Category Archives: Travel

What’s Your Transportation Diet?

Summer is underway, and we’d like to hear from you. What is your transportation diet these days?

How would you describe your mix of personal transportation? Do you primarily drive, walk, or use public transportation? How often do you bike, use a skateboard or even get around by boat or plane?

Perhaps things change depending on your schedule. For instance, you drive in one or two days a week, and share a ride the rest of the time. Or, you’ll only drive if you have an early meeting. Let us know.

Knowing how you get around will help us frame our future coverage. We want to know whether our audience is relying on cars, buses, streetcars, their two feet, etc.

We’ll publish your responses and we’d love it if you’d include a photo of a video of your commute or leisure travel.

Please tell us your name (not a screen name, please) where you live, and if there are any roads you regularly take (for instance, Interstate 96, Milwaukee Avenue, Canal Street, and so on) or transportation systems that you regularly use, like the New York subway, the Boston T or rapid bus lines.

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Filed under bicycling, cars, cities, Driving, Travel, walking

With The World Cup Underway, How Powerful Is Your Passport?

Not all passports are created equal. A recent report from MoveHub took a look at the various passports from around the world, and how many visa-free or visa on arrival countries each passport cab access.  MoveHub gathered the data into a infographic that you can use to measure your passport. (And see how your favorite World Cup country compares.)



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Filed under Travel, Uncategorized

Airlines Make ‘Bike-Touring’ Difficult

As you can see above, getting a bike ready for airline travel can be an arduous task. Admittedly, bike-touring might not be a large cross section of the population and even David French, who is a regular bike-tourist, agreed in a recent article.

But since the late 1970s, when French brought his his bike along on trips to Europe, he says it has become increasingly difficult and costly for people to travel with their bikes.

Fees have increased enormously for someone bringing a bike on a plane. As Christopher Elliott writes, someone looking to bike-tour should expect to spend between $100 and $300 to check their bike as luggage.

airport bike

Courtesy of Ride for Climate

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Filed under advice, bicycling, bike sharing, Travel

Public Transportation And America’s “Megalopolises” (Continued)

We continue our look into the country’s “Megalopolises” and what kind of transportation they provide. The Atlantic’s City Lab posted an article by Richard Florida in March defining these economic hubs of the United States, which combined create more than $13 trillion in economic output.

Yesterday, we looked at the four largest regions and how they are connected (view that post here.)

So-Flo: Home to 15 million people in the Miami, Orlando and Tampa regions of Florida, public transit riders have a brand new option of travel as Megabus began service there on May 15, according to the Tampa Bay Times. Service now runs daily between Miami and Orlando, and Miami and Tampa. Travelers can also use Amtrak, which according to the company had more than 400,000 boardings in Miami, Orlando and Tampa in 2012. Riders can use the Silver Star or Silver Meteor lines.

megabus orlando

Courtesy of @BenKennedyTV

Nor-Cal:  A very densely populated part of the country , this megalopolis combines San Francisco, San Jose and Oakland for a total of 13 million people and $900 billion in economic output, according to Florida. Much like the Bos-Wash region, travelers have a plethora options at their disposal. The BART system covers much of bay area, offering lines from the east bay in Richmond, Calif. south to San Francisco International Airport.

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Filed under cities, economy, infrastructure, public transportation, Rail, Travel

Bike Share Review: San Antonio Adventures


The sunny south River Walk and a happy B-cycle rider. (Photo: Maryellen Tighe)

By Maryellen Tighe

My girlfriend and I visited San Antonio for a weekend in October. Both of us are frequent bicyclists. Missing our usual morning rides, we decided to try the San Antonio B-Cycle program.

We were impressed on Friday night by the number of bicyclists we saw near where we were staying. There were bike lanes by all the bars we visited, and full bike racks.

Saturday morning, we picked up our bikes from a B-cycle station near the southern extension of the San Antonio River Walk, on East Cesar E. Chavez Blvd. It was $10 for as many 30 minute rides as you could take in one day.

The heavy bikes have three speeds and rear brakes. Word to the wise: don’t carry them up stairs unless you have to.  The basket was perfect for carrying snacks, cameras and water. I was unaccustomed to riding with weight in front, but it was a quick balancing act to solve. Continue reading

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Filed under Bike Share Review, bike sharing, Travel

Getting Around On Maui, Where Locals Want More Transit Options

map_of_mauiIn this two-part report, Curbing Cars intern Matt Varcak transports us away from dreary weather and takes us to Hawaii, a surprising hot spot for public transportation. Today, he looks at Maui.

By Matthew Varcak

Hawaii’s third most populous island, Maui, is also its second-largest at roughly 727 square miles. And in the past dozen years, the demand for public transportation has exploded.

The Maui Bus program began in 2002 as a pilot program to accommodate the increased need for affordable transportation. By the end of 2003, the program had 101,508 passenger boardings, and by the end of 2004 that number had grown to 117,490.

For the fiscal year 2013, 2.51 million passengers boarded the Maui Bus system.

And these are not all tourists. According to Marc Takamori, deputy director for the County of Maui Department of Transportation, 80 percent of the passengers are locals. Takamori also said there is a demand from riders to increase the frequency of service in addition to adding more routes into areas not currently served. Continue reading

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Filed under cities, public transportation, Travel

A Growing Demand For Public Transit: How People Get Around In Hawaii

Honolulu once abounded with streetcars. Now, public transportation is in strong demand across Hawaii. Photo: Honolulu Star-Bulletin Archives

Honolulu once abounded with streetcars. Now, public transportation is in strong demand across Hawaii. Photo: Honolulu Star-Bulletin Archives

In this two-part report, Curbing Cars intern Matt Varcak lifts us out of the weather doldrums and takes us to Hawaii, a surprising hot spot for public transportation.

By Matthew Varcak

If you visit the Hawaiian Islands, you will likely enjoy beautiful weather, pristine bodies of water, ancient grounds, delicious food and happy people. I was lucky enough to be one of these people this past summer when I visited the Island of Hawaii (The Big Island).

What struck me the most — beyond that — was how affordable and extensive the mass transit was. Hawaii once had streetcars, and it soon will get a light rail system. Meanwhile, the main way people get around is on buses.

At roughly 4,000 square miles, the Island of Hawaii is the state’s largest island, but it is the second-most populous island behind Oahu. Its major cities are separated by long stretches of winding highways wrapping around Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa, two of Hawaii’s volcanoes, which stand at nearly 14,000 feet above sea level.

With a general fare only costing $1, it soon became clear that it would be much more affordable to ride the Hele-On Bus, Hawaii County’s Mass Transit system, rather than drive myself everywhere. Continue reading

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Filed under cities, Driving, infrastructure, public transportation, Travel, urban planning

The Best Way To See A New City? Try Public Transit


Never be afraid to try public transportation when you visit a new city.

Never be afraid to try public transportation when you visit a new city.

By Micheline Maynard

Curbing Cars hasn’t spent much time bringing you stories about travel. But this weekend, our research director Rick Meier and I decided it’s a subject we should be writing about, for this reason.

When you visit a new city, the best way to see it is often the same way its residents get around: by public transit. In fact, that’s the advice I gave Christopher Elliott, the veteran traveler advocate, for his new series called The World’s Smartest Traveler.

It was flattering to be invited to take part — and I also welcome the idea of helping people feel comfortable when they’re away from home. I don’t think visitors should confine themselves just to rental cars and taxi cabs. Travelers ought to be able to get out and about, in an affordable and environmentally friendly fashion.

But, what’s the best way to feel secure getting on an unfamiliar transit system? Ah, I thought you might ask that. So, here are four tips so that you can get the most out of public transit when you’re on the road. Continue reading

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Filed under Curbing Cars, public transportation, Travel