Bus Meister: Public Transport Priority Best Practices wiki

Improve Public Transport wiki screenshot.

Improve Public Transport wiki screenshot.

I have started developing the Public Transport Priority Best Practices wiki as part of my Bus Meister project. The wiki is being developed on wikispaces and here’s a link to the page that describes how the Bus Meister game will calculate how long it takes passengers to board a public transport vehicle, and therefore how long the vehicle will need to stop at a station.

The page has links to the other pages too. Since it’s a wiki please feel free to edit it … it’s quite easy really, but I may need to invite you, so just let me know if you want to help!

Web 2.0 for citizen involvement

Schedule information screens on Zurich public transport vehicles, from my flickr photos.

The Infrastructuralist just had an interesting article about IBM’s Smart Cities program and some work they are doing in Viet Nam. I added a comment suggesting that a good solution for many urban problems is the use of Web 2.0 techniques to involve the public in planning and operating urban services. Read the article and my comment here (The Infrastructuralist is no longer available).

Builder Bob on Westbahnstrasse

I just finished my series of website pages describing the Westbahnstrasse Tram Track Rehabilitation Project completed during the summer of 2009. The two new pages present aerial views of the work (from a neighbor who was also fascinated by the construction process) and photos of the workshop where the Wiener Linien prefabricate the track by cutting, bending and welding together sections of rail. The website pages include photos, descriptions and YouTube video links.

Now I can get started on this summer’s Westbahnstrasse project: the Westbahnstrasse Chronicles! Stay tuned.

MIT Media Lab’s Bill Mitchell Interviewed

Here’s a great video interview of Bill Mitchell, the Smart Cities Director at MIT’s Media Lab. They are developing ideas like the cars in the photo above, rethinking the entire concept of cars from technology to the transport systems in which they operate.

I was especially interested in his description of the ‘future of mobility’ where he talks about the need for sophisticated management algorithms helping to make more efficient use of existing resources (11:15 into the interview). This is exactly the idea behind the Bus Meister concept for using Web 2.0 applications to help provide priority for public transport.

Web 2.0 and California High Speed Rail Planning

TGV at Zurich Hauptbahnhof – October 2009 – from my flickr photos.

As I mentioned in a previous post, I just finished revising my TRB paper on Web 2.0 applications for improving public participation in the transportation planning process (download here: web2transport). Yesterday I was talking to someone about some of the ideas in the paper and I remembered a story I wrote in 2005 as part of a proposal for completing the Regional Rail Plan for the San Francisco Bay Area.

The story was a speech given by one of the participants in the Regional Rail Plan planning process given 25-years after completion of the California High Speed rail system. I just re-read the story and I was surprised about how good it is and how relevant so many of the points it raises are today. So, here’s the link to a pdf file. As they say, sit back, relax and enjoy the trip!

San Francisco Bay Area Regional Rail Plan – A vision (2005)

(By the way, although people I talked with on the inside said that this story was an important reason for selecting the consultant team, the consultants never asked me to help with the project and I’m not sure what ever happened to the plan itself.)

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