happy City: Transforming Our Lives through Urban Design” was published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux in New York. One year later the 368 page volume has just appeared in an affordable paperback edition, and is now widely available in bookshops, and of course the Internet. (PS. Support your local bookshop, it is a happier experience!) We thank the author and the publisher for permission to share the following extracts with our readers to celebrate the low-cost editions now available.

Continue reading

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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The Uber Generation: Rogue Capitalism or Critical Paradigm Shift

World Streets is today kicking off a series of invited articles by authors from different countries and backgrounds, presenting their views on the topic of “The Uber Generation: Rogue Capitalism or Critical Paradigm Shift”. It is expected that this series will continue  over the months ahead. The present posting is being circulated to friends and others who have expressed interest in this particular angle of the New Mobility Agenda as an advance announcement and call for criticism, ideas and contributions.

china taxi drivers bashing taxis

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Let’s get disabled kids in developing countries to school

USA - Access Exchange International

This illustration shows how it should be: Disabled kids in developing countries should be able to get to school using a variety of accessible transport in order to learn alongside other kids. We hope you will help us as we work with others to turn this vision into a reality.

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Commentary: On priority lane strategies for Malta

Malta priority lane - smallOn 11 November, the following question was posted by James Craig Wightman‎, one of the leaders of Malta’s hard-pressed cycling activist program, to the World Streets Facebook site.

Not sure if this is worthy of the Worst Practices page so thought I’d ask your opinion. As of tomorrow bus lanes in Malta will be open for car pooling cars and electric vehicles as well. While it’s a laudable notion, it remains to be seen how this will effect cyclist and motorcyclist rider safety. Up to now we knew the only cars that would (or should) be passing us were Taxi’s. Motorcycles were also allowed to use the lane. We knew that other private cars were not allowed and this meant we knew who to look out for (the idiot breaking the law and dangerously trying to squeeze past). Now its not so clear, neither is it clear how this will be enforced (a big problem in Malta) and managed. So I’m deeply concerned about cyclist safety with higher traffic volumes on the bus lanes, and particularly electric cars creeping up silently on cyclists. While you need to ask why other two wheeled traffic lost out (that will now filter down files of traffic).

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Separating women from the mainstream of life

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.

mexico - women only metro

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.

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Carsharing in a time of turbulence

KpVV report title page top

 

Preface to forthcoming KpVV report

This is a report about something popularly known as carsharing. And you can be sure that we are not the only ones to prepare such a report. Already in 2014 alone hundreds of reports have been bitten on this exact topic from a wide variety of points of view. Why one more? Well in this case we intend to take a slightly different approach to the topic.

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Uber casualty

Small taxi operations could be eliminated with new regional taxi authority

City Pulse, Lansing MI USA. Wednesday, September 17,2014

A taxi authority that began with a goal of regulating ride share services like Uber could end up adopting rules that squeeze out the little guy.

USA Michigan taxiThe Greater Lansing Taxi Authority, already approved by East Lansing and awaiting the Lansing vote, would consolidate regulations and licensing for cabs and ride shares in both cities. Officials say the effort will improve service quality and ensure the safety of riders.

The rules would require annual vehicle inspections, background checks and minimum insurance requirements. Cab companies would be required to have at least three vehicles and meters on all vehicles (which could be actual or a smart phone app). Ride share services would be required to send electronic receipts and only take rides booked through a digital platform . . .

Read the full story here:
http://www.lansingcitypulse.com/lansing/article-10574-uber-casualty.html

xTransit – The Third Way of Getting Around in Cities

Our 21st century cities and those of us who live and work in them have transportation requirements that have little in common with the historical patterns. Our actual service needs are closer to what we can see in successful car-based systems than the patterns associated with traditional public transport. That is to say, user requirements in this new-life system are for the most part not linear (i.e., many-to-many) , nor strictly time-cadenced.

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Rural carshare project – A thinking exercise & Invitation for comment

rural carshare cowWe keep reading and are repeatedly informed that for carsharing to work there must be good public transport, cycling and other mobility arrangements as indispensable complements. In other words, for carsharing to work you have to be not only in a city, but in a certain kind of city. This position has been an article of faith for many carshare observers for more than a decade, and while there is a certain logic to it, upon inspection it turns out  there is a lot more to successful carsharing than that.

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“Carsharing 2000”: Sustainable Transport’s Missing Link

Paris, 21 October 2013. How much we learned about car sharing, and more importantly sustainable eb-tallinn-statementtransport in cities, over the last decade and a half? To put that question into perspective, please find below the full text of a year 2000 collaborative report prepared here in Paris with the help of knowledgeable colleagues from around the world which does a pretty good job of summing up the state-of-the-art state of thinking about these matters at the end of the 20th century. Have a look at this 13 year old overview of the industry and its prospects, and tell us what you think.

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North American Carsharing Trends: 2013

fb-ws-carsharing-18oct13

This contribution by Susan Shaheen and Adam Cohen in which they pick out and analyze  some of the main trends and eventual future prospects of the carshare “industry” in North America is the second country report in this World Streets 2013/14 series updating our readers on the latest developments internationally in this fast-moving, fast-developing field of new ways of owning and using cars. To access all the reports in this series thus far, you are invited to click to  https://worldstreets.wordpress.com/category/carshare/

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