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

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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.

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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

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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)

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Filed under economy, Poll

NPR’s Ted Radio Hour Focuses On Rethinking How We Get Around

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.

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Filed under infrastructure, public transportation, Technology, Uncategorized, urban planning

From Dallas To Houston In 90 Minutes?

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.

N700 Shinkansen

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

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A Personal View Of ‘Megalopolis’ Transportation

While going through the transportation options of the dozen U.S. “megalopolises” in Richard Florida’s article in the Atlantic’s City Lab, I realized how many of these various systems I’ve actually experienced myself.mega regions population

I’ve always felt that I’ve lacked experience when it comes to seeing much of the United States, but researching the transportation options in these mega-regions  jogged my memory quite a bit.

I grew up in southern California, where I can remember taking Metrolink’s $7 round-trip train ride to baseball games at Angels Stadium in Anaheim, and hopping between Metrolink and Amtrak trains in Los Angeles to get to my very first radio interview at Los Angeles’ KFI AM640.

When I lived in Seattle for a period between 2008 and 2009, I took a bus across the border into Canada to visit Vancouver. I also remember taking the BART to Oakland Coliseum to watch an A’s game.

Beside these places, I’ve ridden the subway and ferries of New York, and I also often take the light rail between Tempe, Ariz. and Phoenix.

When I lived in Seattle, or rode the BART in San Francisco, it had never crossed my mind that I would write transportation stories sometime in the future.

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Filed under cities, economy, public transportation, Rail, student stories

A Last Look At Public Transit And America’s Mega-Regions

Today, we finish our look into how the country’s “Megalopolises” are connected. An Atlantic City Lab article by Richard Florida in March defined a dozen areas in the United States as economic hubs that contain more 70 percent of the U.S. population and produce more than $13 trillion in economic output.

Over the past two days, we’ve looked at the eight largest regions and how they are connected (view our first post here, and post two here).

Hou-Orleans: This megalopolis spreads from Houston, Texas through New Orleans all the way to Mobile, Ala. Florida writes that this area houses 10 million people who produce $750 billion dollars in economic output. Travel options between this southern region include Amtrak’s Sunset Limited line, and Megabus that began service in the region in 2012.

Courtesy of Amtrak.com

Courtesy of Amtrak.com

The Cascadia: A megalopolis that stretches as far south as Portland, Ore. and as far north as Vancouver, Canada. More than 10 million people live in this region, which also includes the Seattle metro and is responsible for $600 billion in output, according to Florida.

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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

Public Transportation And America’s “Megalopolises”

In March, The Atlantic‘s City Lab, took a look into the power house economies of the so-called “megalopolises” of the United States. Author Richard Florida found that there were a dozen of the world’s 40 “mega-regions” here in America.

From the contiguous stretch of urban sprawl in New England, Florida named the Bos-Wash region, to the Pacific Northwest he called “Cascadia,” these dozen areas are the economic and population hubs of the country. According to Florida, “these dozen regions have a combined population of more than 230 million people, including 215 million from the United States, or 70 percent of the U.S. population.”

mega regions population

Courtesy of City Lab

Many of these areas have various forms of public transportation, some well known and extremely popular, while others are continuing to face the needs and challenges associated with creating a successful network of transportation.

Beginning today, and over the weekend,  we’ll take a look at how each of these regions are connected.

Bos-Wash: By far the largest population and economic output region on Florida’s list, Bos-Wash “stretches from Boston through New York, Philadelphia and Baltimore to Washington, D.C.” and is home to 56.5 million people. This densely populated part of the country has long had public transportation systems and in all shapes and sizes. Continue reading

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Filed under cities, public transportation, Rail