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:

  1. No on-street parking (the stick). This frees up on-street parking for bike lanes.
  2. One-Way streets (optional…decreases number of left hand turns)
  3. Bicycle lanes interconnected throughout the city on one side of the street, the left side A with an optional thin curb to protect the bicycle lanes.
  4. On the right side B, buses and taxis have loading zones. Side B also allows permitted parking for service and delivery vehicles.
  5. Shared taxi-mandate by cities that ALL taxis accept passengers up to maximum capacity and are constantly dropping off and picking up passengers. Includes ALL “ride-share” and app-based services.
  6. Taxis mainly serve first and last mile and connect to public transit.
  7. Public transit converts to forms of Bus Rapid Transit or Express service.
  8. Fares are served through cards such as the S.F. Bay Area’s Clipper card.
  9. Taxis convert to alternative fuel or electric vehicles and bike carriers.
  10. Some car garages convert to bike garages.
  11. Reduced speeds.
  12. Just transition for all.

 

One powerful advantage of taxis is that they don’t need parking, rather they need access to loading (pick=up and drop-off) and storage (with electric charging stations) when not in operation. Shared taxis rely on directionality to enhance their efficiency, that is, they accept passengers if they are going in the same general direction. They are completely flexible and can respond to needs as they arise. Generally, they’re not door- to- door service but drop passengers close enough ( within easy walking distance) to their destinations.
The supply and demand of shared taxis needs to be carefully calibrated to ensure their reliability and convenience.
Other important advantages are the facts that conversion to this system is relatively “shovel ready” and capable of providing jobs which are critical for a stable society.

Imagine if shared taxis could transport 10 times the number of passengers that app-based and traditional taxis currently serve. If the public adapted to this transportation alternative then it would be possible to see a radical reduction in VMT, increase in alternative electric transportation, and increased connectivity.

# # #

Ann Hackett – aha@pacific.net

Also see Ann in Nov. 2011 here on

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

 

Op-Ed 2010 Archives: Sharing/Strategy for a Small Planet. Part I

After many decades of a single dominant city-shaping transportation pattern – i.e., for those who could afford it: owning and driving our own cars, trucks, motorcycles and bicycles, getting into taxis by ourselves, riding in streets that are designed for cars and not much else — there is considerable evidence accumulating that we have already entered into a world of new mobility practices that are changing the transportation and city landscape in many ways. It has to do with sharing, as opposed to outright ownership. But strange to say, this trend seems to have escaped the attention of the policymakers in many of the institutions directly concerned. Continue reading

Op-Ed: Handling Uncertainty in Transport Planning and Decision Making

TRAFFUC LIGHT TREE - LARGE

Report of a roundtable discussion held in London on 20 July 2018.

– by Glenn Lyons.  Full report available from: http://eprints.uwe.ac.uk/37926

Abstract

In the 1700s, the French philosopher Voltaire reportedly said “Uncertainty is an uncomfortable position. But certainty is an absurd one.” The transport sector is becoming increasingly alive to how uncertain the future is. There is significant (or ‘deep’) uncertainty about the extent to which existing trends, relationships, technologies, economic and social forces, preferences and constraints will carry into the future. Uncomfortable though it may be, there is a need in our transport planning and decision making to avoid absurdity and address this. This report reflects the insights gained from a roundtable workshop in London convened to discuss the matter.

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Penang Op-Ed. Why bulldoze through Penang undersea tunnel project?

 

This is the fourth article in a series to explain why the Penang state government should get an independent review of the Penang Transport Master Plan (PTMP). Ahmad Hilmy & Lim Mah Hui  |  Published: 6 Aug 2018. https://www.malaysiakini.co

ANALYSIS | Why does Penang need to rush to have the 7.2km undersea tunnel project when the original Penang Transport Master Plan (PTMP) officially adopted by the state government clearly states that it is not an urgent priority?

Why this haste when the survey of Penang’s traffic volume by UK-based engineering consultant Halcrow showed that cross-channel traffic in 2011 accounted for only 7 percent of total state traffic during peak hours?

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Op-ed. Successful Fare-free Public Transport never comes alone

“Those that fail to learn the lessons of history, are doomed to repeat them.” 
– Attributed to Winston Churchill (and others)

Discussions of free public transport are often presented by the media and too often even in expert discussions as if it were a new concept that has no history.  To make wise policy decisions we need to be aware of this history.

To this end, this broad historic  overview and critical expert commentary on the international evolution of Fare Free Public Transport  (FTP here) covering the last half century was prepared by Dr. Michel van Hulten (see below) and submitted as a working paper in support of the international conference organized in Tallinn under the title: “Free public transport for all. Dream or reality”   In this working paper the author looks at the issues of the ‘why, how, when, where to pay for public transport’ (FFPT) – issues and questions that need to be at the heart  of our discussions and in time our decisions and actions.  

Required reading!

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Op-Ed: What/who keeps holding back New Mobility reform in your city in 2018?

WaFB SC speed car kids running cross

From the editor’s desk: If you get it, New Mobility policy reform is a no-brainer in 2018. However, while the New Mobility Agenda is a great starting place, it is not going to get the job somehow miraculously done just because it is the only game in town when it comes to sustainable transport. There is plenty of competition for your thin wallet,  all that space on the street, and  especially for that space between our ears. We have a few potential sticking points here that need to be overcome first.

Let’s have a quick look. After some years of talking with cities, and working and observing in many different circumstances, here is my personal shortlist of the barriers most frequently encountered in trying to get innovative transportation reform programs off the ground, including even in cities that really do badly need a major mobility overhaul.

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