Love the Bus, Save Your City - City Lab

Consider the bus. What comes to mind? For many Americans, it’s the grumbling, clattering, stuck-in-traffic, when-will-it-come, car’s-in-the-shop mobility mode of last resort. You might not ride it, and if you do, you might not like it. That’s why we need to talk about it. The bus has rarely needed your love more. And the underdog of transit has never held more heroic potential. With urban populations and travel on the rise, transportation is now the top contributor to U.S. greenhouse gas emissions. Nearly 90 percent of commuters in this country drive private cars, and in many urban areas traffic congestion—i.e., wasted time, gas, and money—is getting worse. Cities are searching for ways to m

SEPTA's vision for a new bus network: faster, fewer stops, no transfer fees

SEPTA issued a blueprint Thursday for revitalizing its bus network in Philadelphia, which is struggling with slow service, shrinking ridership, and increasing competition from ride-share businesses. A redesigned bus network could be “different from anything Philadelphia has seen in anybody’s memory,” said Jarrett Walker, a nationally recognized transit expert from Portland, Ore., whose report is expected to shape the priorities for city transit. Changes SEPTA could consider, his 100-page report concluded, include: Elimination of transfer fees. All-door boarding. Stops every other block, rather than at every intersection in Center City, and stops beyond traffic lights rather than before them.

Share-A-Ride Program Offers Easy Way to Carpool - GVF

At GVF we are committed to our mission of reducing congestion, improving the environment and quality of life. We do this by promoting and implementing transportation demand management (TDM) strategies. One TDM strategy is encouraging commuters to use an alternative form of transportation instead of driving alone to get to and from work. Alternatives include carpooling, vanpooling, public transit, biking or walking. Carpooling is one of the easiest alternatives a commuter can participate in. A carpool typically consists of two to four people riding together to a similar area on similar schedules, often co-workers riding to and from work. A personal vehicle is used to run a carpool. Carpooling

World Cup Fans Riding Brand-New Metro Extension in Russia - Next City

The International Railway Journal reports that a new extension of the Nizhniy Novgorod metro connecting the city center with its brand-new stadium opened on June 13, less than a week before the city hosted the first of several World Cup football matches there. The 2.5-kilometer (1.6-mile) extension of the 6.5-kilometer (4-mile), five-station Sormovsko-Meshcherskaya Line takes it from Moskovskaya in the city center to Strelka, near the stadium. The new extension also allows the line to be run separately from the 14.8-kilometer (9.2-mile), 11-station Avtozavodskaya Line. The two lines were supposed to run separately when the Avtozavodskaya line was extended into the city center in 2012, but th

Are self-driving cars safe for our cities? - Curbed

From ushering in an era of decreased car ownership, to narrowing streets and eliminating parking lots, autonomous vehicles promise to dramatically reshape our cities. But after an Uber-operated self-driving vehicle struck and killed 49-year-old Elaine Herzberg, who was crossing the street with her bike in Tempe, Arizona on March 18, 2018, there are more questions than ever about the safety of this technology, especially as these vehicles are being tested more frequently on public streets. Some argue the safety record for self-driving cars isn’t proven, and that it’s unclear whether or not enough testing miles have been driven in real-life conditions. Other safety advocates go further, and sa

London’s $2 Billion Plan to Ease Congestion on the Tube - CityLab

There’s no denying that London’s Tube system is pretty efficient. Hosting 5 million journeys a day, its busiest lines manage 36 trains an hour at peak times. That’s a train every 100 seconds. Some lines, however, are currently running a service that, by London standards, is a little threadbare. The busy Piccadilly Line, for example, manages just 24 trains an hour, a rate that no doubt seems irreproachable when viewed from the beleaguered public transit systems of New York or Washington, but actually risks creating serious congestion. This week, London finalized a remedy to this relative slow down: a batch of 250 new trains added to its rolling stock. When coupled with an upgrade to the signa

'Bike Montco' initiative envisions 800 miles of new bike paths in suburbia -

Officials in Montgomery County on Wednesday unveiled the early drafts of a plan that would bring nearly 800 miles of bike paths to the area’s suburban landscape. “We’re still a car-oriented culture and a car-oriented county, but things are changing,” said Matthew Edmond, the head of transportation planning for the county’s Planning Commission. “We’ve had enthusiastic support in Montgomery County for a bicycle network unlike ever before.” The plan, “Bike Montco: Building a Bike-Friendly Montgomery County,” introduced to municipal officials and residents at Montgomery County Community College’s Blue Bell campus, updates a similar blueprint created two decades ago. In the interim, the surroundi

Uber’s plan to get more electric cars on the road - Curbed

While electrifiying the U.S.’s ride-hailing fleet could have a tremendous impact on reducing emissions, operating an electric vehicle on today’s streets is challenging for drivers. A new program at Uber wants to make it easier for its drivers to go electric—and get more EVs on the road. “What we’ve learned from drivers is that they love not paying for gas and giving their riders a quiet, smooth, efficient, high-tech ride,” Adam Gromis, Uber’s global lead on sustainability and environmental impact, tells Curbed. “But any EV driver is trying to operate this technology in a world that’s not built for them.” Uber’s EV drivers must contend with a lack of public charging facilities in the U.S., es

The best way to do microtransit? Have transit agencies operate it - Mobility Lab

We’ve written skeptically about how genuine microtransit services and ride-hailing companies, like Uber and Lyft, are about truly enhancing transit ridership and accessibility. For instance: When I asked four such entrepreneurs what percentage of rides their services provide are “first mile” or to transit, 150 people [in attendance at a recent mobility conference] could hear a pin drop in the silence. When no good answers or data can be offered in response to such a question, it’s not a long shot to assume the worst. And the worst is? That those entities are actually trying to steal customers from core transit services, like buses and subways, that offer the top societal benefits. Since micr

As scooters, bikes, and transit startups flood the streets, cities need to control the curb - Curbed

Forget New York City’s crumbling subway system—the flood of dockless electric scooters is shaping up to be the key urban transportation story of 2018 as citizens in San Francisco and elsewhere become enraged over another example of tech companies barging in and begging for forgiveness instead of asking for permission (or simply waiting for regulations). In just the past week, local leaders in both Santa Monica, California, the market where billion-dollar startup Bird first launched, and San Francisco, introduced ordinances to restrict and regulate scooter usage. Both initially proposed capping the number dockless vehicles these companies can place on the road, and have been met with pushback

Philadelphia Opens First Phase of Long-Awaited Rail Park - Next City

Philadelphia officials cut the ribbon on the first phase of its elevated Rail Park, a quarter-mile of public green space in downtown Philadelphia, on Thursday. The park — a rails-to-trails project similar to New York’s High Line, but (planned to be) twice its length and width, Friends of the Rail Park notes — runs along the Reading Viaduct rail line, which was built in the 1890s, Curbed Philly reports. Plans for the park kicked off in 2010, but groundbreaking had to wait until 2016. Since then, the opening date has been pushed back several times, most recently because a 130-year-old pedestrian bridge slated to serve as the main gateway to the park was found to be corroded and unsafe. Officia

New transit app simplifies city trips with real-time bikeshare info - Curbed

The proliferation of new ways to get around cities—hello, dockless scooters—has created a dizzying array of choices, without many clear ways to evaluate every mobility option. A new set of high-tech tools released today aims to provide more clarity, better routing, and ideally, encourage multimodal trips and transit usage. Built by Coord, a data mobility startup backed by Alphabet’s Sidewalk Labs, these tools will give users the ability to plan multimodal trips in both New York City, Washington, D.C, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Chicago. The startup’s new Router app will show users the most efficient routes across town, taking into account a wider variety of transit options than most navi

Feds issue rule to promote private-sector participation in transit projects - Construction Dive

Dive Brief: The Federal Transit Administration has announced its intention, through a notice in the Federal Register, to implement a new rule meant to remove any barriers that might be preventing private-industry investment in U.S. public transportation infrastructure projects. The new rule, dubbed Private Investment Project Procedures, will go into effect June 29. The rule establishes ways for FTA recipients and project sponsors to identify those "regulations, practices, procedures or guidance" that are holding back investment and then seek waivers to those rules, with the exception of those under the National Environmental Policy Act or part of federal law. This process, according to

Three things Europe’s public transit can learn from the United States - Mobility Lab

We get it: Europe has great public transportation, everybody rides bikes, there’s high-quality cheese everywhere, blah blah blah. There’s a lot American transit providers can learn from studying their counterparts in Europe. But on recent trips to the continent, Mobility Lab’s Jenna Fortunati and Andy Furillo found some things that (shocker) public transportation in the United States does a little bit better. Here are the best transit practices from the U.S. that Europe can use to make their transit even better. Add bike racks to buses Yes, European capital cities tend to have a much higher bike mode share than American cities. But hardly any buses there have bike racks. Most buses in the Un

Arkoosh: SEPTA’S KOP Rail plays a key role in Montgomery County’s Comprehensive Plan - The Times Her

Following five years of detailed analysis and community input, the KOPRail project is moving out of the planning phase and into design. This project, which will add a 5 mile spur from the Norristown High Speed Rail line out to King of Prussia, will be transformative for businesses, residents, and commuters throughout the region. Not only will this project provide construction jobs but, once built, KOPRail will help realize the shared vision for growth that is at the center of the county’s comprehensive plan - Montco 2040: A Shared Vision. This project meets the goals of the 2040 plan to connect communities, provide sustainable options for transportation, and grow the vibrancy of the region’s

Pittsburgh Steadfast Towards TDM - GVF

I recently attended the 2018 PA TMA Summit in Pittsburgh. The Transportation Management Association (TMA) Summit is an annual event where Pennsylvania TMA’s come together for discussions focused on all aspects of Transportation Demand Management (TDM). This year, the Summit was hosted in Pittsburgh by the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership, Oakland Transportation Management Association and the Airport Corridor Transportation Association (ACTA). It was fantastic to learn how Pittsburgh is working towards reducing congestion and single driver vehicles. The Summit began with an overview of downtown Pittsburgh by the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership who had planned a walking tour to show some of th

Lyft plans to purchase leading U.S. bike-share operator - Curbed

According to a new report this morning from The Information, ride-hailing startup Lyft has plans to acquire Motivate, a leader in U.S. bike-share systems. The potential purchase underscores a significant shift in urban transportation—and a big bet by the company—toward a more multimodal, mobility-as-a-service future, where riders have a host of options to get across town and eschew private vehicle ownership. A spokesperson from Lyft declined to comment on the story. According to the newest household travel survey conducted by the U.S. Department of Transportation, 35 percent of U.S. vehicle trips last year were two miles or less, ideal for new options such as dockless bikes and electric scoo

Bottom line: Protected bike lanes boost business

For years, we’ve written about the trickle of good research that is starting to prove that protected bike lanes and better sidewalks do a lot to spur sales at street-front businesses. This still seems to be counterintuitive to a slew of business owners, but they probably should take heed or start preparing for second careers. Here’s a nice related tidbit from a new Strong Towns article: Picture the busiest, most successful shopping districts in America. Think Michigan Avenue in downtown Chicago or Pike Place Market in Seattle. Are these areas filled with parking lots and parking spaces? No. They’re filled with people walking around from store to store. Akron, Ohio is, of course, a very diffe

Now that Uber and Lyft own bikeshare, what will happen to open data? - Mobility Lab

Bikeshare data has been one of the best sources for places like Mobility Lab to track the ways people are moving around through the transportation system. Capital Bikeshare in Washington D.C., for instance, releases its data quarterly – like clockwork – and hackers throughout the region, most often as part of our Transportation Techies meetup group dig in to examine ways they can tell ridership stories and identify trends from that data. This data is, needless to say, super helpful towards understanding the demand for such a system and how to tweak it to make it better for people. But what does it mean now that Uber and Lyft are buying bikeshare systems faster than a dog on an evening walk g

More Routes = More Riders - CityLab

Noticing a smaller huddle at the bus stop recently? You’re not crazy. Transit ridership dropped by 2.5 percent from 2016 to 2017, with a downturn in bus passengers leading the hemorrhaging. These declines have been in progress virtually across the board in North America since 2014. What’s less clear is exactly why we’re all getting off the bus. The price of gas has gone down in recent years, which may be leading more Americans to choose to drive. The economy has improved, which could mean more of us can afford to buy and drive cars. There’s also the rise of ride-hailing services like Uber and Lyft; some studies have shown they’re pulling more-affluent riders off transit at certain times of d


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