Thursday, August 30, 2012

You wont need a ticket - just climb on board

Tallinn City is preparing for free public transport

Tallinn City Government has proposed a bill to City Council which regulates the use of free public transport. According to the draft regulation, all legitimate citizens of Tallinn (Estonia) will be allowed to use public transportation free of charge as of January 1st 2013.
In addition to Tallinners and groups that are already entitled to ride free regardless of their place of residence, the bill also enables free public transport to all students, whether they are registered citizens or not.
The act also ordains the implementation of an innovative ticket and free ride validation system. The system of paper tickets will expire from January 1st 2013 and the new means of purchasing and validating the right to ride in public transport wil be the innovative e-card.
The new e-ticket system will be implemented on September 21st 2012, and the paper tickets will expire on January 1st 2013. The use of e-card will thereof be mandatory for Tallinners and students who wish to ride free in public transport. The system of ID-tickets will remain unexpired until March 31st 2013.
In comparison to the current act, the new bill reduces the number of different types of tickets by nineteen. Among others, the possibility to purchase tickets with mobile phone will stay in effect.
Those users of the public transport who are not, according to the Population Register, residents of Tallinn, will have to buy e-tickets or electronic period cards as paper tickets will be abolished.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Post-fossil Conversion & Free Public Transport

Extracts from a recent German analysis

By Michael Brie and Mario Candeias.

"A free public transport system is part of a process of transformations toward a Green Socialism ..and the earth would become a home."

Part I.
Private E-Car vs. Public Transport for free – Real Dystopia vs. Concrete Utopia
Michael Brie
Crises create opportunities to set long-range goals for the future. A key question is that of urban mobility in a world in which the great majority of the world’s population will soon live in cities of over a million inhabitants, many of them in metropolitan conurbations.
Broadly speaking, there are two possible alternatives: one, the US system of mobility centred on private, petrol-driven cars can be ecologically modernized and expanded to embrace the globe by switching to electric-powered cars; or, two, public transport can be ecologized and made more flexible.
For historical reasons the factors determining which of these alternatives will be chosen are very different and path-dependent. Whereas rapid transit systems have largely disappeared from many US metropolises, European metropolises are characterized by mixed systems. In many metropolises of the southern hemisphere the car-based mobility of the rising middle classes coexists with the exclusion of large sections of the city-dwelling poor from urban mobility. Long-term experiments with a free-of-charge public transport system could act as a global model.

Part II.
Towards a Eco-Socialist Economy of Reproduction
Mario Candeias
How to get from here to there? A Free Public Transport system is deeply connected to the conversion of the car industry and specific modes of dealing with contradictions of a transformative process. The car industry is facing strong challenges between crisis of overproduction, booming demand from «emerging markets’, spatial relocation and ecological necessities. Conversion and a just transition for the workers and communities affected face several strategic dilemma. The paper elaborates on union and (eco)movement strategies and short comings, trying to draw on a political method and projects, which create communalities out of different interests at the same time as appreciating differences. The protagonist of such a process of transformation towards a Green Socialism can only be a «mosaic left» oriented towards participation, which enables people to become «the drivers of their own history» (Eric Mann 2001)

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

International conference to discuss introduction of free public transport in Tallinn, Estonia, & other EU cities

"Free public transport in Tallinn – a brave step towards the green capital"

Smart and green growth forum
Tallinn 26 October 2012: International Conference Tallinn City.

The City of Tallinn/Estonia has a challenging project to start providing free public transport to its residents from January 1, 2013. With this step, Tallinn will safeguard social cohesion of local community granting equal mobility opportunities to all social strata. For many car drivers, free public transport will be a major incentive to switch to public transport thus reducing pollution and noise, and, in the long run, this will improve living standards of all citizens.

The conference in Tallinn on October 26, 2012 aims at bringing together representatives of local and regional governments, practitioners and stakeholders to discuss in an open forum the challenges, problems and opportunities of such initiative. We introduce the project of free public transport in Tallinn, share experiences of the cities that have already implemented free public transport (fully or partly) in urban areas, as well as generate discussion with other EU capitals and metropolis, partner cities of Tallinn and cities, active in international organizations and networks focusing on transport and environment issues.

Target groups of participants:
Capitals and metropolis, partner cities of Tallinn and cities, active in international organizations and networks focusing on transport and environment issues, representatives of local and regional governments, practitioners and stakeholders to share experiences of the cities that have already implemented free public transport (fully or partly) in urban areas.

More information:

Monday, August 20, 2012

Electric cars will save us all: Yeah right!

Written By: - Date published: 10:09 am, June 1st, 2012 - 53 comments
Categories: sustainability, transport - Tags: 

You know how, whenever someone points out that spending $12 billion on highways that make no economic sense makes even less sense when you consider that people are driving less because of the price of petrol and will only reduce their driving more in the face of even higher petrol prices, some idiot says ‘we’ll just invent alternatives, drive electric!’. Yeah, it ain’t happening.

Leaving aside the problem that there’s not enough lithium producable for all the batteries we would need, there’s just no way that the take-up of electric cars is going to be sufficiently fast to make a big difference to the oil-intensity of driving in New Zealand.
There are 46 electric cars registered in New Zealand, out of 3.4 million. That’s up from 25 in 2007. At the current (let’s assume exponential) rate of increase, it will reach 350 by 2022.
By that time, petrol prices will be $5 a litre.
Even if every car registered from now on was electric (and that wouldn’t be possible even if New Zealand bought the world’s whole electric car production), over half the fleet in 2022 would be oil-driven because most cars that will be on the road in 2022 are already on the road. The average age of the car fleet is 13.59 years and that’s increased by 1.5 years in the past five years and 2 years in the past ten.
People aren’t responding to high oil prices by buying electric cars: they’re responding by keeping their old cars and driving them less (traffic volumes have been falling for nearly all of the past four years and vehicle kilometres travelled are down about 7% per capita from peak)
MoT projects that 85-90% of vehicles will still be conventional in 2030. Indeed, the likelihood of ongoing weak growth and high fuel prices leaves businesses and families with less capital for investment in new vehicles.
All of which makes the daydreams of people who say ‘yeah, we should spend $12 billion on uneconomic roads, because we’ll all drive on them in electric cars’ even more fanciful.

From 'the Standard' 1 June 2012

Friday, August 17, 2012

Transport dominates every aspect of our lives, our health, the form of our communities, our environment, economy and our personal financial well-being.
Smart Transport means providing a full spectrum of appropriate, sustainable and integrated transport choices.
The Smart Transport Network has been formed following the Smart Transport Conference, held in parliament buildings in August 2011, to present a new collective national voice, with an international perspective on transport solutions.
The Smart Transport Network will advocate for smart, modern solutions and development that make more efficient use of transport spending and encourage infra structural priorities that will serve the community now and into the future.
Smart transport choices..
  • are integrated, universally accessible, and not private car dependent,
  • will be viable now and in the future, and less dependent on overseas resources,
  • are affordable for governments and individuals,
  • enable resilient communities and individual independence,
  • support good public health, particularly in terms of obesity and air pollution,
  • are environmentally sustainable, reducing our carbon footprint,
  • include institutional goals for mode shift, with achievable medium term benefits.
The Network is already backed by: Cycling Advocates NetworkWWF New Zealand350 Aotearoa, Greenpeace, Rail and Maritime Transport UnionBrakePublic Transport Voice, along with many local issue groups such as Save Kapiti, Cycling Auckland, TransAction, and Save Our Rail – Northland.

All electric, fare free bus fleet for South Carolina city:

Seneca city bus company honored at White House » Anderson Independent Mail: "Foothill Transit was the first to put the all-electric bus to work in its fleet about three years ago. In 2013, Seneca intends to switch its entire gas-powered buses to an electric fleet. Seneca city administrator Greg Dietterick attended the ceremony. He said it offered a chance to publicize the fact that in 2013, Seneca will become the first all electric, fare-free, public transit fleet in the nation. Dietterick said the city will soon be hosting visitors from across the globe, wanting to see an all-electric bus fleet in action."