With so many crossovers in private operations, public data, and private uses, our future transit agency would blur the line between public and private sectors in a way we haven’t yet pioneered. The challenge is one of governance, bureaucratic turf, organizational development, planning, and public policy, not simply one of technology. Technology is just a tool, and our human institutions can either make use of it or try to ignore it. — urbanomnibus.net
Medellín has gained much attention for its urban transformation — and the escalators, which won several international prizes for innovation, make up one of the most striking projects. [...]
But are the escalators making any real economic or social impact in the neighborhood? To find out, I spent three months in Medellín talking with people in Comuna 13 about what has and hasn’t changed here. — citiscope.org
[Helsinki] has announced plans to transform its existing public transport network into a comprehensive, point-to-point "mobility on demand" system by 2025 ... allowing people to purchase mobility in real time, straight from their smartphones. [...]
Subscribers would specify an origin and a destination, and ... the app would then function as both journey planner and universal payment platform, knitting everything from driverless cars and nimble little buses to shared bikes and ferries — theguardian.com
Where apps and mass transit collide, commuters struggle most with coordination. Now, with so many different forms of transit, both public and privately mediated, commuters (and cities) need navigation tools that compare all options for them. Making this as accessible as possible, as Helsinki is...
In New York City history and lore, the Second Avenue subway is the Loch Ness Monster crossed with the Abominable Snowman. Politicians, transit planners, and everyone in between have witnessed this East Side subway line face countless stops and starts [...] And yet, the Second Avenue line has become a beacon for New York's future and a symbol of the numerous challenges facing a global city that must, in light of massive costs and slow build-outs, expand its transit network to stay competitive. — citylab.com
In June, the “Innovation in Mobility Public Policy Summit,” sponsored by the Association for Commuter Transportation, Transportation Sustainability Research Center, Mobility Lab, Transit Center, and Shared-Use Mobility Center, brought together a range of participants to discuss these themes in Washington, DC. — urbanomnibus.net
At the summit, elected officials, transportation entrepreneurs, academics, and developers engaged with a number of questions including, “What are new ways of solving urban mobility problems? How can we better design systems to address the needs of the public? Who should be engaged to make this...
"We're working with the other owners of the property and with Metro," said LACMA Director Michael Govan. "There's good reason to build a major development there. You've got subway access and density on Wilshire. My dream is some beautiful piece of architecture with an architecture and design museum at the base, which would add to Museum Row."
If built, the tower would offer a dramatic vertical complement to the relentlessly horizontal LACMA gallery building by Swiss architect Peter Zumthor — latimes.com
How's this for a yin-yang in the new Los Angeles: if this goes through, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) would be responsible for two majorly different impositions on Wilshire Blvd., the city's foremost thoroughfare and itself an icon. One: a street-straddling horizontal art...
You can’t build your way out of congestion. It’s the roads themselves that cause traffic. The concept is called induced demand, which is economist-speak for when increasing the supply of something (like roads) makes people want that thing even more. [...]
What [economists] Turner and Duranton (and many others who’d like to see more rational transportation policy) actually advocate is known as congestion pricing. This means raising the price of driving on a road when demand is high. — wired.com
The wisdom of surrounding transit stations with "seas" of park-and-ride lots may be turning. In theory, park-and-ride seems like a great transportation compromise, converting full-trip drivers into part-trip riders. In practice, the opposite often occurs, with former non-drivers now commuting part of the way by car.
That unexpected practical shift can increase vehicle miles traveled in a metro area, subverting the sustainability goal of transit. — citylab.com
The urban planning community is constantly touting the benefits of building dense communities around public transportation. But according to designers Chad Kellogg and Matt Bowles, few solutions have been ambitious enough to do the whole Transit-Oriented Development idea justice. So they came up with their own.
Behold the Urban Alloy Towers, a proposal to take over spaces immediately surrounding transportation infrastructure like elevated train lines and highways. — theatlanticcities.com
If there is any one lesson that I have learned in my life as a city planner, it is that public spaces have power. It's not just the number of people using them, it's the even greater number of people who feel better about their city just knowing that they are there.
Public space can change how you live in a city, how you feel about a city, whether you choose one city over another, and public space is one of the most important reasons why you stay in a city. — TED
Amanda Burden served as New York City's chief planner under Mayor Bloomberg, leading such revitalization projects as the High Line and Brooklyn's waterfront. You can watch the full TED talk below, or read the complete transcript here.
In city after city, U.S. transit advocates face a similar problem: What to do with bad, or at least less-than-perfect, public transportation proposals? Big transit projects don’t come around every day, and rejecting a proposal, perhaps one with support in high places, in the hopes that something better will come along can leave you with nothing. — nextcity.org
So it’s official: Americans are choosing public transportation in record numbers. The American Public Transportation Association announced this morning that the U.S. made 10.7 billion mass transit trips in 2013, the highest figure in 57 years.
The story here is not of a sudden resurgence, but rather a slow, steady climb over the last decade, back toward ridership levels not seen since the 1950s. — theatlanticcities.com
Last night on the bucolic hilltop campus of Occidental College, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti spoke with the Los Angeles Times architecture critic, Christopher Hawthorne, about the state of L.A. urbanism. This broad topical platform positioned Hawthorne's interview not as a political...
Last January, Tallinn, the capital city of Estonia, did something that no other city its size had done before: It made all public transit in the city free for residents. [...]
One year later, this city of 430,000 people has firmly established itself as the leader of a budding international free-transit movement. [...]
What’s less clear on the first anniversary of free transit in Tallinn is whether it has actually changed commuting behavior all that much. — Citiscope
As it turned out, Tallinn's bold move last year to offer free-transit to its residents did not have a very dramatic effect on its own ridership. But the experiment has clarified some subtle issues in public transit:Free-transit as a "second-best pricing scheme": if a city wants to curb...
Before the buses became a symbol for San Francisco’s gentrification woes, they were just a fleet of several hundred private coaches that whisked some seventeen thousand workers around San Francisco and to and from the Silicon Valley campuses of such companies as Apple, Google, and Genentech. [...]
San Francisco is deep into a second tech boom—and, with it, many less affluent workers are getting priced out of the city. — newyorker.com
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