Penang and Monorails x 3: Say it with music

Penang is not the first small city in the world faced with a sudden ambition for a monorail.  But THREE monorails. Woah! So to put this into perspective we thought it might be useful to report on the discussions in another place and another, the city of Springfield in the USA, the home of the Simpsons, models off ecology.   A great opportunity to learn from the experience of others. Let’s have a look.

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Smart Phone Applications Primer: Transforming Mobility

smartphones-car-dashboard

Smartphone apps are transforming mobility by improving access to transportation services, increasing mobility, and enhancing traveler engagement. These apps are spawning new businesses, services, and mobility models. For example, within a short period, app-based innovations leapfrogged the livery industry with services, such as Uber, Lyft, and Flywheel. Using smartphones to facilitate mobility is becoming the new norm. Smartphone apps have transformed the way that many travelers arrange for-hire vehicle services, plan for trips, or get real-time transportation information.

This primer, sponsored by the US Federal Highway Administration’s (FHWA) Office of Operations and carried out by theUniversity of California, Berkeley’s Transportation Sustainability Research Center, is intended to demonstrate how vital smartphones are becoming to the transportation network and provide public agencies, transportation managers, and elected officials with a perspective and understanding the role of smartphones in identifying services and choices for individuals and influencing travel behavior.

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Editorial: Do monorail projects deserve fair treatment? Part I : Building knowledge and consensus via the internet

Let me be very clear as to my motives here just so there is no ambiguity on my position. I would like no less than to drive a sharp stake through the dark heart of this egregiously unsustainable transport concept once and for all, so that we can concentrate our limited resources on approaches that are capable of doing the job and meeting the sustainability challenge head on. Which is exactly not the case with monorails. Let’s have a look.  Continue reading

On O-Bahns and Penang (Let’s keep government out of the technology business)

adelaide Oi-Bahn vehicle at station

O-Bahn at station in Adelaide

On Thursday my esteemed colleague Mr. Loh Lim Lin Lee posted a note and a question to our WhatsApp Sustainable Penang forum on the topic of an O-Bahn as a possibly attractive transportation option for Penang. He wrote:

I am a huge fan of the O-Bahn in Adelaide. Extra-long buses with concertina type middles to allow turning corners running on dedicated bus lanes on normal city roads. On exiting the inner city, the bus mounts 2′ high narrow tracks that run along river embankments (to save on land purchase) locks on magnetically, runs at 100km an hour. It’s non-intrusive, quiet, totally effective. Adelaide’s population & ours share many similarities. Monorails are not cost effective for us with insufficient payload. Our tree lined roads, heritage buildings and general Penang ambience are totally incompatible with monorails.

Eric, any wise words on the O-Bahn?

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