USP 514 Session 11 Notes

October 26th and 28th 
 Session Eleven: Sustainable Urban Transportation Management
This session will examine a range of issues critical to sustainable urban transportation. We will examine case studies of Curitiba, Brazil and Bogata, Columbia transportation systems. We will be guided by the following questions.

  1. What are basic characteristics of urban transportation systems?
    • Mobility
    • Some relationships are backwards of what might seem intuitive
      • More industrialized countries often have less transit options
      • Less industrialized countries often have more transit options
      • More industrialized countries are more responsible for climate change while being less impacted by climate change
      • Less industrialized countries are less responsible for climate change while bearing a greater share of the impact
    • Transportation is the movement of people, goods, and services.
    • Modes
      • Biking
      • Walking
      • Busses
      • Trains
      • Cars
      • Light rails
      • Animals: horses, donkeys, oxen, camels, elephants, dogs, llamas
      • Airplanes
    •  Sustainable
      • Busses
      • Trains
      • Light rail
    • Unsustainable
      • Cars
      • Airplanes
    • Good transportation is:
      • Affordable
      • Sustainable
      • Efficient
      • Accessible
      • Safety
      • Reliable
      • Clean
      • Convenient
      • Connected
      • Working conditions for workers should be good
    • US transportation systems are:
      • Mixed ownership public/private
      • Car centered
      • Unsafe
      • Polluting
      • Fossil fuel dominated
      • Unreliable
      • Disconnected
      • Inefficient
    • Transit: the movement of people
      • Busses, trains, light rail can carry more people than cars in the same space
      • Working conditions for workers should be good
    • Why do people use cars
      • Mobility
      • Accessibility
      • More control and autonomy
        • Destination
        • Music
        • Temperature
      • Perception that it’s faster
      • Perception that it’s cheaper
    • Transit needs to compete with these features
  2. What are the environmental and social impacts of fossil fuel dependency in the transit sector?
  3. Are all social groups affected equally?
  4. What can be done to reduce reliance on fossil fuels in the transit sector?
  5. How can mass transit, bicycling, and walking be promoted in urban transit systems?
  6. How can transportation professionals promote sustainable transportation policies and practices?
    • brt vs rail
    • alleged limitations of progressive ticket pricing
  7.  Transit oriented development
    • people use cars less because land use is planned so that housing and work are located near transit
    • Fruitvale is the best example in the bay
    • High density mixed use adjacent to transit
    • BRT came in to make it even better
  8. What does “connectivity” look like?
    • It’s more important to connect people to where they need to go rather than just connecting modalities and hoping people can get where they need to go
  9. How are transportation projects envisioned, funded, and developed in us compared to Western Europe, Japan, S Korea, others
    • In the past, people were working closer to where they worked.
    • Many large cities had widespread excellent transit systems
    • Federal policy and the tire industry have historically worked to dismantle the transit systems and forced people into cars
    • 80% of american transportation spending goes to car infrastructure
    • 20% of american transportation spending goes to transit infrastructure
    • Most developed countries have the opposite mix
    • Transportation projects are envisioned, funded, and developed in the us to advance the power of the car at the expense of walking, biking, and transit.
    • Strong-mayor acts prevented cars from entering business districts in curitiba by installing barriers overnight and occupying streets with children to prevent cars from driving through
      • Similar things happening in the Castro
  10. How do we move people out of cars and onto transit
    • brt vs rail
    • alleged limitations of progressive ticket pricing
    • ride apps are displacing transit to destinations like the airports
    • pricing is important but it’s not the primary factor people are paying attention to when they decide whether to use transit
    • Policies are successful based on incentives or penalties
      • Incentives
        • Reliability
        • Safety
        • Accessibility
        • Quality of ride
        • Incentives from workplaces, institutions
        • Alternatives to the car
      • Penalties
        • Cost of owning and using a car
        • Cost of parking
        • Fines and fees are high
        • Gas prices are high in most of the developed world outside of the us
  11. What are the implications of people working from home on transit?
    • More drivers
    • Transit systems in crisis


REQUIRED READING FOR SESSION ELEVEN (click on Session 11 on left side to access reading)

  • Alternative Urban Futures: Chapter Four
    • Transportation
      • Transportation patterns in developing countries
      • Transportation patterns in industrialized countries
    • Environmental and social impacts of automobile dependency
      • How the transportation infrastructure promotes and supports automobile use
      • Problems with automobile sustainability
    • Sustainable urban transportation planning
      • Increasing mass transit options and mass transit ridership
        • Mass transit in developing countries
      • Increasing the role of bicycles
        • Planning to increase bicycle use in Japanese cities
        • Planning to increase bicycle use in Western European cities
        • Increasing the role of workbikes and bicycle rickshaws
          • Cycle rickshaws
      • Creating pedestrian-friendly infrastructures
      • Alternative automotive systems, fuels, and designs
        • Alternative ownership
        • Alternative fuel vehicles and energy sources
        • Alternative vehicle designs
  • Vast New Bay Area Bike-Share Program Is Everywhere … Except Deep East OaklandAshley Wong, East Bay Express July 15, 2017
    • Bike share programs extend throughout the bay area
      • They are not present in East Oakland.
    • They say it’s because of a lack of proximity to transit, jobs, and services.
    • There is a history of equity problems for bike share programs in the area



Curitiba Rapid Bus System (14 minutes)

    • Discussion
      • Functions more like a rail system than a bus system
      • Transit is used to address issues of social inequality
      • Affordable, progressive pricing with priority given to the poor
      • External land use design
    • Installed a 100% bus public transit system
      • Stops every 400 meters
      • BRT arterials
        • Fares are paid before passengers board busses
          • Busses only stop for an average of 15-19 seconds
    • There are plans to install a future subway arterial line
    • 80% of travelers use the bus system
      • 70% of commuters
    • Bus fare is the same no matter how far you have to travel
    • Busses have special lanes so they avoid traffic
    • Land use policies require increasing density along brt lines rather than sprawling out

Streetfilms-BRT Transmilenio (Bogotá, Colombia) (7 minutes)

    • Just a description of what BRT is
      • Elevated stations where busses pull up
      • People have already paid before they get on the platform so they just walk in and the bus leaves.
      • BRT busses have special lanes

How to use Transmilenio, the massive transport system in Bogotá? RCN news in English´s video (3 minutes) ––seUQXyfLE

    • This person explains how to take a bus by buying a ticket, reading the signs, and taking the correct bus
    • There is also a transfer to another bus
    • There are plans to eventually add subway and lightrail

E2. (2007). Bogota: Building a Sustainable City. (25:45) –

We already watched this video in this same class and answered questions about it so I’ll just paste that here;

    • What are the main themes in this video?
      • Rapid unplanned urban growth leads to social problems
      • Adding population without adding infrastructure and planning to support the additional population will result in a lower quality of life and an increase in social problems in the city.
      • Reclaiming public space
    • What were the major issues raised in this video?
      • If you don’t plan your city, it will not be a good city for people.
      • Transpiration and transit
      • Giving public spaces like sidewalks back to people instead of cars
      • Giving water, sewage, and health to the extremely poor before giving it to car culture for the rich.
    • What strategies were used to address urban problems in Bogata?
      • Planning
      • Sustainable urban design as a foundation for social justice
      • The planners used tactics like color and diction to make the new bus system “sexy.”
        • They tried to get people to say they are “taking the trans-millenial” rather than “taking the bus.”
      • Smaller trunk lines feed the main lines so allow a larger area to access the bus system
      • Satellite connections between buses means the system can be efficiently managed to meet its maximum capacity, redirecting resources where they are needed most in real time.
      • Getting cars off the sidewalks was initially a controversial position
      • They built a pedestrian road through the poorest parts of the city with sewage and water pipes underneath, displacing open sewers with new healthy spaces for people to move through the city.
        • The longest pedestrian road in Latin America
        • This connects the transit systems and the schools and libraries to the people, becoming a cultural commentary and statement about the priorities of the city
        • There was a huge shift in social problems after this was built, with the most dangerous parts of the city becoming safe, and social problems going away.
    • Why does Mayor Penolosa of Bogata believe that sustainable urban design a foundation for social justice?
      • (3:15-5:20) He seemed to argue for broken windows theory; that people will decide what kind of life to have based on their surroundings, and so eliminating the negative cues about the kind of neighborhoods you have will cause people to choose to live in a better way. He said this gave people more self esteem which solved urban social problems.
      • He riffed for a while and seemed to argue that living in America inspired him to believe that a lassaiz-faire capitalism will eventually solve many social problems. He specifically argued that socialism is bad in contrast on this point.
      • He specifically claims (6:30) that restricting car use on some roads during certain times and allowing bikes to use the roads instead is “the seed” of social progress towards the new Bogota.
      • If you spend all your money building freeways then you have no money left for parks and schools
      • If you have a limited amount of money, it can’t all go to car culture which benefits only a few
    • What did you learn from this video?
      • The bus system was previously a mafia business in Bogota, and later became a city program.
        • The new system was based on the Curitiba bus system: “The best bus system in the world.”
      • It was interesting to hear his Penolosa’s thoughts on the idea of restricting cars being the seed of sustainable urban development.