Union Station Bicycle Transit Center

Author: Donald Paine

At the cusp of a livable cities movement, the Bicycle Transit Center is a highly visible catalyst promoting bicycle use and alternative transportation options by providing secure parking, rental and retail uses. At the doorstep of Washington’s major transportation hub, Union Station, the sleek veiled form reflects the technology of its contents while complimenting its eminent Beaux Arts neighbors. Echoing a bicycle wheel’s elegance and efficiency, arched steel tubes covered with an energy-efficient “skin” optimizes transparency in this sensitive historic context.

Union Station is the largest intermodal transportation center in the Washington metropolitan area and the mid-Atlantic region. Located just east of Washington’s central business district and blocks from the U.S. Capitol, Union Station plays a major role in the travel and commuting needs of thousands of residents and visitors to the national capital region from D.C., Virginia, Maryland and the entire East Coast.

The original train station was completed in 1909., but many modifications have been made over the years. The original train station was designed by noted architect Daniel Burnham and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The most recent major upgrade and rehabilitation of Union Station’s rail station occurred in the late 1980s. The Metrorail station at Union Station opened in 1976 and has undergone no major upgrade or renewal beyond routine maintenance projects and the addition of one mezzanine escalator and stair. As these adjoining stations experience new growth from expanded intercity travel, commuter rail’s growing popularity and the renewal of adjoining D.C. neighborhoods, Union Station’s many stakeholders have come together to begin extensive planning that will create a 21st century multi-modal transportation center.

Union Station is a complex of several structures and serves multiple functions. In addition to the Metrorail station, it contains Washington’s Amtrak intercity passenger rail station, the terminal for MARC and Virginia Railway Express commuter rail services, a bus terminal serving intercity and local buses, a retail center of shops and restaurants, a community gathering place with meeting rooms and public spaces, and a tourist attraction.

Read the full article at http://www.masstransitmag.com/article/10286935/union-station-bicycle-transit-center

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Transportation Options Could Reduce Oil Dependency, Government Waste

By increasing competition among transportation modes, making transportation pricing transparent and tying transportation spending to energy and economic performance, America could cut oil demand by as much as 779 million barrels a year by 2030, according to a new analysis released today by the Mobility Choice Coalition.

As the holiday driving season approaches, and at a time when national transportation infrastructure policy is up for revision and improvement, policy makers must take a fresh look at transportation, the 19-member coalition says.

The analysis “Taking the Wheel: Achieving a Competitive Transportation Sector Through Mobility Choice,” details the benefits of 10 specific policy options that would level the playing field among transportation options. If all were adopted, U.S. oil demand would fall by as much as 462 million barrels of oil per year by 2020 and 779 million barrels a year by 2030. Right now, the country uses about 6.8 billion barrels, or nearly 300 billion gallons, of oil annually. (There are 42 gallons of oil per barrel.)

The report’s recommendations aim to reduce economic disruptions from oil spikes, cut wasteful government spending and provide Americans with economical and convenient transportation options.

“Taxpayers have made their anger over wasteful government spending clear, and we know there are ways to re-introduce accountability for how the federal government spends tax dollars, specifically as it relates to transportation,” said report co-author Anne Korin of the Institute for the Analysis of Global Security (IAGS ). “When it comes to transportation, Americans need to get what they pay for and pay for what they get.”

Read the full article at http://www.masstransitmag.com/publication/article.jsp?siteSection=1&id=13036

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Texxi

Texxi is a dynamic, (primarily) SMS-based, real-time passenger grouping transport system that works for at least seven distinct modes.

We have results from 3 deployments to show that we got dynamic, real-time ridesharing by SMS + Social Networking running. We made it work to move 700 people in Ryde, Isle of Wight, UK for example. For some reason, we could not get any attention from the US academic community until very recently. I did two presentations in 2007 and 2010 at UWE Bristol and Plymouth University in the UK.

The Texxi system evolved from a series of research projects over a 12 year period. In summary:

1992 – 1993 : National Grid Technology and Science Laboratories, Overhead Lines Division, Plant Technology.
1995 : Sponsored summer project (“The Role of Computers in Transportation Technology”) – Royal Academy of Engineering / Royal Aeronautical Society.
1997 : Ecole Centrale De Lyon project on RideSharing using groupware technologies, Professor Christian Vial, oversaw. We dubbed it Project Lugh, after the Celtic deity for whom Lyon is named.
1998 – 2003 : Various exposures to financial systems front-office, back-office and middle office computer systems at investment banks and multinational firms
2003 – 2004 : Project at Xaraf LLC / Paloma Partners on credit default swap / convertible bond trading and capital structure arbitrage trading strategies. It is here I came up with my credit contagion ideas which turned out to be so prescient.
2004 – Present : Texxi

For more information: http://bit.ly/9ANIIG

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Integrated Transport: From Policy to Practice

Travel is an essential part of everyday life and today most journeys are multimodal. It is the total travel experience that counts and integrated transport must reduce the inconvenience of transfers between modes. Most research and many publications on transport policy advocate sustainable transport, but the priority given to integration has been negligible. Yet integration is one of the most important means to advance sustainable transport and sustainability more generally.

While integrated transport systems are seen to be an ideal, there is a failure to make the transition from policy to practice. The authors argue that the achievement of sustainable transport is still a dream, as an integrated transport policy is a prerequisite for a sustainable transport system. It is only when the two concepts of sustainability and integration operate in the same direction and in a positive way that real progress can be made.

In this book, transportation experts from across the world have addressed the questions about what is integration, why is it so important and why is it so hard to achieve? The book provides an in-depth analysis of these issues and it aims to provide a better understanding of the subject, about what should be strived for, about what is realistic to expect, and about how to move forward towards a more integrated provision of transport infrastructure, services and management.

More information available at http://www.routledge.com/books/details/9780415548939/

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A spatial analysis of Melbourne 2006 journey to work mode shares

The census journey to work dataset contains a wealth of data, but analysis of this data is rarely published. This post includes 16 maps showing the concentrations of different modes in the journey to work in Melbourne as recorded in the 2006 Census.

Full article in Charting Transport.

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