transport   17870

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A conversation about how public transport really works | FT Alphaville
“So, I think, we’ve seen, as with this attempt to somehow harness physical space through the power of apps, that there’s just a basic philosophical problem there, which is that transport is fundamentally a physical, spatial problem. It is not fundamentally a communications problem or to the extent that it was a communications problem, we’ve gone most of the way, I think, in taking that friction out of the system. And what Uber is discovering, I think, what a lot of these tech firms are discovering is that taking that friction out of the system did not transform the fundamental reality of space and the math of labour and so on, which have really been the facts that have determined what’s possible in passenger transport and will continue to determine those things.”

“No, of course, the driverless car people will say, no, cars will fit closer together and they’ll be smaller and so we’ll fit more of them over the bridge but that’s a linear solution to an exponential problem. The other dimension of this problem that you must keep in mind is the problem of what we, in the business, call induced demand. And induced demand is the very simply idea that when you make something easier, people are more likely to do it and this is why, for example, when you widen a motorway, the traffic gets worse or it fills up to the same level of congestion that you had before. It’s because when you actually create new capacity, people use the capacity and you end up back in the same point.”

“If there’s a single concept that transport professionals almost all understand and almost nobody else understands, it’s this notion that the relationship between demand and usage is actually circular, the relationship between demand and capacity is circular. That is to say if/when we create more capacity, we trigger more demand. There’s a huge issue then because one of the things that Uber has done is very effectively induce demand for a whole bunch of new car trips in the city that weren’t happening before and this has had the effect, of course, of increasing congestion. The other thing they’re done, of course, is draw people off of public transport, which is a great way to increase congestion. And so this is why it’s tricky and this is why in your example of a bridge, if you widened the bridge but lots of people want to cross it, you’ll end up with a wider bridge that’s exactly as congested as it is now.”

“People who are in fortunate situations, who are much wealthier than average need to be very, very careful about using their personal tastes as an indication of what would be good city planning. The problem with that assumption is not that there’s anything wrong with being elite; the problem with that assumption is that if you’re an elite, that means you’re a minority and cities have to be designed so that they work for everyone. The unique feature of a city is that it doesn’t work for anyone unless it works for everyone. Everyone has to be able to get where they’re going and everyone else’s transportation choices affect your experience; that’s what congestion is.”

“If you build a tower of any kind where hundreds of people live at, basically, the same place and you expect them all to get into cars at eight in the morning with two or three empty seats, they are not going to be able to go anywhere because there is simply not room at such a high density for everybody to get into cars. This was the reigning fantasy of the 20th century. A very influential architect named Corbusier, in the 1940s, drew a famous image, in which we would all live in giant towers and there would be miraculously uncongested freeways running between them. He simply did not run the numbers on how many cars that is if everybody in that tower has a car. It doesn’t work. They don’t fit. It doesn’t matter whether they’re driverless or autonomous. It doesn’t matter what kind of car they are.”

“And the answer is, we did fine because most big data is big detail and the Tube isn’t going to change anything it does; the New York City Subway is not going to change anything it does, just because we now have data, knowing that at 07:34 p.m., six people from over here go over there to that park when the weather’s nice. That’s the sort of data we’re getting and it’s not relevant to the design of high-capacity transit systems. It is in the nature of highly efficient public transport that you do not vary your routing according to that sort of detail.”

“’m not surprised that a lot of very fortunate people who get around by car are trying to solve the problem of how I can continue getting around by car.”

“It’s difficult because their starting point is always, how can software help? And how can our product help? That’s what every merchant is going to ask. And the answer is, we can come up with ways for software to help around the edges; a great deal of that has been done. Real-time information about transit arrivals and departures was completely transformative to public transport; makes it so much easier to use. A lot of good technologies have come into public transport operations; I think, there’s room for more improvement in that but there isn’t a revolution out there because the problem remains spatial”
urbanism  transport 
4 days ago by mike
Transport um die halbe Welt: Der Irrsinn mit den Cashewnüssen | Beobachter
Cashewnüsse wachsen in Afrika, werden in Vietnam verarbeitet und in der Schweiz verpackt. Von diesem ökologischen Unsinn erfahren die Konsumenten nichts.
Cashew  Nuss  Afrika  Vietnam  Schweiz  Ökologie  Wirtschaft  Transport  News 
7 days ago by Einfach_Essen
. shares their thoughts on the future of container industry and global trade:…
transport  from twitter_favs
8 days ago by TomRaftery
The suffragette who rode a scooter in 1916
Scooter from the beginning of the 20th century.

Everything you thought was new…
transport  infrastructure  urban_design 
9 days ago by metaproof
How electric vehicles could change the load curve | McKinsey & Company
Electric vehicles are unlikely to create a power-demand crisis but could reshape the load curve. Here’s how to bend that curve to your advantage.
e.mobility  utilities  electricity  transport 
10 days ago by zesteur

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