Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Public transit ten times safer than cars

Victoria Transport Policy Institute study:

#Publictransit ten times safer than cars

Public transportation is overall a relatively safe (low crash risk) and secure (low crime risk) transport mode. Transit travel has about a tenth the traffic casualty (death or injury) rate as automobile travel, and residents of transit-oriented communities have about a fifth the per capita crash casualty rate as in automobile-oriented communities. Transit also tends to have lower overall crime rates than automobile travel...

Aucklanders stuck in traffic, congestion now worse than Hong Kong

NZ Herald 15 March 2017 
Auckland's roads are so congested commuters are spending an extra 45 minutes a day - or four working weeks a year - stuck in traffic.
A new report has revealed the country's congestion is now worse than Hong Kong with the time spent on Auckland's roads doubling in the space of three years.
TomTom has released the results of its Traffic Index 2017, an annual report about traffic congestion in cities around the world.
Auckland is ranked as the 47th most congested city on the planet, worse than Hong Kong, which has a population of 7.2 million.
Auckland's level of congestion has risen from 33 per cent of extra travel time in 2015 to 38 per cent in 2016.
Drivers in New Zealand's biggest city now spend an extra 45 minutes each day stuck in rush hour traffic, the equivalent to 172 hours, or four working weeks in a year.
Just three years ago Aucklanders were spending an extra 12 working days in traffic annually.
New Zealand also now has a higher congestion level than Australia, with Kiwis spending 29.83 per cent more time travelling per day.
Auckland, Wellington, Hamilton, Dunedin and Christchurch all experienced rising congestion, according the study.
Since 2008, New Zealand's national traffic congestion had risen to include an extra 43 per cent of travel time, worse off than Australia, which saw its congestion rise between 27.5 per cent and 35 per cent.

Traffic in Wellington is also worsening.

Congestion in the capital has increased from 30 per cent of extra time travelled to 34 per cent, adding an additional 43 minutes to drive time.
During the morning peak hours, drivers in Wellington can spend a whopping 72 per cent extra time stuck in traffic, the worst morning congestion in the country.

Hamilton has also seen a significant 5 per cent increase in traffic congestion to 26 per cent.
Drivers in Waikato's biggest city now spend an extra 103 hours per year stuck in traffic, or more than 12 working days per year.

Dunedin has seen the largest traffic congestion increase in the country at an additional 6 per cent of travel time added during the past 12 months.
The congestion level now adds an additional 28 per cent of extra time to commutes, with the worst time to travel in Dunedin between 3-4pm on a Friday when congestion extends the trip duration by 38 per cent.

Christchurch had the smallest increase in traffic congestion of 3 per cent, where drivers now face an extra 29 minutes of travel time per day.
Tauranga was also included in the survey for the first time and was found to be the least congested of the six New Zealand cities analysed.
However in morning rush hour, drivers can still expect to add 39 per cent extra travel time to their trip.

Global congestion

TomTom's historical data shows that traffic congestion is up by 23 per cent globally since 2008 with Oceania recording the highest increase in the world by 36 per cent.

Between 2015 and 2016, Europe's traffic congestion has increased by 9 per cent, North America is up by 5 per cent, Asia and Oceania are both up by 12 per cent, while South America is up 7 per cent and Africa by 15 per cent.
Southern European countries such as Italy (-7 per cent) and Spain (-13 per cent) have seen a large drop in traffic congestion during the past eight years.
The traffic index, now in its sixth year, looks at the traffic congestion situation in 393 cities in 48 countries on six continents.
Ranking of the most congested cities globally in 2016
(Overall daily congestion level - extra travel time - population over 800,000)

1. Mexico City, Mexico (66 per cent of extra travel time due to congestion).
2. Bangkok, Thailand (61 per cent).
3. Jakarta, Indonesia (58 per cent).
4. Chongqing, China (52 per cent).
5. Bucharest, Romania (50 per cent).
6. Istanbul, Turkey (49 per cent).
7. Chengdu, China (47 per cent).
8. Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (47 per cent).
9. Tainan, Taiwan (46 per cent).
10. Beijing, China (46 per cent).

Monday, November 28, 2016

A Comprehensive Approach to Building a Better, More Sustainable World

VIDEO: Recovering from Disruption: A Comprehensive Approach to Building a Better, More Sustainable World

Car dependency is incompatible with cities and rapidly killing city life - Making cities care-free and introducing decent & free public transport is the way to get about and breathe life back into cities.
This video looks at some of the dramatic changes needed if civilization is going to survive the many threats of climate change. 
Fortunately, it is possible to make huge reductions in carbon emissions while actually improving our cities in many other ways. Time is short; we need to act quickly. This film addresses eight major problems and suggests practical changes for both immediate and long-term actions.
Produced by:
HealthBridge Canada
Work for a Better Bangladesh

Monday, September 26, 2016

Video documentary - Free Public Transport: 'Transit justice is a crucial aspect of social justice today'

Produced by Revo Raudjarv for Tallinna Television [2015]

Public transit lies at the intersection of several critical social struggles today. Affordable (or free) public transit is an important mechanism for redistribution, and particularly targets low income people.

A central component of public policies to address climate change must be mass expenditures on public transit to reduce reliance on private cars and fossil fuels. Mass transit also enables an increase in the density and livability of cities. 

And public transit that is free and available as a social right is a core demand to de-commodify everyday life in opposition to endless consumerism. Transit justice is, then, a crucial aspect of social justice today, and should be a fundamental part of the political programme of progressives and socialists. The struggle for the extension of free and accessible public transit rubs directly against neoliberal policies, and raises the vision of alternate production and provision essential to anti-capitalist politics.

This video mostly focuses on Tallinn, Estonia, and includes interviews with international activists: Roger Fowler (FareFree New Zealand), Greg Albo (Toronto Free Transit), Erik van Hal (traffic planner, Eindhoven), Michel van Hulten (scientist, Netherlands), Anna Ujma (advisor to the mayor of Zory, Poland), Dan Diaconu (deputy mayor of Timisoara, Romania), Raymond Polus (journalist Hasselt, Belgium), Mao Xiang (Chengdu Transport Department), Siim Kallas (European Commissioner for Transport), Lars Isacsson (Mayor of Avesta, Sweden), Allan Alakula (Head of Tallinn EU Office), Taavi Aas (Deputy Mayor of Tallinn).

Widening roads will not reduce congestion

By Eric Britton, World Streets:The Politics of Transport in Cities,

Dr. Pojani in her lecture at Penang Heritage  of Friday entitled “Urban Transport Crisis in Small and Medium Size Developing Cities and the Effectiveness of Countermeasures” — at one point advises us to FOLLOW THE MONEY.  Now that’s an interesting comment and really makes me wish I had been with you. Here’s an example of how I interpret this counsel from my perspective as a strategic planner.

The hard fact in the above graphic is that politicians and engineers have trouble accepting this strategic approach – precisely because they are trained to look at something else. It’s simply a matter of long-standing professional deformation (if that is English). It does not have to be that way, but in order to get around the corner on this particular problem, both the politicians and their engineers need to be presented with the OVERALL strategic situation, which is quite different from the one they are accustomed to seeing.

The trick in getting this right is that they have to alter their key decision criteria, and bring in something called EXTERNAL COSTS. (More on this at . What this gives us for decision making  is nothing less than a transformative  way of thinking about decisions in our sector. Fair-minded politicians and engineers — once they assimilate this new information and the technical procedures that go with them –will quickly come around to this different point of view . And both these important groups have taken this important step in many many cities around the world that are getting the challenges of efficient and sustainable transport right. (It’s a long list.)

Follow the money

But now on to Dr. Pojani’s point with her “follow the money” comment. In this case those actors who have direct financial interests in actually building more roads – without taking the external costs or impacts of the following acts into full account. Who are these players?

Well of course any company whose business it is to build roads, tunnel and bridges to accommodate all those additional cars. Likewise, property developers and construction firms eager to open up new territories linked by highways and cars. And of course the automotive and petrol industry and associated lobbies and suppliers. Then there are their financial partners.

It is not that there is anything bad in their pursuing their own interests. To the contrary they are pillars of the market economy and necessary to our well-being in this complex and fast-changing 21st century. But it is the job of good governance to ensure that the public interest does not suffer as a result of their activity and profits.

Which means of course that we — and they — have plenty of work ahead.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Christchurch NZ, mayoral candidate promises fare-free buses

Minto makes bold pledges on buses, council salaries: "Christchurch mayoral candidate John Minto is insistent his policy for free public buses won't lead to a rates increase.

The veteran activist launched his official campaign over the weekend, and claims despite his policies being bold, he could save residents money.

He pledged to build thousands of new affordable houses, introduce free public transport, and offer a living wage to all council staff.

He said free public transport will only initially cost $20 million, but will save both ratepayers and tax payers money."

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

#Publictransit forum plans new free shuttle

Watertown, MA: "At the most recent transportation forum, local officials and residents gathered to talk through ways to improve the current system, while adding new options, including a local bus shuttle."

Christchurch transport woes: Free public buses or one more kilometre of new roads "The cost of free public transport would be about $20 million per year which is the amount currently collected in fares. It would require capital investment to increase the number of buses over the next five years as residents move to public transport.

This is less than the cost of a single kilometre of proposed new roading.

The government wants to prioritise a massive motorway to carve through the north of the city at enormous cost to all of us. In reality such huge roading projects are a subsidy for trucking companies. A single eight-tonne axle (big trucks may have several of these each) does the equivalent damage of 10,000 cars over the same road."

Monday, April 11, 2016

SuperGold free travel keeps seniors off the road

Wairarapa Times: ""We have something like 29,000 Baby Boomers coming on board a year. Every one of them, having paid taxes all their lives, fully expects to get their SuperGold card entitlements. Putting a cap on funding for transport is the National Government interfering with a privilege that senior citizens were given in recognition of having paid taxes all their lives, and the valuable contribution they have made to the community.

"We can't let them get away with it. We need people to stand up. They need to go and knock on Alastair Scott's door for a start, give him a bit of a tongue-lashing, and tell him that this is unacceptable."

The SuperGold Card scheme was an initiative of New Zealand First and was adopted during the term of a coalition government 2007.

In the 2014/15 financial year, 27,225 trips were made on the Wairarapa Rail Line by SuperGold card holders."

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Gridlocked Aucklanders spend 20 extra working days a year stuck in traffic

TVNZ : "If Auckland motorists needed evidence traffic congestion has got worse, a study shows they can now expect to spend an extra 20 working days a year stuck in traffic at peak times."