Monday, February 11, 2013

Milan Congestion Charging Impressive Results

The Mobility Agency of the city of Milan, AMAT, has just released the results of “Area C”, the restricted traffic zone and congestion charge scheme in the centre of Milan, one year after its introduction. In 2012, motorised traffic decreased by 31% comparing to 2011 data when the former pollution charge system "Ecopass" was in force. This means that on average 41.000 vehicles are no longer entering the city centre on a daily basis. Occasional access accounts for 81% of detected vehicles, which pass through the gates less than 10 times per year. Another relevant fact is the use of private cars by the residents within the Area C boundaries: 70% of these vehicles did not use more than the 40 free coupons they receive per year. Area C revenues accounted for €20,3 million of which €13,2 million (all the net profit) has been directly reinvested in the public transport network to increase service frequency, and for extending the bike sharing system BikeMI in the suburbs.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Making cycling glamorous

While most business travelers still use car, limousine and shuttle van services provided by their hotel, there are a growing number of options. The Affinia Dumont and Affinia Shelburne in Manhattan offer complimentary teal and yellow bikes, complete with helmets and front baskets to stow briefcases. Business travelers use the bikes to maintain their fitness regimen on the road, do some sightseeing and to commute to meetings, said Alex Spektor, general manager at the Affinia Dumont. “Some tell me that biking to the meeting instead of riding in the back of a taxi helps them arrive with a clear mind,” he said. The hotel started the program with 10 bikes in May, will be adding 10 more this year, and is introducing the program at other properties. Bicycles can also be rented via Conrad Concierge at the Conrad New York near Wall Street and electric bicycles are available at the Conrad Miami.Four Seasons hotels in the busy cities of Mumbai and Guangzhou also lend bicycles to guests, along with guidance about roads to ride. For guests who want to move a bit faster, the Four Seasons Hotel Firenze in Italy rents Vespas and the Circus Hotel in Berlin offers hourly and daily Segway rentals to its guests. Read on in NYT.