Here’s an article co-written by environmentalist superstar Bill McKibben that speaks to the need for better public transportation. The authors point out that transportation generally contributes 27% of the total greenhouse gas emissions. Since transportation is 98%+ based on gasoline and diesel, it comes with a huge price tag in terms of not only CO2 but damage (more…)
Technology has revolutionized the urban and suburban landscape across the United States. As more people embrace a green lifestyle, city planners are looking for ways to incorporate energy-efficient lifestyles and transportation methods. In many cases, cheap travel is possible through the use of public transportation services. Reaching a new destination can be as (more…)
We are in the midst of reviewing our plug-in electric vehicle forecasts, which means scouring data and news sources to get an understanding of how issues are playing out in the court of public opinion. It’s always the fun part of the job to learn what is “news” and what the public is talking about on forums and the (more…)
Many commuters in large metropolitan areas and in big cities both here in the U.S. and globally rely on public transportation for getting to and from places. After all, it is often a hassle to sit in traffic and can be quite inconvenient in a densely packed area to drive a car, not to mention the environmental problems with air pollution associated with driving. So, naturally (more…)
All over the news, one can see the massive sea of protest currently befalling the state of Wisconsin in a dispute between workers and the governor. Most news outlets have discussed how it is a dispute between the governor’s cuts and workers’ rights issues over things like collective bargaining. Governor Walker’s budget dealing impasse is problematic for public transit in Wisconsin (more…)
Masdar’s Personal Rapid Transit is cool and all, but will it be the next greatest thing in e-mobility?
Masdar City, the ambitious project to build a sustainable city on the outskirts of Abu Dhabi, has been criticized by some for not moving fast enough or for making too many changes in its development strategy. But (more…)
Report suggests current transportation policy in most U.S. states will likely worsen greenhouse gas emission trends.
With federal policy action on climate and energy appearing unlikely for at least the next couple years, public policy and financial analysts are increasingly turning to state-level analyses to inform (more…)
Cars promise mobility, and in a largely rural setting they provide it. But in an urbanizing world, where more than half of us live in cities, there is an inherent conflict between the automobile and the city. After a point, as their numbers multiply, automobiles provide not mobility but immobility, as well as increased air pollution and the health problems that come with it. Urban transport systems based on a combination of rail lines, bus lines, bicycle pathways, and pedestrian walkways offer the best of all possible worlds in providing mobility, low-cost transportation, and a healthy urban environment.
Some of the most innovative public transportation systems, those that shift huge numbers of people from cars into buses, have been developed in Curitiba, Brazil, and Bogotá, Colombia. The success of Bogotá’s Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system, TransMilenio, which uses special express lanes to move people quickly through the city, is being replicated not only in six other Colombian cities but in scores elsewhere too, including Mexico City, São Paulo, Hanoi, Seoul, Istanbul, and Quito. By 2012, Mexico City plans to have 10 BRT lines in place.
While electric vehicles are the most environmentally friendly transportation solution of today, there is one start-up that thinks further ahead. What might sound like a futuristic idea borrowed from a sci-fi movie will soon become reality in some cities.
I’m talking about personal rapid transit, a system somewhere between mass transportation such as metros and buses, and more private transportation such as taxis. The Finnish start-up BM Design has the solution to our transportation needs of tomorrow.
Asko Kauppi, Founder of BM Design and among the several hundred people who invented personal rapid transit, describes it as “packaged routing of people.” The idea itself is nothing new and has its roots in the 1960s and 70s. However, a company still needs to present a viable commercial solution for PRT.
The advantages of personal rapid transit include this: Instead of you waiting for a bus or metro to arrive, the PRT vehicle — a lightweight, battery operated vehicle seating two to three — is waiting for you. (more…)