How to Make Transit More Competitive in the Suburbs - StreetsBlog USA

How to make transit work in sprawling suburbs is a difficult design problem — but a couple small changes can have a big impact, according to new research from the University of Minnesota. The team at the Accessibility Lab at the University of Minnesota modeled and measured job access both by transit and by car for those living near the Twin Cities’ 114 Park-and-Ride transit stations under different scenarios. They found that two key infrastructure offerings — park-and-ride lots combined with dedicated highway lanes — can make transit substantially more competitive with driving in suburbia. The combination of those elements increases the relative number of jobs available within an hour trip b

Dockless Bikes (And More Electric Bikes) Are Coming to Philly - Phillymag

Dockless bikes are coming to Philly — temporarily, at least. Philly is moving forward with plans for a dockless bike share pilot program later this year. The pilot would be separate from the city’s existing Indego bike share fleet, and it would consist entirely of electric pedal-assist bikes. We’ll have more info below, but first: You may recall that the city’s Office of Transportation, Infrastructure and Sustainability (which oversees bike shares and bike lanes) introduced the city to 10 electric pedal-assist bikes through Indego this past fall. The bikes were rolled out as part of a pilot program which ran from November to mid-March. We took the bikes for a spin, and they were pretty sweet

NYC draws closer to legalizing e-scooters, e-bikes thanks to state bill - Curbed

The bill would allow municipalities—including New York City—to move forward in legalizing the electric rides. State Sen. Jessica Ramos and state Assembly member Nily Rozic have introduced a bill on Tuesday that would legalize e-scooters and e-bikes in New York State, while allowing cities to take charge of regulating the increasingly popular modes of transit—which would pave the way for them to become legal in NYC. The passing of the new bill in Albany would take an important step: recognizing e-scooters and e-bikes under state law, so that cities across the state can allow them on their roads. Currently, scooters and throttle e-bikes are not legal in NYC thanks to a law, passed by the City

Will new, private-sector rail operators change the look of intercity train travel in the US? - Mobil

The United States’ intercity rail system is a vital lifeline for its tens of millions of annual passengers. However, the existing system can seem maddeningly archaic. I experienced the strengths and weaknesses of that system on a recent Amtrak trip from DC to see family in Florida – the 2019 edition of the trip I wrote about last year. But after I got to the Sunshine State, I caught a glimpse of a possible future for our rail system: one where Amtrak is not the only company that provides intercity service. With multiple companies to choose from, states that subsidize regional routes will benefit from competition for operating contracts. And in markets across the country with high demand, the

Will Ottawa Ever Get Its Light Rail? - City Lab

“Get ready for rail.” At first the slogan for Ottawa’s new transit project felt like a command. Then it was a question mark, and now it’s a desperate plea—as if the city could will into existence a light-rail plan that has been talked about for the better part of 20 years. Ground broke in 2013 on Ottawa’s extension of its O-Train system—then, a five-station, diesel-powered light-rail line. The mission was to electrify the network and extend it to central, eastern, and southern parts of the city with two new add-ons, the brand-new Confederation Line and the Trillium Line addition. But it hasn’t gone so smoothly. After years of planning and waiting, some in Ottawa might feel like their rapid t

The future is coming—at 11 miles per hour - Curbed

The future arrives for me in the form of a rectangle on four wheels, about half the size of a conventional school bus, with large windows all around. When the side door opens, an impressively mustachioed safety attendant named Buddy welcomes me aboard. Standing at a small command terminal, Buddy cues up the route and disengages the emergency brake, and we peel out of the parking spot at a cool 11 miles per hour. This is no David Hasselhoff-ian Knight Rider driving experience—then again, KITT was science fiction. I put my sunglasses on and kick back as Olli comes to a gradual stop at a four-way intersection and then navigates a left turn seamlessly. This is my inaugural ride on the Olli shutt

How global cities are going green - Curbed

The feasibility of a Green New Deal—a massive mobilization to decarbonize the economy—has gone from a progressive dream to one of the most commented upon topics in American politics in a few months time. There’s a hunger for action around the environment, and with federal policies frozen or in regression under the current presidential administration, much of the action in the U.S. around combatting climate change has fallen to local and city leaders. From pledging to stay in the Paris climate accords to adopting renewable power, U.S. cities have seen a flurry of activity and innovation, pushing new programs and initiatives. But as the need for emissions cuts and resiliency plans become more

Scooter Trips Surpass Docked Bike Share for the First Time - Streets Blog

Scooter ridership in America has outpaced traditional docked bike share for the first time, a new report shows. In 2018, riders took 38.5 million trips on shared e-scooters across American cities, almost doubling ridership over a year and topping the number of trips made on city-sponsored bike share for the first time, according to a new analysis by the National Association of City Transportation Officials. The report comes as e-scooter use and deployment is surging and dockless shared bikes are slowly disappearing, as private shared mobility companies disinvested and shifted money to e-scooters. Last year, e-scooter trips surpassed bike share for the first time. Graph: NACTO About 36.5 mill

We miss streetcars’ frequent and reliable service, not streetcars themselves - Mobility Lab

The United States is well into a building boom of modern streetcars. The American Public Transportation Association (APTA) reports that 22 new streetcar projects have opened since 2013 with dozens more in various stages of planning. These projects are part of a wider movement over the past several decades to revitalize downtowns. Kansas City’s 2014 streetcar project was pitched as a way to reconnect the neighborhoods of the city and getting people back to downtown without cars. Russ Johnson, a leading streetcar booster on the city council at the time, argued that the KC Streetcar could bring back the kind of connectivity that his mother enjoyed when she graduated high school in 1951 and coul

Here’s a New Design for a ‘Very’ Light Rail Vehicle - Next City

Very Light Rail Vehicle Design Unveiled The move to produce a light-rail vehicle suitable for lower-capacity services advanced another step last week with the release of a design for a “very light rail vehicle” being developed at the University of Warwick in England. Metro Report International reports that the university is working with automotive company RDM to build a prototype vehicle for testing by the middle of 2020. The vehicle would have a capacity of 50 passengers and run off battery power; the ultimate goal is for the vehicle to run autonomously. The Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership is contributing 2.5 million pounds (U.S. $3.31 million) toward the vehicle’s de

Lyft’s new green transit strategy involves … parks - Curbed

This morning, Lyft announced a new partnership with The Trust for Public Land, the national park nonprofit that formed in 1972. In the works for nearly a year, the new collaboration begins to bring clarity to Lyft’s City Works initiative, a promise the company made to invest $50 million or 1 percent of profits, whichever is higher, in infrastructure and transit. The collaboration will fund the creation of seven new parks, targeted in areas that are “park-poor” and underserved, part of the Trust’s Parks for People community impact fund. Lilly Shoup, Lyft’s senior director of policy and partnerships, said the precise locations of the parks will be revealed in the coming weeks. But they will be

How cities are rewarding people who ditch their car commutes - Curbed

This week, London debuted its ultra-low-emission zone, meaning vehicles that do not meet low-emission standards will now have to pay an extra fee to access its city center. Although the city introduced congestion pricing over a decade ago, charging all vehicles a daily fee to enter its central business district, ULEZ rules will add an additional fee of £12.50 per day (about $16) for people driving what are deemed polluting vehicles, including most cars made before 2006. That means people driving polluting vehicles into London will have to pay both the ULEZ charge and the regular congestion charge, up to £24 per day (about $31). The new policy is intended to not only reduce traffic congestion

US making strides with AVs as the public remains skeptical - Mobility Lab

U.S. roads and infrastructure may routinely get embarrassing report cards, but at least the country is doing relatively well on planning for autonomous vehicles. The U.S. ranks fourth – behind The Netherlands, Singapore, and Norway – on the 2019 Autonomous Vehicles Readiness Index, compiled by consulting firm KPMG. Although the U.S. public still seems to be struggling with what to think about AVs, Richard Threlfall of KPMG notes that “we have seen a huge acceleration in investment in AV technology, in policy adoption by governments to encourage AVs, and in media coverage of the topic.” Several important milestones occurred along the way in 2018: China allowed for the first tests on its publi

London Puts a High Price on Driving Older, Polluting Cars - City Lab

The streets of central London are about to have some of the toughest anti-pollution measures in any major city. On Monday, the city’s Ultra Low Emissions Zone takes effect, charging £12.50 ($16.40) to anyone who enters it driving a gas-powered car that’s built before 2006. That charge will be placed on top of the existing congestion charge of £11.50 ($15.10), meaning drivers of older vehicles will have to pay a substantial £24 ($31.50) for every day they drive into the zone. And that’s not all. The rules will be even more stringent for diesel vehicles, and for trucks and private buses that use either diesel or gas. Any diesel-fueled car built before 2015 will have to pay the charge, while bu

'Planning' to reduce traffic congestion - GVF

We have all seen it…and felt it. The snows of last winter and the rains of the spring and summer paused‐‐‐for only a short time—the ‘march of construction equipment’! Cranes, dump trucks, concrete mixers and excavators seem almost as dense as our passenger vehicle traffic. All over our region, the combination of the enlivened economy and interest rates have contributed to a surge in the construction and re‐development of both single family and multi‐family residential units from all corners of Montgomery and Chester counties. Hard to believe that while we may gotten used to the cyclical nature of roadway repair and bridge reconstruction along our most congested arteries, once off the highwa

The Race to Code the Curb - City Lab

The curb is hot. No longer just a home for parked cars and cigarette butts, this is where the action is in the 21st century city. It’s where electric scooters and bikes congregate, where delivery drivers drop off Amazon boxes, where Uber and Lyft cars scoop riders. Someday, it may be where driverless cars await their human cargo. Accordingly, this increasingly contested space has become a focus of serious attention from some of the world’s leading technology companies. Today, a startup is announcing an open-access platform that maps points of interest where the sidewalk meets the street. Coord, a spinoff of “smart city” developer Sidewalk Labs, launched “Open Curbs,” which pins the locations

Congestion pricing floated as fix for Pa. transit funding crisis - PlanPhilly

The news that New York will become the first U.S. city to impose a fee on vehicles entering Manhattan has put congestion pricing at the center of a statewide conversation about how to fill Pennsylvania’s looming $450 million-a-year transit funding hole. The policy of charging vehicles for traveling into or within a certain area of a city at certain times has surfaced before in Philly as a means to encourage transit use while raising needed public funds. But the concept — politically impossible even in wealthy and transit-inclined New York until now — has never gained traction beyond the think tank crowd. London, Singapore, and Sweden implemented congestion pricing and have seen clearer roads

Why Sweden Wants to Revive Europe’s Night Trains - City Lab

In the quest to reduce the massive carbon footprint from global transportation, Sweden plans to revive a staple of 20th century travel: the overnight train. The Swedish government announced Sunday that it will fund the creation of overnight train services from Sweden to the European mainland. According to a statement from the Social Democrat-Green coalition government, the state will pump 50 million Kronor ($5.3 million) into creating night links by train to major European destinations, as part of a drive to give Swedes more low-carbon ways to travel long distances. This isn’t just promising news for people who want to see carbon emissions reduced—it’s also a major shot in the arm for Europe

Can Lyft really help cities fix transportation? - Curbed

Just before its initial public offering, ride-hailing giant Lyft announced a nationwide initiative that will funnel $50 million—or 1 percent of profits, whichever is larger—to support local transportation initiatives in U.S. cities. The announcement included some plans that might be surprising to Lyft’s new investors—and potentially difficult for an automobile-centric company to deliver—cities with fewer cars. City Works, as Lyft’s program is called, was announced early Friday morning at a pink confetti-laden event held at a former car dealership in downtown Los Angeles. Former U.S. transportation secretary and chief policy officer Anthony Foxx said Lyft is partnering with local advocacy gro

Motor City will study scooter use patterns, possibly set regulatory framework

The city of Detroit, in partnership with mobility-focused data firm Passport Inc. and California scooter company Lime, is launching a pilot program to study electric scooter use patterns. The six-month pilot is designed to help the city determine where the scooters would be most useful to residents and visitors. The use-pattern data is expected to help the city create a dynamic pricing model to incentivize distribution of scooters throughout the city, Passport said in a news release. Detroit city officials will work and share information with officials from Charlotte, N.C., and Omaha, Neb., in potentially developing a nationwide regulatory framework for dealing with scooter distribution. "Wo


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