In Switzerland, A Program To Flash Charge Electric Buses

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

Comments Off on In Switzerland, A Program To Flash Charge Electric Buses

Filed under infrastructure, public transportation

Good Holiday News: NASA Images Show Big Drop In Air Pollution

sequence

Courtesy of Popular Science

People will be out this weekend enjoying the holiday, and they literally can breathe easier. New satellite images from NASA show a drastic decrease in air pollution across the United States over the last decade.

Popular Science published the images last week. They focus on a pollutant called nitrogen dioxide that can cause respiratory problems and help form more ozone, “which is an irritant and pollutant at ground level.”

According to the images from NASA, it’s believed the improvement in air quality is from the improvement of fuel efficiency in cars and the scaling back of pollutants from coal power plants. Popular Science writes the reduction in pollutions goes all the way back to the 1990s after the Clean Air Act Amendment, but since 2000 there has been a roughly 50 percent decrease in levels of nitrogen dioxide.

newyork

Courtesy of Popular Science

The harshest levels of nitrogen dioxide are still centered over the major metropolitan areas of the country, where roughly 142 million people in U.S. live, according to Popular Science.

Comments Off on Good Holiday News: NASA Images Show Big Drop In Air Pollution

Filed under cars, cities, Uncategorized

Mayors Of Atlanta And New Orleans Say Uber Will Win

On the heels of large Uber protests across Europe, The Atlantic reports the mayors of Atlanta and New Orleans believe Uber will eventually beat out the taxi companies. There’s one more thing the two mayors agree on:  it will be a long and bitter battle between the two.

Calling it a 15-round fight, Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed said he thinks Uber will eventually force taxi companies to alter their business model. Reed told The Atlantic, “In the interim, they’re going to flat out fight it out … because the taxicab industry is so old and staid and never had real competition, and now it’s being forced to innovate.”

The only reservation Reed seemed to express about Uber is its rapid growth and the question of where the company, and its quality, will be a few years down the road. 

New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu echoed similar concerns about the company’s political skills, but called Uber’s business model superior to taxi companies. Continue reading

Comments Off on Mayors Of Atlanta And New Orleans Say Uber Will Win

Filed under car sharing, cars, cities, Driving, laws, ride sharing, Uncategorized

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.)

passport-power-fixed

 

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

Filed under Travel, Uncategorized

Think Bikes Create Traffic Hazards? Think Again

Boulder Bike Story from Bikes Belong on Vimeo.

As biking continues to grow in popularity, a new report is adding to the list of reasons why cities should step up their efforts to accommodate cyclists. Researchers at the University of Colorado Denver found that as more bikes hit the streets the number of collisions goes down.

The study focused on Boulder, Colo., because of its high biking population and because the city has been performing bike counts for more than a decade. Wesley Marshall, an assistant professor of civil engineer at CU Denver, told Curbing Cars that once intersections began seeing upwards of 200 bicyclists a day, the number of collisions began to drop.

“It’s interesting because you see the same affect with other modes of transportation too,” said Marshall, a co-author of the study. “If you have more cars going through, it is sort of safer per car.”

It may seem counter intuitive that as an intersection has more moving parts, the number of incidents would go down. While the CU Denver study did not look into the reasons why incidents were reduced, Marshall provided some possible explanations.

“If you’re in a city that has bikers everywhere, as a driver you expect to see them,” he said. Continue reading

Comments Off on Think Bikes Create Traffic Hazards? Think Again

Filed under bicycling, cities, urban planning

The Cost Of ‘Parking Craters’

Parking Craters: Scourge of American Downtowns from STREETFILMS on Vimeo.

It might be one of the most common answers people give when asked what their city’s downtown needs: more parking.

But there is a price cities pay in trying to accommodate the thousands of cars that come in and out of downtown cores around the country everyday. Parking lots have high costs to a city’s landscape, architecture, management and environment. It’s a concept called a parking crater. This is when an urban parking lot is placed in the middle of a downtown core, leaving a crater-like hole in a city’s landscape.

Comments Off on The Cost Of ‘Parking Craters’

Filed under cities, Uncategorized, urban planning

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 Elliott.org 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

Continue reading

Comments Off on Airlines Make ‘Bike-Touring’ Difficult

Filed under advice, bicycling, bike sharing, Travel

Uber Protests May Have Resulted In The ‘Streisand Effect’

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.

Streisand_Estate

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.

Continue reading

Comments Off on Uber Protests May Have Resulted In The ‘Streisand Effect’

Filed under cars, cities, Driving, ride sharing, Uncategorized

Your Guide To Uber Protests In Cities Across Europe

Thousands of protesters in cities across Europe took to the streets against ride sharing services such as Uber this week, according to the Wall Street Journal.

The protests were led by taxi drivers, who complain that Uber, which allows users to hail private cabs through a smart phone app, is undercutting their business by getting around regulations and using unlicensed drivers.

Thousands of cabs flooded the streets of cities such as London, Paris and Madrid, causing traffic to slow to a halt. Here’s a look at the protests.

london uber2

Courtesy of @JoannaUK

London: In the largest of all the demonstrations, the Journal writes that London cabs filled the street of Trafalgar Square causing traffic jams for much of the afternoon on Wednesday.

London’s transportation agency put the number of cabs blocking traffic between 4,000 and 5,000, but others said there were as many as 12,000 cabs honking horns and holding signs in protest of smartphone-based ride companies. London cabbies are especially effected by the introduction of Uber as the company announced customers can use the app to hail black cabs, not just private drivers, according to CNET. The demonstrations may have hurt the protestors’ cause though, as downloads of the Uber app were up 850 percent compared to last Wednesday, likely due to the attention, CNET writes.

london uber

London, courtesy of the Wall Street Journal

Paris: Parisians also dealt with poor traffic as about 1,200 taxi cabs flooded the Orly and Charles de Gaulle airports in an effort to block private cars from picking up travelers, according to SF Gate. The demonstration brought nearly the entire city to a crawl, causing a 120-mile traffic jam with most of the city’s 15,000 cabs on strike. Continue reading

Comments Off on Your Guide To Uber Protests In Cities Across Europe

Filed under cars, cities, Driving, ride sharing

Shorter Commutes Are A Growing Reason For Relocation

The US Census Bureau released new data on what some of the most popular factors were in why people decided to move between 2012 and 2013, according to WNYC. And a big reason is to spend less time getting places.

The numbers showed nearly double the growth in the desire for people to live closer to their workplace, thereby reducing their commute time.

The Census Bureau report looked at  36 million people, 1 year old and over, who moved between 2012 and 2013. Of that group, 5 percent said the most important reason for moving was to be closer to work or for an easier commute.

That number is up from 3.1 percent in 1999.

The most popular category for reasons why people moved is still housing related, at 48 percent. Take a look at an info graphic on the report provided by WNYC:

cb14-109_moving_graphic (1)

Comments Off on Shorter Commutes Are A Growing Reason For Relocation

Filed under economy, Poll