It always seems like everyone else has an accent, but no matter where you’re from, culture has a way of influencing its development. One of the clearest ways to tell that someone is a transplant from somewhere else is by the way they speak.
These recent graphs below not only show where particular dialects are geographically located, but also help teach us a little about ourselves and why we say the things we say. They could also provide a nice reference for native terminology and accents in various parts of the U.S.
I personally found out exactly why I had never heard of the term “bubbler,” which is the inspiration behind Milwaukee’s new bike share program called the Bublr, as Micki and I discussed on the first edition of the Curbing Cars Podcast.
If you’d like to explore your own accent further, take this NY Times quiz. Continue reading
From Tucson to Kansas City, Denver to Detroit, it’s been a busy summer for transportation news.
Here, in our inaugural Curbing Cars podcast, Mark Remillard and I look at some of the stories he’s covered. They include:
Tucson’s new light-rail system, the Sun Link.
The Denver-based study showing that more bikes can actually be good for city safety.
The challenge posed to cities by parking craters.
Take a listen, and share it with your friends.
Would you like to hear more episodes of the Curbing Cars Podcast? Take our survey.
Courtesy of Jalopnik
Of all the cities across the U.S., only one has landed in the top 10 of the world’s best transportation cities, according to Jalopnik. New York grabbed the final spot on the list for its historic subway system that, despite its age, has been able to stand up to quite a lot. An example: it quickly returning to service after being flooded during Hurricane Sandy.
Germany has a strong grasp on quality transportation systems. Jalopnik put three of the country’s cities on the list: Berlin, Munich and Frankfurt. Berlin claimed ninth because it’s punctual and has quiet rail lines, and because the city is seemingly saturated with transportation.
Frankfurt took seventh for its interesting system where riders pay for a ticket to their final destination, allowing riders to “take all day to get to that destination if you choose by getting on and off the transit as often as you like. You’ve paid for the whole day until you’ve reached the final destination.”
Finally, Munich reached number three in part for its incredibly fast service, which, according to Jalopnik, has the city providing trains every two minutes during peak hours in its central corridor.A few other European hubs made the list including Paris and London. Continue reading
Our Mark Remillard recently told you about Tucson’s new light rail line — the second such system in Arizona. (Phoenix also has light rail.)
Based on your reaction via Twitter, we know that came as a surprise.
So here’s a look at the new Sun Link in action, via the Arizona Daily Star. Ride the entire route in three minutes. We’re definitely looking forward to hopping on board.
Tucson, Arizona is the latest city in the country, and second in Arizona, to open a light rail transit system.
The 18 stop, four-mile surface rail line has been in the works for 10 years, according to Sun Link Project Manager Shellie Genn. As the downtown core of Tucson has continued to grow, she said the need for light rail and an effective transit system has become increasingly important to keep the city connected.
“This has allowed us to connect areas that were previously divided by physical barriers,” Genn said. Some include the I-10 freeway and Santa Cruz River, which run through Tucson’s downtown.
Largely funded through a $63 million grant from the Federal Transit Administration, Genn said Sun Link has already created more than $800 million in economic development around the line.
“There’s a real interest in developing along this line, opening up business, housing (and) grocery stores,” she said. “It’s really turning into a place where you want to be versus what it used to be like five to 10 years ago.”
The light rail line is the latest in what Genn called a national demand for more convenient public transportation as more people are migrating to downtowns and embracing urban living. Continue reading
Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority announced this week it has begun selling “sesame rings” that can be used to pay for a rider’s trip, according to Boston Magazine. The rings are being produced using 3-D printers and have RFID chips that allow a user to “fist-bump” their way onto a subway or bus ride, the magazine reports.
Courtesy of The Ring Theory
Developed by students at MIT and Singapore University, the report said a successful Kickstarter campaign and support from the MBTA to develop the rings made them a reality.
With a swipe of the hand, riders can user their rings just as a pay as you go or pre-loaded metro card, without the hassle of searching for cards through wallets and purses. At only $25, the high-tech rings are also rather affordable, but will still need to be loaded with funds to ride the MBTA transit lines.
Boston Magazine reports that if rings are not your thing, riders could also soon be hopping on and off transit with the swipe of a “bracelet, smartphone cover or even key chains.”
Curbing Cars editor Micheline Maynard spent time on MoneyTalk with Bob Brinker this week, discussing General Motors, driverless cars, Detroit bankruptcy and the journalism industry. Listen to the radio segment here (the interview begins at about 9:15):
Micheline Maynard On Moneytalk
Switzerland is in the midst of a pilot program testing some of the fastest charging batteries on the planet.
These batteries aren’t being put in cell phones or computers, but being testing in fully electric buses. These buses have several advantages both in performance and cosmetics.
Most electric buses are powered through a series of cable lines running through cities, which the TOSA, or Trolleybus Optimisation Système Alimentation pilot project, could make obsolete, according to CNET. Continue reading
Each week, NPR’s Ted Radio Hour, hosted by Guy Raz, explores unique topics based off Ted Talks, the short discussions on just about anything.
Ted Talks is a non-profit organization that holds conferences around the world with the slogan, “ideas worth spreading” in mind. Celebrities, scientists, philanthropists and more discuss topics of all types ranging from science and robotics to healthcare and disabilities.
This week, the Ted Radio Hour collected past Ted Talks focusing on how people move around. Speakers in this collection included New York City’s Transportation Director Janette Sadik-Khan as well as billionaire media mogul turned airline owner, Richard Branson, and more.
To listen to the Ted Radio Hour interview with the hosts and in depth segments, visit NPR.
Below is a video of Janette Sadik-Khan’s Ted Talk. It has a fascinating insight into the ways large cities can redesign their streets to make them more pedestrian and transit friendly, without spending billions of dollars for expensive renovation projects.
Just days after examining the transit options between the U.S. metropolises, Politico is reporting that Central Texas might have a brand new travel option that could give Amtrak a run for its money. The private Texas Central Railway, is working on a bullet train project between Dallas and Houston, which would connect Texas’ two largest cities.
Courtesy of Kanedavidson.com
Texas Central Railway is working in conjunction with the Japan Railway Co., which is the same company that created the N700-I bullet train between Tokyo and Osaka. Similar to the N700-I, the Texas Central Railway’s website said the train will travel upwards of 200 mph and be able to take riders between Dallas and Houston in only 90 minutes.
That means the Texas bullet train would be able to complete the 240-mile trip just under 2 1/2 times faster than a car and would take only about 30 minutes more than flying, according to Google Maps estimates. Continue reading