DHL electric trucks to filter air for brake/tire dust emissions too - Treehugger

Electric vehicles are often described as "zero emission", but that's not really true. There's no doubt they are much, much greener, literally everywhere. But they are not emission-free. Even if we ignore the "long tail pipe" leading back to the (sometimes) coal-fired power plant, electric cars still release particulate matter in the form of tire and brake dust. And while one study suggesting their heavier weight results in more emissions than gas cars has been pretty much debunked, it's still important for cities in particular to eliminate heavy, polluting vehicles wherever possible and to mitigate the inevitable dust and pollution that all cars/trucks/buses produce. Now Business Green repor

How Washington, D.C., Built a Bike Boom - City Lab

Cycling has taken off in the American capital. Nearly 17,000 cyclists regularly rode their bikes to work in Washington, D.C. in 2016, according to Census estimates, which is about 5 percent of the city’s commuters. That’s nearly triple the “mode share” it had in 2006, putting it in second place on the list of top biking cities in the U.S., just behind famously gear-friendly Portland, Oregon. In absolute numbers, D.C. is still a dwarf compared to, say, New York, where 48,000 people pedal to work every week (which is only one percent of commuters there). But D.C.’s growth has exploded since the city piloted one of the country’s first modern bikeshare programs, and started building an ambitious

Holiday Season Travel Forecast - CityLab

The traffic will only be getting worse. Here’s what AAA, Inrix, and Waze have to say about avoiding Christmas jams. Too bad we can’t all travel by flying sleigh: Based on trip data from previous years gathered by INRIX, the transportation analytics firm, this season’s holiday-related car traffic in U.S. metros could slow down drives by as much as three times the normal duration. More than 107 million Americans are expected to mobilize via plane, train, and automobile between December 23 and January 1—the highest year-end travel volume on record, according to the American Automobile Association. Roughly 97 million will be going by car. As a general rule, holiday drivers in major metros can ex

A New Ridership Map To Explore Transit Trends, Locally - TransitCenter

We are excited to debut a new tool that makes it easy for transit advocates, researchers, and journalists to better understand what’s going on with ridership in their region. As part of our new Ridership Initiative, we commissioned Azavea to build an interactive National Ridership Map to explore ridership trends in the country’s largest metropolitan areas. This map uses American Community Survey (ACS) data and data from the Federal Transit Administration’s National Transit Database (NTD), which provides standardized ridership and operational data from all U.S. transit agencies. While NTD data are not granular enough to draw detailed conclusions, the consistency of FTA’s data-collection proce

There’s No Simple Formula for Rolling Out New Bike Lanes - Next City

Bicycle advocates lined up in the middle of a Center City Philadelphia street twice in the last month, forming a human-protected bike lane in the wake of high-profile collisions. At the end of November, a 24-year-old pastry chef named Emily Fredricks was riding in a painted bike lane when she was struck by a turning garbage truck and killed. Three weeks later, a web designer named Becca Refford, also 24, was hit by a nother truck just a few blocks from where Fredricks was killed. Refford, who is recovering, has shattered hips and a fractured pelvis, according to news reports. Both collisions occurred in long-established bike lanes in the heart of the city. According to the Bicycle Coalition

450 Amtrak trains are getting an interior makeover - Curbed

Amtrak may be nowhere near as cool as Japan’s ultra-luxe Shiki-Shima train or even France’s art-covered cars, but at least it’s getting a much needed interior refresh. Some 450 commuter trains in Amtrak’s stable are getting new seats, carpets, lighting, upholstery, and a thorough cleaning—all part of a $16 million makeover rolling out over the next six months through the efforts of overnight crews, Quartzy reports. The interior design of Amtrak trains has remained largely untouched since the 1970s, with the addition of a cool blue-and-grey palette in the 90s. Because the trains aren’t being completely overhauled, the new seats were designed with a retro aesthetic to fit in with remaining ’70

SEPTA’s first new electric locomotive has pulled into Philly - Curbed

Christmas has come early, dear commuters: SEPTA has a new, electrifying whip that’s supposed to make for smoother and safer rides. SEPTA announced this week that it received its first new electric locomotive by Siemens, after it traveled some 2,700 miles from California. It’s the first of 15 locomotives that will replace older electric-run trains, that, as SEPTA puts it, “have exceeded their useful life.” The delivery came just in time as SEPTA celebrated the 125th anniversary of when the city’s first electric trolley debuted on December 15, 1892. The delivery comes after SEPTA awarded a $118 million contract with Siemens in 2015. Not only are they faster, but they’ll also let SEPTA increase

California Cities to Launch Biggest Electric Bike-Share System in U.S. - Next City

Davis, California, has long held a special place among U.S. bicycle cities. In 1967, it was the first to paint official bike lanes. It has since built bike infrastructure on 76 percent of its streets, which has helped boost the city’s bike commuter mode share to a nation-leading 20 percent. Despite that, Davis — along with neighboring Sacramento, itself ranked in the top 15 large cities for bicycling mode share — has been slow to adopt bike-share, even though cities and bike advocates have rallied around bike-share as a must-have addition to bike networks. That will soon change, however. After six years of discussions and planning, Davis, Sacramento and the city of West Sacramento are finall

FTA Launches 5-Year Research Initiative for Transit Automation - Eno Center for Transportation

On December 5, the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) unveiled its 5-year agenda for researching the potential benefits of vehicle automation for public transit. Dubbed the Strategic Transit Automation Research (STAR) Plan, it will serve as a guide for the agency and transit stakeholders through FY 2022. Although automated vehicles (AVs) frequently grab headlines, most of the attention has been dedicated to how automation will impact personal vehicles and transportation network companies (TNCs) like Uber and Lyft – not trucks or buses. The consequence has been a glaring lack of coverage around manufacturers’ work on automated buses and how transit agencies could adopt them. During an annou

The Battle of the Supertrains - CityLab

In the space of one weird week in October, residents of Washington, D.C., and Baltimore were told that, one day, their commuting needs might be serviced by not one but two wildly ambitious high-speed rail projects. A private company called Baltimore Washington Rapid-Rail unveiled three potential routes that the firm would like to use to build a magnetic-levitation train line. BWRR is all-in on importing Japan’s superconducting maglev technology to create a 300-mph supertrain that it says could shorten the trip between the two cities to just 15 minutes. The estimated price tag? $10 billion, a bill BWRR says will be covered by private investment—including, possibly, a loan from the Japan Bank

Beyond the Bus: ‘Microtransit’ Helps Cities Expand Transportation Services - Governing

For several years, private companies have tried to fill the last-mile gap in public transit systems by offering on-demand, shared rides. Many of these "microtransit" services -- something between ride sharing and traditional transit -- have foundered. Now, several public transit agencies have started to explore whether they could offer microtransit options themselves. The clearest example comes from Los Angeles County, where LA Metro, one of the nation’s largest transportation agencies, announced in October that it would take bids from companies on how to deliver microtransit. The microtransit vehicles won’t be like standard buses going down fixed routes. Instead, smaller vehicles will trave

Google Maps will soon tell you when it’s time to get off your train or bus - TechCrunch

Google is about to launch a small but useful update to Google Maps that will give you live guidance and interactive real-time notifications during your journey. The idea here is to give you real-time updates while you are on your transit journey. These updates will appear in the Google Maps app and, maybe most importantly, on your Android lock screen. To get started, you search for your transit directions in Google Maps as usual. So far, so good. What’s new here is that you’ll soon be able to tap a “start” button at the bottom the screen with the details about your transit journey and then get live updates as you walk or ride on your local buses and trains. Click here to read the full articl

Buses fuel the core of Microsoft’s aggressive employee-commute program - Mobility Lab

This article is excerpted from the author’s LinkedIn page. At Microsoft, our Connector Commuter Bus (pictured above) recently had its 10th anniversary. And that’s just one of the things worth celebrating in the company’s commuter program. Microsoft’s Puget Sound campus in Seattle is like a small city, with buildings, roads, infrastructure, and 44,000 people. How to responsibly get those occupants to, from, and around that small city has been a priority for Microsoft Real Estate and Facilities (RE&F) for going on three decades. During that time, Microsoft’s web of transportation services – the Commute program – has decreased total carbon emissions generated by its commuting employees by 69.3

New Design Guide Signals the Way to More Inclusive Bike Planning - Next City

By now, most urban transportation planners have a working knowledge of on-street bike design basics — there’s your standard bike lane, your cycle track, your bicycle boulevard. That’s largely due to the seminal 2011 Urban Bikeway Design Guide from the National Association of City Transportation Officials (NACTO), which was formally embraced by the Federal Highway Administration in 2013. Now, NACTO has released a more comprehensive update aiming to help cities implement those design basics. “Designing for All Ages and Abilities” recognizes that bike lanes aren’t built in a vacuum — and demonstrates how vehicle speed and traffic volume will determine which treatments most effectively go where.

Thanks to autonomous vehicles, we could have these utopian, tree-filled streets - Curbed

The oncoming rush of autonomous vehicle technology has led to rampant speculation over the future of cities, roads, and society. A recent issue of the New York Times magazine dedicated to the subject listed a number of utopian, dystopian, and downright fantastical visions of our driverless future (no more roadkill, ticketless policing, non-stop teenage car parties, etc.). While this future, whatever shape it takes, is still a ways away, that hasn’t stopped urban planners and designers from envisioning the layouts, laws, and look of our streets when AV technology becomes mainstream. A recent conceptual design exercise from HOK, a global architecture and design firm, offers a more optimistic,

Drivers of electric cars in the US can save up to $1,070 per year in fuel costs alone - Treehugger

Above and beyond their ability to reduce local air pollution and carbon emissions, electric vehicles are also starting to make a lot of sense financially as well. The transition to a cleaner transportation system based on electricity instead of gas and diesel has met with more than a few bumps on the road, most notably the higher initial costs of electric vehicles, as well as the comparatively short driving ranges possible before having to stop and recharge. However, early electric car adopters were willing to overlook those perceived shortcomings in favor of a car that had zero tailpipe emissions, which made for a more eco-friendly transportation option. And because it turns out that many d

Economically, walkable cities are like Germany, driver-centric cities are like Latvia - Mobility Lab

This is part one of a two-part series on the importance of “transit oriented development” in building economically vibrant places for people. Land use is the flip side of transit. They have a longer history together than peanut butter and chocolate, or even peanut butter and jelly. Transportation technology determines how land will be used, but land use also determines how extensively and effectively transportation can be used. For this reason, to get the most out of transit, it is crucial to get land use right, and the best way to do this is through “transit oriented development” (TOD). TOD is “not just intense land use,” said Tracy Hadden Loh of the Center for Real Estate and Urban Analysi

Waze Is the First GPS App to Support Carpool Lanes - Fortune

Waze started rolling out three new features to its iOS and Android app Wednesday, the most noticeable of which is new support for high occupancy vehicles or carpool lanes. Now, if you’re carpooling or have a vehicle with a special permit, Waze will offer travel times and directions for the HOV lanes as well, making it the first navigation tool to offer the opportunity. The feature is currently supported in Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Hawaii, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin, and D.C as well as Toronto, Vancouver, and Montreal. You can turn th

Will dockless bike services boost bike commuting? Cities are betting on it. - The Washington Post

LimeBike. Spin. Mobike. Ofo. They’re everywhere. The colorful GPS-tracked bikes that rent for as little as $1 have burst onto the scene, embraced by city dwellers who want easy access to cheap transportation and cities eager to provide alternatives that take vehicles off the road for little to no investment. “Something about this new business model, something about the dollar ride is very attractive to people that weren’t riding before,” said Gabe Klein, a former transportation chief in the District and Chicago. “The bike market could triple or quadruple.” Advocates and transportation officials agree that the dockless systems have the potential to significantly boost bike travel. The systems

Street Planning in These Cities Rethinks the Curbside - Next City

Every Saturday for the rest of the year, it’s a free parking bonanza on the streets of Philadelphia. The Philadelphia Parking Authority has announced that drivers won’t have to pay the normal meter fees after 11 a.m. on Saturdays until 2018, in order to encourage people to do their holiday shopping downtown. But the PPA might have it twisted. If commercial corridors in U.S. cities want to attract a more reliable customer base, they may want to rethink the amount of street space they dedicate to metered parking for private vehicles, as a new report highlights. In many cases, businesses are better served when cities focus on improving the reliability of bus transit. And while redesigning stree


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