Saturday, November 21, 2009

Connectivity for Sustainability

Traffic jams, overcrowded inner city roads, parking problems, environmental issues: it is clear that the city wants to move employees towards alternative means of transport for the car, like public transport, the bicycle or to get there on foot. By using the Personal Travel Assistant (PTA), a next step in accomplishing this goal within urban regions could be made. PTA combines available transport information with a social network, in which the personal diary is shared with other users of the system and their companies through the internet and mobile services. With PTA,commuters can make smart combinations with the travel routes of other participants. A meeting can be scheduled to take place in the metro or a seat on the bus can be reserved. CT-enabled mobility solutions include the Personal Travel Assistant, a service designed to resolve complex, frustrating experiences within urban transportation environments. PTA integrates urban transportation services, experiences, and transactions, providing travel information and support in a convenient format through various information channels and devices . PTA will be pilot-tested in Seoul and Amsterdam to take advantage of those cities many PTA-centric provisioned services, which can be easily integrated into PTA’s Web-based services model. See the movie below and read more here.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Kilometer Charge per kilometer

The Netherlands is set to become the first country in Europe to replace road tax with a kilometer charge for all motorists, over 10 years since the idea was first put forward.If the legislation is passed by parliament, motorists will start paying tax on every kilometer they drive, which the government hopes will reduce traffic jams and pollution. On Friday, ministers agreed that the tax will be three cents a kilometer when the charge is introduced in 2012, rising to 6.7 cents by 2018 - for the greenest cars . But if revenues generated by the tax are not in line with expectations, the tax can be adjusted. The tax will be higher during the rush hour and for more polluting vehicles. To make sure motorists are not worse off, road tax will be scrapped and the purchase tax on new cars will be reduced. Some 60% of drivers will be better off, the government claims. The transport ministry said on Friday it expected fatal accidents will fall by 7% and carbon emissions would be down by 10%. Traffic jams will be halved and the amount of kilometres driven will go down by 15%. Each car will be fitted with a GPS device which will use satellites to monitor where and when the car is driven and send the information to a central billing point.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Support 'Motion for Women' petition

Sustrans Northern Island asks us to pass on the following message: Of the 2% of journeys made by bike in the UK, only a quarter are made by women. Compare this to the Netherlands where of the 27% of trips made by bike, over half are by women. Sustrans surveyed over 1,000 women to find out what they believed would most persuade them and other women to cycle more. Overwhelmingly women wanted more cycle lanes separated from traffic, so Sustrans has launched our Motion for Women petition calling on governments to prioritise the creation of environments that encourage and support cycling, including cycle paths separated from traffic, as a way of enabling many more women to travel by bike. We want as many people as possible who support the petition to sign it at by the 29th November 2009. We will present the petition to governments in December and ask them to extend the choice of cycling to millions of women by investing much more in making cycling safer. Please do pass this e-mail on to others who may be interested in supporting Sustrans’ Motion for Women petition.
Read more here.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Booklet on the New Amsterdam Bike Slam

While the Bike Slam teams were hard at work, leading experts from urban planning and design, transportation policy, cultural anthropology, and advocacy gathered on September 11 at the Center for Architecture to discuss “Global Trends in Sustainable Urban Mobility,” especially as they pertain to New York City. Throughout the day, the primarily American audience was treated to perspectives from a multitude of exceptional speakers who offered opinions wide and varied, including how Dutch cities integrate economic benefits with the planning of space; population groups who are harbingers for significant mode shift (women and elderly); and the strong connections between growing cycling and lowering carbon emissions. Perhaps most inspiring is the consistent theme that benchmarks are not indications for achievement and mark the end of the project, but are markers for improvements and going further. Special guests of the day included Christopher Ward, Executive Director of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, and Janette Sadik- Khan, New York City Department of Transportation Commissioner. Download the booklet here. Have a look at some of the many pictures taken.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Also in Uganda important role for women

Also our friends from the First African Bicycle Information Organisation (FABIO) engages in the contribution of wmen. In their newsletter they write: ' There is no time for delay if the world is to achieve the Millennium Development Goals by 2015. Gender equality and women’s empowerment – the Millennium Development Goal 3 (MDG) – is core to accelerating progress on all the MDGs. Why? Unless the situation of women is deliberately, purposefully and radically improved, we will never eradicate hunger, educate all our children or achieve any other MDG. Only a joint effort will enhance gender equality and women’s empowerment - and thus contribute to achieving all the MDGs. Women are the key to reducing poverty. With programs such as the Bicycle Credit, the Health Care Project and our engagement regarding the challenges of climate change, FABIO aims to accelerate progress. The Bicycle Credit Scheme offers women the possibility to own bicycle paid in installments. With the help of the bicycles they have easier
access to working places, gardens, water sources markets, other villages or schools.There have been steady improvements in many of the world’s poorest countries, but still there is a lot to do…

More cyclist on the road? Target for women!

In the U.S., men’s cycling trips surpass women’s by at least 2:1. This ratio stands in marked contrast to cycling in European countries, where urban biking is a way of life and draws about as many women as men—sometimes more. In the Netherlands, where 37 percent of all trips are made by bike, 55 percent of all riders are women. In Germany 12 percent of all trips are on bikes, 49 percent of which are made by women. “If you want to know if an urban environment supports cycling, you can forget about all the detailed ‘bikeability indexes’—just measure the proportion of cyclists who are female,” says Jan Garrard, a senior lecturer at Deakin University in Melbourne, Australia, and author of several studies on biking and gender differences. Women are considered an “indicator species” for bike-friendly cities for several reasons. In the cycling arena, risk aversion translates into increased demand for safe bike infrastructure as a prerequisite for riding. Women also do most of the child care and household shopping, which means these bike routes need to be organized around practical urban destinations to make a difference. Vlo Mondial agrees: if you see an elegant woman cycling to work or theater you know life is good in that city. Read more here