Can dockless and station-based bike-share programs coexist? - Curbed

Imagine a “bike-share program that lets novice riders loose” to “flood streets with thousands of uninsured cyclists.” Sounds scary, right? “10,000 extra bicycles could pose a real danger.” Although these headlines look like they were ripped from today’s internet, they’re actually from 2013. Five years ago this month, the U.S.’s largest bike-share system, Citi Bike, launched in New York City, where worries about having bikes “all over the place” sound very similar to concerns about dockless operators today. While station-based bike share turned out to be an unmitigated success for the U.S., anxiety about the dockless revolution remains at a fever pitch, with cities fretting about operators of

Could electric bike pods revolutionize transportation? - Mobility Lab

In the midst of new sharing ventures from dockless bikes to electric scooters, a Canadian startup company plans to enter the sharing fray with a new type of vehicle: the velomobile. Velomobiles are basically bicycle cars. They’re human-powered vehicles that usually have a supplementary motor to make pedaling easier. What makes the velomobile different from an electric bike is the fact that it’s tri-wheeled and enclosed, allowing the rider to store things in a trunk akin to a car but also pedal and steer like a bike. Velometro, a velomobile manufacturer from Vancouver, British Columbia broke into the sharing market with a six-month pilot run of its Veemo service on the University of British C

Uber’s Skyports are just freeway onramps for flying cars - Curbed

Last week, the Uber Elevate conference brought together many bright minds from the aviation industry to help the company convince the world that Uber-dispatched aircraft will soon fly over most major cities. To help cities wrap their heads around this supposed reality, Uber orchestrated an architecture competition, tapping six winning firms to present their concepts for “Skyports”—the places that Uber’s aerial taxi fleet, named UberAIR, will pick up and drop off passengers. The skyport concepts had to meet the following requirements: They should be able to serve 4,000 passengers per hour in a three-acre footprint, as well as provide additional places for electric aircraft to charge. Plus, th

Majority of Americans say Trump is not giving infrastructure enough attention - The Hill

A majority of respondents in a new poll say President Trump is not providing American infrastructure with sufficient attention. Fifty-five percent of Americans say the president, who unveiled a rebuilding framework earlier this year, is not giving infrastructure adequate attention, according to a Monmouth University poll released Tuesday. Twenty-six percent said Trump is giving appropriate attention to infrastructure, while just 4 percent say the president is providing the subject “too much attention.” “Despite the fact that the White House has declared an ‘Infrastructure Week’ many times over the past year, the American public sees very little concrete evidence that this is a priority,” Mon

Upper Dublin Township honored for Fort Washington Office Park work - Ambler Gazette

UPPER DUBLIN >> The township is seeing its efforts to revitalize the Fort Washington Office Park pay off in the form of state recognition. Upper Dublin was one of several communities in the state recently recognized as part of the Governor’s Awards for Local Government Excellence. The awards honor local government leaders for exceptional dedication to improving public services through innovative initiatives. Upper Dublin’s recognition stems from its revitalization work on the 60-year-old Fort Washington Office Park. The township’s board of commissioners announced at its May 8 meeting that it also received citations from the state Senate and House of Representatives congratulating Upper Dubli

Lyft is spending $100M on new hubs for drivers - Curbed

Earlier today, Lyft announced a $100 million investment in expanding its network of driver hubs in major U.S. cities, including the addition of 30 more locations. These hubs, 15 of which are currently located in major U.S. cities, function as service centers and community spaces for drivers. They feature facilities for low-cost oil changes, basic vehicle maintenance, charging facilities for electric vehicles, and serviced car washes, as well as communal areas for drivers to meet, host skill-sharing meetups, and use “career-focused educational resources.” And yes, there’s also coffee. The company’s investment will also expand operating hours for the hubs, from 35 to 40 hours a week to more th

Non-car modes already play a huge role in suburban and rural life

It’s easy for people in suburban and rural areas to assume that getting around would not be possible without a car. It’s true that many people currently use their cars for everything, largely because they have little exposure to or confidence in anything else. Here are two things they might not know: Options other than driving your personal vehicle – such as formal public transportation services and informal, sometimes spontaneous arrangements such as carpooling – exist everywhere. These “alternative” modes are essential to suburban and rural areas’ transportation systems. Here’s an overview of non-drive alone modes that already exist – and are making a huge difference – in suburban and ru

UK city explores retractable "pop up" car charging stations - treehugger

Well, this should help reduce street clutter. Whatever one thinks about electric cars, Lloyd's concern that charging infrastructure will clutter our sidewalks is an important one. One way that cities are addressing this problem is repurposing lamp posts and electric distribution substations to incorporate electric vehicle charging capabilities. Now the city of Oxford, England—which is in the midst of testing many different types of charging infrastructure—is experimenting with what it says is the world's first retractable 'pop up' charging station. Developed by UK-based start up Urban Electric Networks, the stations are controlled by an app, and disappear under the surface of the street when

How Arkansas Became Bike Country - CityLab

Kelsey Miller likes to play a game with herself to see how many days she can go without driving her car. On most days, she bikes to work and to run errands. This car-lite lifestyle may be unremarkable for many coastal urbanites, but Miller lives in Bentonville, Arkansas, population 47,000 and home to Walmart’s headquarters. Northwest Arkansas might not be the kind of place one expects to find a bike renaissance, but it’s having one anyway. Municipalities across the region, which encompasses the main cities of Bentonville, Fayetteville, Rogers, and Springdale, as well as several smaller towns, have been steadily building up their biking infrastructure over the past several years. A mix of fed

How a Chinese city turned all its 16,000 buses electric - Curbed

U.S. cities have started to show some enthusiasm for electric buses. New York City is trialing electric models as part of a larger bid to reduce emissions. And last month, Los Angeles announced it will spend $36.1 million on electric buses, part of the city’s far-reaching plan to transition to a zero-emission fleet by 2030. LA joins other cities making big plans to adopt electric buses, which run quieter and cleaner and reduce urban carbon emissions, including London and Paris, which pledged to go electric by 2025. Then, there’s China, and the city of Shenzhen. The 12.5 million-person metropolis made headlines last year as the first to operate an all-electric bus system. It’s a significant a

Americans don’t have equal access to good infrastructure - Mobility Lab

As part of Infrastructure Week 2018, this is the first article of a three-part series on equitable infrastructure by Brookings fellow Adie Tomer. It was originally published here. As we go about our daily lives, Americans have simple expectations for infrastructure: we want services that work. We want lights to turn on when we flip a switch, we want clean water to run out of our taps, we want web pages to load when we turn on our computers and smartphones, and we want roads and rails to be open to traffic. We want physical access to high-quality infrastructure, which offers safe, convenient, reliable, and affordable options. When the power is on, water is clean, data can flow, and people and

We can’t forget about mass transit when we talk about the ‘future of transportation’

Maybe it was the smell of oil and machined metal coming from the jetpack on stage, or maybe it was because I was listening to the 10th different speaker in under three hours. But I was a little dizzy by the end of the Wall Street Journal’s Future of Transportation event that took place on Wednesday in Manhattan. When I got back out on the street and cleared my head, though, the first thing I thought to myself was: “wait a minute, did no one really talk about the future of public transportation?” Don’t get me wrong, it was an engaging morning full of bright minds with relative disciplinary diversity (gender not so much — there were just two women guest speakers to eight men), ranging from spa

How multimodal transportation can work in suburban and rural areas - Mobility Lab

“You need a car here” is a line I’ve heard far too many times, even in places where I’d gotten around for years easily without one. I’ve heard it at breweries in San Diego, at delicious Korean restaurants from Los Angeles to Annandale, and at relatives’ suburban homes around the country. And I’m sure I’ll continue to hear it going forward. But I’ve never heard any of these people say anything along the lines of “you might enjoy driving,” or “I think cars are really fun.” Pretty frequently, you’ll actually hear them complain about the same high stress, unreliability, and harrowing experiences that soured me on automobiles. Yet despite all of the frustration driving causes them, they view the

Five Breakthroughs That Could Make You Love the Bus - City Lab

The Union Station bus deck in Washington, D.C., is a loud and smelly place. Municipal and inter-city buses rumble in and out, perfuming the semi-enclosed depot with the stench of combusted diesel. The arrival of a lone battery electric bus on a recent weekday morning—one of fourteen electric buses that have just been added to D.C. Metro’s Circulator fleet—did not radically change the atmosphere. But it could be a tantalizing harbinger of things to come. The vehicle moves stealthily, with a low whine, and emits no fumes from its tailpipe, because it doesn’t have one. Needless to say, a bus station served only by electric buses would be unrecognizable to the nose and ears. So would a whole cit

Are Uber and Lyft helping or hurting public transit? - Curbed

As ridehailing services such as Uber and Lyft continue to grow, their impact on transportation policy, congestion, and the environment have been the subject of much curiosity and research. Can the ease of ridehaiing convince car owners to abandon their vehicles and rely on new mobility options, or will it lead to more car trips and increased congestion? A new report issued this morning suggets that ridehailing is becoming more intertwined with mass transit. Commissioned by Masabi, a mobile ticketing service that works with transit systems as well as companies such as Uber and Lyft, the new research surveyed 1,000 adults in the United States last fall with access to mass transit. More than on

To build better urban cycling in the U.S., a new report offers data for change - Curbed

A new report on biking infrastructure in the United States suggests that, while progress has been made, it’s time to raise the bar. City Ratings, a new analysis released earlier today by the advocacy group PeopleForBikes, which is funded by Trek, a cycling manufacturer, offers a comprehensive, data-driven report card, as well as a sign that cycling in the U.S. may have reached a new phase. “Cities have grown into an adolescence in terms of biking know-how,” says Kyle Wagenschutz, PeopleForBikes’s Director of Local Innovation. “They know what to build, and what safe bike lanes looks like, but they haven’t been doing a great job of quantifying what it means. This report is an attempt at sugges

Transportation demand management can work everywhere, even in sprawling Montgomery County, MD - Mobi

Montgomery County, Md. is big and sprawling, built out at the height of suburbanization. This presents problems when it comes to encouraging transit, and even more so for walking and biking. Fortunately, the county has a long history of implementing transportation demand management (TDM) programs to encourage public transit and other alternatives. Due to its size and nature—a million people in nearly 500 square miles—Montgomery County must be selective. The county has long worked on developing urban centers and has designated six Transportation Management Districts (TMDs) to implement TDM in key areas with dense populations, as well as job and transit centers. Montgomery County does have a h

Biking to work this spring? It just got more expensive under the new tax law - Market Watch

Spring has finally sprung, but it’s not sunshine for everyone: the new tax law axed a fringe benefit for commuters who bike to work. Under the old tax law’s “Bicycle Commuter Act,” employers reimbursed employees up to $20 a month for qualified expenses, including bike repairs and improvements. That reimbursement was not taxed. The Tax Cut and Jobs Act suspends that benefit until January 2026, and also forbids deductions for other commuting expenses including parking, transit and vanpooling. Under the new tax law, the only deductions employers can make for transportation costs will be for those that ensure the safety of the employee to and from work (such as a car service late at night, for e

The Fallacy of the “Level Playing Field” for Employee Contributions to Transportation Benefits - Blo

The 2017 tax act removed the employer deduction for amounts paid toward fringe transportation benefits for employees by amending §274. In what was supposed to be a matching move to put exempt organizations that do not pay income taxes on the same footing, the 2017 tax act also added a tax to exempt organizations that pay for such benefits for their employees, in the form of an addition to unrelated business taxable income (UBTI). While the amount paid is added to the unrelated business taxable income, the rate paid is the same as corporations pay on their income, 21%. Logically, on a policy level, this makes sense. However, in a panel discussion at the Georgetown conference, “Representin

Four ways that reliable bike parking encourages new riders - Mobility Lab

Urban developers, city officials, and business people are joining forces to revolutionize transportation. As urban centers densify, vehicles move more sluggishly through congested streets, which frustrates individual commuters and pulls the vitality out of neighborhoods. Alternative forms of transportation can move people more effectively and bring them back to street level, where they engage with the community. Big transportation projects make the news: bicycle lanes, commuter trains, and rapid transit involve a lot of capital and consideration. This can make it seem that encouraging alternative transportation is only possible on large budgets. However, smaller investments and thoughtful pl


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