When tens of thousands of cab drivers took to the streets of major cities in Europe to protest of Uber this week, blocking streets, shutting down traffic and in some cases even becoming violent, an unexpected consequence may have come out of the protests called the ‘Streisand effect,’ according to Forbes Magazine.
Contributor Tim Worstall writes that the Streisand effect refers to an incident years ago where singer Barbara Streisand tried to stop a photo of her home being posted online, which only brought more attention to the photo resulting in it being seen around the world.
Courtesy of Free Republic
After demonstrations across Europe, the attention brought to Uber by its protestors may have had the opposite affect and instead helped grow its popularity. According to The Telegraph, Uber’s UK and Ireland general manager, Jo Bertram said the company saw and 850 percent increase in downloads in just one week.
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.
“Lochness” is DBC’s 24-passenger school bus. (Courtesy of DBC)
When you think of transit, you probably think of public transportation, subsidized by the government in some way or another. The Detroit Bus Company is a little different.
The city of Detroit has a public bus system, but it’s not in the best shape. It also has an automated people mover system, but it only goes in one direction around a portion of downtown.
“Silver Bullet” is the company’s largest bus. (Courtesy of DBC)
That’s where the Detroit Bus Company comes in. Andy Didorosi, the company’s president and founder, wants to fill
the holes that exist in the city’s transit services while also working to bring more people into the city. And he’s doing that using tricked-out, bio-fuled buses. Continue reading
The Bixi Logo
With the bankruptcy filing of the Public Bike System Company, more commonly known as Bixi, bike sharing has been getting some stinky press as of late.
Bixi, which is based in Montreal, filed for bankruptcy protection earlier this year after it was unable to make payments to suppliers and several municipalities, including New York, Chicago, and its hometown of Montreal. The implementation of bike share systems in Vancouver and Portland has been delayed because of the Bixi blunder, according to reports.
The future may seem gloomy in light of recent events, but mobility nuts shouldn’t fear: there are still several promising bike share systems that are expected to pop up across the U.S.:
1. Arborbike – Ann Arbor, Mich.
A rendering of what the Arborbikes will look like.
(Courtesy of Clean Energy Coalition)
This system is arguably long overdue. Ann Arbor is known for being an environmentally-friendly town, and its large concentration of college students makes it attractive place for a system. The Ann Arbor News reports that The Clean Energy Coalition, a local non-profit, expects to launch 14 stations in June at various locations throughout downtown and near the campus of the University of Michigan. The University has pledged to help fund the program, in addition to support from the city and the Ann Arbor Area Transportation Authority. Hardware for the program supplied by Wisconsin-based B-Cycle.
The CEC is hoping that area businesses will purchase memberships for their employees or patrons, and they’ve also expressed interest in allowing property owners or developers to underwrite stations around town. Continue reading
More than any other mode of transportation, our Curbing Cars readers get around by walking.
By Micheline Maynard
Back on New Year’s Day (a mere month and three days ago), we asked our Curbing Cars audience to tell us how you planned to get around in 2014. We got a terrific response and now we’re sharing the results with you.
We’re ambulatory. Most of us still use cars, but not as much as we use other types of transportation in the mix of the ways we get places. The number one way Curbing Cars readers get around is on two feet. Almost 80 percent of respondents say they get around most frequently by walking. That was followed by public transportation, used by 69.7 percent; cars, used by 58.1 percent and other modes of transportation, which included running, Zipcars or car sharing programs, and taxis.
Several people told us that they use of a mix of transportation in a single day. “I walk to work every day, bus in bad weather, bike for some errands in spring/summer/fall. use my car mainly for weekend shopping and for getting out of town,” replied one survey participant.
In fact, I’m doing more walking this winter in Phoenix, where I’m a Reynolds Visiting Professor of Business Journalism at the Cronkite School of Journalism at Arizona State. I walk to school every day from my home downtown, and I’ve walked to the farmer’s market, the movies, to drinks and dinner, and to the Phoenix Opera in the month since I’ve been here. Even though I walked frequently in Ann Arbor, I am doing even more daily walking here. (And of course, the weather is much better…)
We’re pleased with our choices. People seem to be pretty satisfied with the mix of the ways they get places. About 60 percent of you said you were happy with your transportation mix. About 24 percent said they’d like to change it, and the rest said they would like to change it, but couldn’t for various reasons. Continue reading
By Micheline Maynard
Urban planners all over the world are trying to figure out how to set aside space for bicyclists. Now, a study by McGill University researchers is dividing them into four types — and finding they don’t all have the same needs.
The study, which I wrote about for Forbes.com, measured responses from 2,000 cyclists around Montreal. It divides cyclists into four main types.
Path-using cyclists (36 percent) are motivated by convenience, the fun of riding, and the identity that cycling gives them. They would rather use bike paths than deal with traffic, and are the most likely to advocate for dedicated bike lanes. These are people whose parents actively encouraged them to cycle. Continue reading
A Sign in Seattle
Nancy’s daughter with the Car2Go
By Micheline Maynard
Nancy Meier, one of the first backers of Curbing Cars, is known in Ann Arbor, Mich., as one of the city’s best Pilates teachers and personal trainers.* She’s a triathlete, an avid cyclist, someone who kayaks and canoes and loves the outdoors.
Earlier this month, she left her family’s island summer home and headed for Seattle to visit her daughter. Nancy tackled her Transportation Diary with her usual enthusiasm for getting around.
Here’s her report.
Sunday August 10 – motorboat from cottage on Georgian Bay to mainland, car for 450 mile drive back to Ann Arbor, MI. Continue reading