Welcome to the SMART blog! It’s a dynamic counterpart to SMART’s website, posting-up-to-the-minute sustainable transportation news, events, jobs, and other opportunities from the U.S. and around the world. It also links to innovations, new research, policy updates, related newsletters, inspiring initiatives, and videos that come our way. You can contribute too! Please send relevant information to Kim Seelye. The blog will benefit and grow from your involvement. SMART is a project of University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute and Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning. MANY THANKS to the FIA Foundation for their generous support of the development of SMART’s blog in the interests of advancing New Mobility implementation. Many thanks also to Ford Motor Company for supporting the development of this blog through its generous ongoing support of SMART.


Property-Powered Rail in Open Markets

A Panel Discussion (On-site & Webcast) Starting at 17:30 EDT Tuesday September 16, 2014
Co-Hosted by Carleton University and University of Quebec. Free Registration.

SMART Recommendation: Learn about a new open market development model for property-powered railway investment (and how it might apply more widely to the broader New Mobility landscape)

This panel, including Joseph Potvin, Chair, Open Source Initiative; Julie Ireton, CBC Business Journalist; Stephan Schott, Public Policy, Carleton University; Stephane Gagnon, Business, Universite du Quebec; Ghebre Debrezion, Spatial Economics, Free University Amsterdam; Sue Zielinski, SMART, University of Michigan; Robert Doiron, Altus Group Limited.

This panel will explore a proposed new open market development model for property-powered railway investment, that could represent:

  • A sustainable self-financing metropolitan-scale passenger rail system that does not depend on public debt or the tax base;
  • A way for investors in commercial and residential property to increase net income and realized asset value, with controlled financial risk;
  • A 100% private sector open market approach, with no barriers to entry for small and medium enterprise;
  • Equivalent attention to core, suburban and semi-rural areas, in both commercial and residential investment sectors;
  • A unique incentive structure favouring the lowest possible passenger fares to achieve the highest possible property value uplift effect.

REGISTER NOW FOR THE ON-SITE EVENT, OR TUNE-IN ONLINE at 5:30 pm EDT on Tuesday 16 Sept 2014: http://openrailproperty.org.


Call for Papers: Achieving Green, Healthy Cities

Paper proposals are invited from elected officials, scholars and practitioners concerned with the following issues:

  • Physical Planning for Healthy Cities
  • Ten-Minute Neighborhoods and Town Centers
  • Healthy Buildings, Healthy Architecture
  • Healthy Transportation Planning
  • How Public Health and Planning Collaborate
  • Counteracting Environmental Health Inequalities
  • Urban Design 
for a Hospitable Public Realm
  • Street Design in the Healthy City
  • Sociable Squares and Special Places
  • Green and Blue in the Livable City
  • Regeneration Projects
  • Lifetime Communities
  • A Green Healthy City for Children
  • Pedestrian Paths
  • Wayfinding
  • Festivals
  • Community Participation in Planning and Reshaping the City
  • Learning from Bristol

For more information, see http://www.livablecities.org/conferences/52nd-conference-bristol/call-papers.


GM starts bike-sharing program at Warren Tech Center

By Associated Press

General Motors Co.’s Tech Center is starting a bike-sharing program for the 19,000 people who work at the Warren site.

The automaker says the program will allow workers to commute on and off the Tech Center campus.

GM is working with Zagster, a private bike-sharing company that has developed similar programs for other locations. Employees can use Zagster bikes stationed throughout the Tech Center to travel between its 61 buildings around the 330-acre site.

To participate, an employee registers online, and then reserves a bike through text message or a smartphone app that provides a bike access code. Each bike comes equipped with a basket that can be used to transport a laptop and other small belongings.

Read the original article at http://www.crainsdetroit.com/article/20140826/NEWS01/140829883/gm-starts-bike-sharing-program-at-warren-tech-center.


U-M partners with local entities on bike share program

Author: Dana Elger

The university is expanding its alternative transportation options with the launch of a new bike share program serving campus and the Ann Arbor area.

ArborBike is a membership-based, sustainable transportation system providing faculty, staff, students and the local community with access to more than 100 bicycles available on the go. Ten of its 14 bike stations are launching this month with the remainder scheduled to be operational by spring 2015.

The university partnered with Ann Arbor’s Clean Energy Coalition, the city of Ann Arbor, Ann Arbor Area Transportation Authority and the Downtown Development Authority to establish the $1.55 million, three-year pilot program.

The university has pledged $600,000 to help cover operations for the first three years, with memberships and other sponsorships expected to cover the remaining program costs.

Read the full story at http://record.umich.edu/articles/u-m-partners-local-entities-bike-share-program.


Uber’s Secret Agents: When Poaching Becomes Unethical

Author: Neil Irwin

If there is one overarching lesson from a new report on how Uber, the smartphone-app car service, tries to poach drivers from its competitors, it is this: Competing with Uber isn’t much fun.

The techniques described in documents obtained by The Verge have an element of spycraft about them, with methods and protocols that could appear in a John le Carré novel. Independent contractors for Uber apparently use burner phones tied to dummy accounts, with instructions to vary the locations from which they order car rides from their main competitor, Lyft. Once in the car, the contractors apparently try to suss out whether drivers can be persuaded to switch loyalties to Uber, and in some markets can apparently offer them a sign-up kit on the spot.

Fitting the spy novel atmospherics, the program even has a code name: Operation SLOG. (That would be short for Supplying Long-term Operations Growth).

And inside Uber, it would seem, is a mole.

Read the full story at http://www.nytimes.com/2014/08/28/upshot/ubers-secret-agents-was-poaching-from-lyft-unethical.html


Call for Nominations: CUTC Leadership Awards

The Council of University Transportation Centers (CUTC) is  now accepting nominations for its annual awards program, which honors outstanding faculty, staff and industry leaders for their accomplishments and contributions in the field of transportation research and education.

The 2014 awards include three categories:

The CUTC/ARTBA Administrative Leadership Award honors individuals in a staff position or non-tenure-track faculty position who make outstanding administrative leadership contributions to the transportation field by non-academic appointments

The Distinguished Contribution to University Transportation Education and Research Award is given to individuals who have had a long history of significant and outstanding contributions to university-level transportation education and research.

The Lifetime Achievement in Transportation Research and Education Awardrecognizes individuals who have contributed immensely throughout their professional lives to transportation research and education by working in government, business or non-governmental organizations.

The CUTC Leadership awards are open to all CUTC member schools that are in good standing and there is no limit to the number of nominations that may be submitted from an institution.

All nominations must be completed online at the “Awards” section of http://mycutc.com byOctober 30.

Contact Kashae Williams at 202.289.4434 or kwilliams@artba.org with questions.