transportation

Earth Week Activity: Take a walk (like the rest of the world!)

Article: Earth Week Activity: Take a walk (like the rest of the world!)

It’s Earth Week again, and, more and more, we treat this event as a sort of green New Year’s Day: what changes can I make to benefit the natural environment? For many of us Americans, the answer could be as simple as “take a walk.”

It turns out that Americans walk less than the citizens of any other industrialized nation. Unless we live in dense urban centers, we drive to work, drive to the store, and often even drive to places to, well, take a walk. Despite this being the most natural of activities, we design it out of our daily lives: how many suburban subdivisions have sidewalks, much less stores, restaurants, and other destinations within walking distance. Shoot, we even speed it up when we have to do it: think of the moving walkways in airports.

Driverless airport Pods make their London debut

Article: Driverless airport Pods make their London debut

Going to the airport is among my least favorite things. There’s always a weird carpet smell, people are generally jerks, the food sucks and there’s no way to feel comfortable in those crappy, plastic waiting area seats. Then, once you actually arrive at your destination, you have to wait forever for a shuttle bus to come and jerkily transport you to a rental car while your duffel bag strap digs into your shoulder. But thanks to a fancy new invention by Advanced Transport Systems, the last part of this otherwise totally annoying process is getting kind of awesome, dare I say fun?

Best of Kickstarter: foldable, electric bike, 9/5/11

Article: Best of Kickstarter: foldable, electric bike, 9/5/11

We’re starting off the week with a new Kickstarter projects so good we’re not including any others. What am I talking about, you ask? What’s this Best of Kickstarter thing we’ve been blogging about every Monday? Well, it seems like everyone is pitching their idea to Kickstarter. We think that’s great, but with great power comes great responsibility, and while the 23-person Kickstarter team does their best to filter out the winning projects from the thousands and thousands of proposals they receive, there are still literally tens of thousands of new projects that launch each week. That’s a lot of ways to spend your hard-earned five bucks. Too many ways, actually. How can one person sort through it all? Relax, we’ll do it all for you.

Get ready for Quirky, our next original series

Article: Get ready for Quirky, our next original series

Though we’re sad to see Ludo go (the series finale of Ludo Bites America airs tonight at 9P), we’re very excited to announce the premiere of the upcoming Sundance original series Quirky, as well as our series-long partnership with Core77. Ben Kaufman’s company, Quirky, is all about finding great ideas from regular people and turning them into real, marketable products, and Core77 is all about covering the best and latest in design and technology. Throughout the series, we’ll be bringing you stories from designers, inventors and entrepreneurs who’ve either already brought their product from concept to completion or are right in the middle of that process – and all without the help of a company like Ben’s.

Today we bring you the story of Skatecycle, winner of the Core77 Design Award for Transportation. Designed by Alon Karpman of Brooklyn Workshop.

Study claims Florida high-speed rail would be a money-maker

Article: Study claims Florida high-speed rail would be a money-maker

As the battles over collective bargaining in Wisconsin, and now the disasters in Japan, have dominated the news over the last month, you may have missed Florida Governor Rick Scott’s rejection of federal funds to build a high-speed rail line between Tampa and Orlando. Scott turned away the $2.4 billion for the project because he was concerned about cost overruns that Florida taxpayers may have had to cover. According to a new study by the Florida Department of Transportation, though, the governor’s fears are not only unfounded, but represent a missed opportunity to create some economic growth in the Sunshine State.

Working Naked Day: How green is working from home?

Article: Working Naked Day: How green is working from home?

Turns out there’s something to celebrate in February before Groundhog’s Day… today is Working Naked Day. No, that doesn’t mean it’s appropriate to strip down at the office; rather, February 1st has been designated as a day of recognizing the benefits of working from home.

NuRide rewards UVA community for green transportation choices

Article: NuRide rewards UVA community for green transportation choices

Colleges and universities are at the forefront of experimenting with transportation alternatives to drive and park: car sharing and bike sharing services are popping at campuses all over the US to provide greener transportation alternatives… as well as hold off on parking lot expansions.

Car-free in the Sunbelt: is it possible?

Article: Car-free in the Sunbelt: is it possible?

If you live in New York City, San Francisco, Boston, or Portland, the idea of car-free living may not strike you as particularly unusual. Sure, plenty of people have and use cars, but urban density, public transportation options, and, in some cases, well-developed bicycling infrastructure may not make an automobile seem like a necessity.

But what about in Houston? Atlanta? Phoenix? Las Vegas? These cities developed around car culture. As someone who went without a car in one of them for a year (Vegas in ’95-96), I can attest to the challenges present. An article in today’s Dallas Morning News about car-free blogger Patrick Kennedy got me thinking again about these challenges… and looking to see who’s overcoming them by foregoing automobile ownership in these car-centric locations.

The pedicab: a low-carbon solution for a night out drinking

Article: The pedicab: a low-carbon solution for a night out drinking

What’s the carbon footprint of a night out barhopping? I’m not sure anyone’s actually measured that specifically, but a developing world staple seems to be catching on as a low-carbon transportation alternative for tourists and college students who’ve had a few too many: the pedicab.

Tandem bike + cargo bike = greener moving solution

Article: Tandem bike + cargo bike = greener moving solution

Transportation for moving usually means a friend’s truck or a rented van… any bicycles involved are usually loaded into one of those options. Two students from the Netherlands’ Delft University for Technology, however, have created a concept in which a bike is the moving vehicle. The Vrachtfiets (which translates as “cargo bike”) is a recumbent tandem bike with electrical assist, and designed to forgo gas-guzzling options for short moves.

Hourly car rental exploding on college campuses

Article: Hourly car rental exploding on college campuses

Having worked at five different colleges and universities over the past 16 years, I’ve heard a lot of excuses from students who were late to class. The most frequent of those excuses, hands down: “I couldn’t find a place to park.” I’d hazard to guess that personal transportation (i.e. a car driven by a single person) is one of the biggest contributors to college and university greenhouse gas emissions.

Obama Announces $8 Billion for High-Speed Rail Nationwide

Article: Obama Announces $8 Billion for High-Speed Rail Nationwide

President Barack Obama will announce today that the U.S. Department of Transportation is awarding $8 billion in economic stimulus funding to states to develop America’s first nationwide program of high-speed intercity passenger rail service. The announcement covers federal government investments in 13 rail corridors and rail projects in 31 states.

U.S. Auto Fleet Shrinks as Youth Lose Interest in Cars

Article: U.S. Auto Fleet Shrinks as Youth Lose Interest in Cars

“America’s century-old love affair with the automobile may be coming to an end,” says Lester Brown, president of the Earth Policy Institute, a nonprofit environmental research organization.

Clean Cruise Ship Act Introduced to Stop Raw Sewage Dumping

Article: Clean Cruise Ship Act Introduced to Stop Raw Sewage Dumping

Nearly identical bills to prevent cruise ships from discharging raw, untreated sewage in U.S. coastal waters were introduced Wednesday in both Houses of Congress.

California Launches Largest Energy-Efficiency Effort in U.S. History

Article: California Launches Largest Energy-Efficiency Effort in U.S. History

The California Public Utilities Commission says it wants to make energy efficiency a way of life in California, and on Thursday, the commisson put its money where its mouth is by approving the largest energy-efficiency program in American history.

Fighting for space

Article: Fighting for space

This graphic visualization posted by the Daily Dish depicts the amount of street space taken up by different modes of transportation–bicycle, car, and bus–per person. As this demonstrates, cars are not only a crime against the environment but one could argue, also against the availability of the urban public space, which is so crucial to…

Creative bus stops

Article: Creative bus stops

Stop! Check out these fun and creative bus stop designs from around the world. While these are certainly neat, all I want are bus stops that give me a digital read of when the next bus is coming. This shouldn’t be too hard to ask considering we live in the twenty-first century aka the future.

5 innovative non-profits making bicycling (and bikes) more accessible

Article: 5 innovative non-profits making bicycling (and bikes) more accessible

We’re right in the middle of Bike to Work Week, and, hopefully, you’ve taken the opportunity to try out a two-wheeled commute.

Bicycles aren’t only an efficient means of transportation; they’re also relatively cheap. But, for many people in both the developed and developing world, the few hundred bucks required to buy a new bike may be out of reach. Numerous non-profits have sprung up to make biking accessible for these people; here are just a few doing innovative work on this front.