Just when we thought we were finally starting to figure out how to make a major shift to public transport, this troubling article shows up in the main paper in Tallinn Estonia, at the time of their introduction of a new program to create FFPT Fare Free Public Transport. Now someone has to figure out how to offer Germ Free Public Transport. GFPT. Quite seriously. Where do we start to work out way through this one? Have a look and tell us what you think about it.
Here is a “free transport project” that is working remarkably well: In the Spring of 2005 the community of Greater Lyon in cooperation with their supplier JCDecaux launched the world’s first mega Public Bike System, Vélo’v. The project put some 3000 bikes into service, available in about 300 stations spread for the most part over the City of Lyon. All this is successful, amply detailed in many places and continues to this day to yield yeoman service for some 60,000 registered users (including the author). To gain access to the system, in addition to one day or one week tickets, the user pays an annual fee of € 25, and when using a bike a caution is debited from the users credit card until it is returned to a parking slot. From a user perspective it is a very successful system and use experience.
* But where is the “free public transport” element?
This report sponsored by Siemens under a program initiated by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) recommends “that about 4.2% of the national Gross Domestic Product (GDP), needs to be spent annually to develop Bogotá into a world-class transit-oriented metropolis”. The report has been implemented by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH, active in Colombia for almost 50 years, and Siemens, a German global corporation present in Colombia for nearly 60 years. And to see it for yourself, click here for the full report that has just been released. http://despacio.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/Bogota-21-english.pdf Continue reading
Your editor was kindly invited by Mayor Hau Lung-pin to come to Taipei City this year to discuss preparations for the celebration of the city’s tenth successive Car Free Day — and as part of this collaborative brainstorming process to draw on my experience of some seventeen years working with this, one hopes, transformative transportation approach in different cities around the world. The presentation is in three parts:
At the end of the day our transport sector, no matter where it is, is shaped by the perceptions of the main players, the opportunists, planners, decision makers and the public of what is there and what is it that people want and need. And if it is a mess in your country or city,well that’s because these perceptions are simply not clear enough. Read what Nate Sliver of the New York Times has to say when there is a collision between the experts and common sense on one much discussed transportation topic. Interesting things happen when smart people from the outside poke their noses into the transportation box. As we say: “you never know where the next good idea is going to come from”. Continue reading
There are a number of important factors to consider when comparing PRT, public transit and automobile costs, and therefore when comparing the cost-efficiency of roadway versus transit investments. (Commentary by Todd Litman of Victoria Transport Policy Institute on some of the figures raised in the discussions of PRT vs. cars and public transport.) Continue reading
The economic crisis combined with the rising cost of fuel has caused significant changes in travel behavior of Italians — is what emerges from the year-end economic report Audimob of 2010 of the Observatory on Mobility Behavior of the Italian National Institute for Training and Research for Transport (ISFORT)
We have often said that new mobility is a strategy which is ultimately made up of a very large number of often very small things that together make a difference. And so it is just in this spirit that we have decided to launch a new series in which you are invited to participate. It is the 2011 World Streets Bright Awards, celebrating “great small convivial ideas that are easy on the pocket and can be multiplied by thousands and make a difference”. It’s simple and works like this.
In yesterday’s feature which was intended to inform the exchanges at this week’s TRB session concerning the eventual creation of a continuing program to support and expand ridesharing as a central sustainable transport policy, the point is made that the project should concentrate whatever resources it can stump up on ridesharing, as opposed to traditional public transport which has its own institutional and support system (for better or worse) while ridesharing from a policy and institutional perspective is still an orphan. But Simon Norton begs to differ: Continue reading
Something like ten percent of our lonely planet’s population are today thoroughly locked in — or at least think they are — to an “automotive life style”. While in barely two generations the earth’s population has tripled, the automotive age has, step by silent surreptitious step, changed the way we live — and in the process made us prisoners of just that technology that was supposed to make us free forever. That’s a bad joke and bad news. But there is worse yet, and it comes in two ugly bites. For starters, in addition to the ten percent of us already hapless prisoners of our cars, another twenty percent of our soon seven billion brothers and sisters are standing in line eagerly in the hope of getting locked in as quickly as possible. And as if that were not bad enough, the consensus among most of the experts and policy makers is that our goose is forever cooked, and there is little anybody can do about it. Well, maybe not. Spend some time this Monday morning with Paul Mees, as he attacks this received belief and suggests . . . Well, why don’t I just get out of the way and let Paul speak for himself. Continue reading
This is the first shared posting from India Streets, a sister program to W/S that is to open for publication on 1 November. At this point the site is still in Beta. Your visits and comments for improvement are most welcome.
In the wake of the sheer madness, no that’s too kind, outright stupidity, flagrant self-satisfaction and puerile cuteness of yesterday’s “Why Leftists want to pull you all on mass transit” piece, we offer you some brief words of respite taken directly from Paul Krugman’s 7 October piece in his “The Conscience of a Liberal” blog from the New York Times. Our bottom line: Don’t give up on America yet. We may be in the slow lane, but with a lot more hard work and hard thinking we just may get there yet. Continue reading
New World Bank Report. Challenges to Inclusive Bus Rapid Transit
The World Bank recently published a report, “Technical and Operational Challenges to Inclusive Bus Rapid Transit,” compiled by Tom Rickert, a consultant with extensive experience on accessible transportation. While the technical report is intended primarily for an audience of BRT system and service planners, its release marks a recognition of the practical challenges in making public transport in the developing world fully accessible.
This essay has been contributed by one of the 2010 Jason Chang International Fellows, Jane Voodikon, who introduces herself as follows: “Since my interest in transportation and planning is purely personal – I have no professional background in any transportation-related field – I hope to walk away from Kaohsiung 2010 with a more informed picture of transportation possibilities and the goals and objectives related sectors should be working toward.” – Jane Voodikon, Concerned person and editor. Los Angeles and Chengdu, China. Continue reading
The happy life is one where every day something happens that makes us smile. Today we were blessed with this article that appeared in China Hush under the title “Straddling” bus–a cheaper, greener and faster alternative to commute. Your editor was fascinated and hopes that you will be too.
Thank you Shenzhen Hashi Future Parking Equipment Co., Ltd. for your brilliantly stupid idea. We have entered it as a candidate for our world famous World Streets Worst Practices award for 2010. Wish them luck! Continue reading
Today’s piece by Alex Berthelsen of Planka.nu, Sweden’s largest public transport NGO, is part of World Streets wide-open international brainstorming series on “free public transport”. The most recent article in this series appeared here last week under the title “Why Free Public Transport is a bad idea“, inviting our readers to share their critical thoughts on this important, contentious but ultimately quite subtile subject. The flood gates immediately opened and within days we heard a variety of responses, negative and positive, from thirty readers logging in from more than a dozen different countries. You can access their comments and all the articles in this series via https://worldstreets.wordpress.com/category/free-public-transport/. And as always your critical comments and suggestions are welcome here. Continue reading
There are a good number of proponents around the world supporting the idea that public transport should be free. It certainly is a tempting idea. And if we here at World Streets have our own thoughts on the subject (stay tuned), it is always good practice to check out both sides of the issues. Just below, you will find four short statements taken from the Wikipedia entry, setting out arguments against FPT. More to follow on this but in the meantime we are interested in hearing from our readers and colleagues around the world both with (a) their comments on these criticisms and (b) yet other critical views. (This is sure to be a bit exciting.)
* Note: See numerous, extensive comments below.
World Streets is pleased to announce publication in the months and maybe more ahead of a series of articles and other media to introduce and investigate this idea in-depth in these pages. We would ask our readers to bear in mind that there is a great deal more to this approach than may at first meet the eye. So let’s see what we get when we stretch our minds together on this perhaps surprisingly important and, we believe, ultimately practical sustainable city concept.