TRB Annual Meeting 2018

TRB Annual Meeting 2018

I’m co-author for three papers at this year’s Transportation Research Board Annual Meeting in Washington DC (8-13 January 2018). Here’s a list and some links:

18-01196
Feedforward Tactical Optimization for Energy-Efficient Operation of Freight Trains: Swiss Case
Valerio De Martinis, ETHZ – Swiss Federal Institute of Technology
Ambra Toletti, ETHZ – Swiss Federal Institute of Technology
Francesco Corman, ETH Zurich
Ulrich Weidmann, IVT ETH Zürich
Andrew Nash, Emch+Berger AG Bern

18-00903
Application of a Cost-Allocation Model to Swiss Bus and Train lines
Marc Sinner, ETH Zurich
Ulrich Weidmann, IVT ETH Zürich
Andrew Nash, Emch+Berger AG Bern

18-00341
Wireless Electric Propulsion Light Rail Transit Systems in Spain

Francisco Calvo, University of Granada, Spain
Andrew Nash, Emch+Berger AG Bern

Public Transport Strategic Planning using Levels

Public Transport Strategic Planning using Levels

I’m making a presentation at SPUR in San Francisco on January 7 on the concept of public transport network level and using it to describe the performance and future improvement of Zurich’s public transport system.

A public transport level is a specific type of service designed to serve a particular market. Service is defined as a combination of vehicles, infrastructure and operating characteristics. A “pure” level is when the service is targeted specifically to one particular market. A “hybrid” level is when a service is targeted to serve several markets. Urban travel is generally described as three markets: short, intermediate and long distance trips.

Campaign poster for Zürich S-Bahn project in 1981. Project approved.

Campaign poster for Zürich S-Bahn project in 1981. Project approved.

Consequently many cities have developed three-level public transport networks: surface buses and trams to serve short trips, rapid rail to serve intermediate trips, and regional rail to serve longer distance trips. Often, by design or for historic reasons, cities have additional levels, fewer levels and/or the levels that are not precisely matched to their markets. For example, two-level networks are often found in medium size cities. Their advantage is lower costs while their main disadvantage is a mismatch between transport mode and market that manifests itself in capacity limitations.

Using the level concept to help analyze and plan public transport service is useful because it focuses attention on matching service qualities to markets. The presentation will use this approach to analyze the success of Zurich’s public transport system and to provide a structure for planning improvements that will be needed to meet rapidly increasing public transport demand. This approach could help other cities (re)design their public transport systems to be more attractive and efficient. More specifically, the approach could show how two-level public transport networks could be a viable option for medium sized cities and large cities with dispersed settlement patterns.

My co-authors Hermann Orth and Ulrich Weidmann are also presenting the paper at the Transportation Research Board Annual Meeting: A Level-based Approach to Public Transport Network Planning; Session 514: Public Transportation Planning and Development: Food for Thought on Networks Design, Accessibility, and Investment Policy Tuesday, January 13, 2015 8:00AM – 9:45AM Convention Center, 149.

Here’s a link to my slides: A Level-based Approach to Public Transport Network Planning

Tel Aviv Yafo

Tel Aviv Yafo

I visited Tel Aviv Yafo as part of my work reviewing the CIVITAS 2move2 project in late March. I’d never been to Israel before and it was very interesting and nice. The weather was fantastic, sunny and about 20 degrees for our whole visit.

Tel-o-Fun bike sharing in Tel Aviv Yafo

Tel-o-Fun bike sharing in Tel Aviv Yafo

The goal of CIVITAS is for cities to demonstrate a set of innovative sustainable transportation measures and then evaluate how well they worked so that other cities can learn from their experience. Groups of cities work together to implement similar measures and learn from each other. In Tel Aviv we saw measures for electro mobility, improved traffic control, bus priority, green corridors and bike systems. Our hosts from the city took us on tours to see these innovative ideas.

One of my favourite projects is the green corridors. I learned that the noted city planner Patrick Geddes had developed the original plan for Tel Aviv and had included green corridors around the city. We walked and rode bikes on several of these corridors and they are really wonderful. They reminded me of the parkways in my hometown of Buffalo NY planned by Frederick Law Olmsted. There are one-way streets (one parking lane and one travel lane) on both sides of a wide landscaped median. The median contains a bike path, pedestrian path, play areas, and cafes at the main cross streets (see photo). These corridors are very pleasant and well used, they would be a great model for modern cities!

Pedestrian wayfinding sign in Tel Aviv Yafo

Pedestrian wayfinding sign in Tel Aviv Yafo

We also had a very nice tour of Tel Aviv’s White City. This is the part of Tel Aviv developed in the early 1920s (planned by Geddes). It contains over 2,000 Bauhaus (International Style) buildings. Many of these buildings need renovation, and the city is working on making this happen by working with owners to develop economically possible renovation plans. This portion of the city was recently designated a world cultural site by UNESCO.

Of course, the beach is also nice!

My photos of Tel Aviv on Flickr.

My photos of Jerusalem on Flickr – it’s only about an hour away by bus!

CIVITAS Forum 2013

Georges Braque - Mon Velo

Georges Braque – Mon Velo

Just returned from the CIVITAS Forum 2013 in Brest France. Great conference with lots of neat sustainable transport ideas.

LRT on pedestrian mall in centre of Brest, France (October 2013).

LRT on pedestrian mall in centre of Brest, France (October 2013).

I travelled via Paris, taking the TGV from Montparnasse to Brest and back. On my return trip I visited the wonderful Braque exhibit at the Grand Palais and was struck by his painting of his bicycle (above). It was appropriate for the trip!

Brest is a very pleasant city. Like many relatively small cities in France they have a tramway! The tram runs along a pedestrian mall through the center of the city.

Salzburg railway station roof

Salzburg Hauptbahnhof old and new roof with winged design sculpture (May 2013).

Salzburg Hauptbahnhof old and new roof with winged design sculpture (May 2013).

They have been rebuilding the Salzburg Hauptbahnhof seemingly forever, but making progress. Here’s a photo of the old roof structure, renovated, and protected by the new, longer roof.

I love the traditional design found on many stations and railway logo designs that makes use of the winged something (often it’s a wheel). There’s one visible here at the top of the old roof.

Also visible in the photo is the rail above the tracks for providing electricity to the trains. It probably was necessary to use a rail in the renovated station because the electric catenary wire would have been too high.

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