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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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Announcing Urbanful

Part magazine, part marketplace, Urbanful is all about the people, organizations, and businesses making our communities great. Urbanful’s stories highlight all the great things happening in our cities and the innovations in design, technology, culture, and transportation that are changing how we live.

Urbanful loves spotlighting cool local businesses making fantastic products and they’re constantly searching for the most interesting and useful apparel, gear, gadgets, and services for city living. Along with highlighting the best stuff each week, every dollar you spend will go to support Transportation for America’s work.

http://urbanful.org/

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Government to allow driverless cars on UK roads

UK Business Secretary, Vince Cable, has announced two new measures that give the green light for driverless cars to take to the country’s roads from January 2015. UK cities can now bid for a share of a £10m (US$16.9m) competition to host a driverless cars trial. The government is calling on cities to join together with businesses and research organisations to put forward proposals to become a test location. Up to three cities will be selected to host the trials from January next year and each project is expected to last between 18 and 36 months. Ministers have also launched a review to look at current road regulations to establish how the UK can remain at the forefront of driverless car technology and ensure there is an appropriate regime for testing driverless cars in the country. The review will look at include the need for vehicles to comply with construction and safety regulations, traffic laws and relevant aspects of the Highway Code, as well as licensing, liability, insurance and driverless regulations being put in place in other countries. Two areas of driverless technology will be covered in the review: cars with a qualified driver who can take over control of the driverless car; and fully autonomous vehicles (AVs) where there is no driver.

Read the full story at http://www.traffictechnologytoday.com/news.php?NewsID=61165.

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