The downside of congestion fees

Congestion fees have recently been presented as the tool to solve all urban problems. Economists vouch for it, city leaders praise it, and only the general public dislike it.

“The general public is dumb”, say some economists. “They don’t know what’s good for them”.
“It will only improve the lives of people who live in the periphery”, say economists living in the center of metropolitan areas.
“You are suspicious for nothing”, they conclude after considering data from other economists living in central cities like London, Stockholm or Singapore.

Well, are they right?

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A Unified Theory of Transportation, applied to Remote Controls, Cars, Bikes and MaaS

Why would people in one city prefer to ride bicycles more than their neighbors in the town over? Why is it that Uber is viable in some cities but not others? Can we explain the choices we make when preferring one means of transportation over another in one unified theory? Well, it turns out we can. This article starts with a simple request for the TV remote and ends with an analysis of the MAAS’s chances of replacing private ownership of cars.

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Seamless Mobility and The Missing Player or Who Hijacked My City

Our cities are not taking the lead. On the surface everyone talks about a smart city and a new generation of public transportation, but in practice most cities are dragged into this revolution rather than actually lead it.

Transportation companies do not represent the city’s residents. Uber for example considers (at best) the interests of its drivers and passengers. From its perspective, other public transports and pedestrians are considered as a nuisance or worse, as competition. It would have been easier for Uber if those two were not part of the public space.

These days, most of the cities that deal with smart city projects and new types of transportation do not initiate solutions. Most of them are simply following on proposed business solutions. Uber, Lyft, Bird and other companies spread their transportation networks in the city with minimal coordination or without any coordination at all. At present, no one stands to represent the pedestrians and the residents of the city in front of these transportation companies, resulting in the chaos we see today .

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Seamless Mobility and Passenger Experience or How Can Public Transportation Travel Look Like

If you had to plan the urban transport system from scratch today, would it look the way it does now? Probably not. The key to good public transportation is Seamless Mobility – a user experience so great that the passenger hardly noticed the vehicles he rides or the road. An experience tailored to the transportation solution I have suggested in the previous article.

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Seamless Mobility and Hierarchical Transportation or How can public transport improve in the near future

If you had to plan the urban transport system from scratch today, would it look the way it does now? probably not. Urban transportation planning suffers from a mental fixation and I invite you to take a step back with me and rethink about how it should be conducted. In my opinion, the IT systems we have today can lead to a new type of transport, one that is not defined by Nodes and Modes.

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