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Towards Carfree Cities: The Technology Component (Michael Smith, NextBus)

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This is the presentation that Michael Smith of NextBus gave during the Carfree Cities 2008 conference in Portland, OR in this panel discussion:
http://www.carfreeportland.org/program/#wednesday

Published in: Technology, Business
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Towards Carfree Cities: The Technology Component (Michael Smith, NextBus)

  1. 2. Towards Car Free Cities The Technology Component Michael Smith Director of Engineering NextBus
  2. 3. Technology & Information !!!
  3. 4. Today…
  4. 6. Tomorrow…
  5. 8. Reasons for Improving Transit <ul><li>Dependency on oil </li></ul><ul><li>Global climate change (50% of CO2 is from transportation) </li></ul><ul><li>Pollution (60-70% in cities is from cars) </li></ul><ul><li>Vibrancy of our cities </li></ul><ul><li>Economic cost of congestion </li></ul>
  6. 9. Transit Could be Viable Solution <ul><li>People of moving to the cities, worldwide </li></ul><ul><li>50% of car trips in US are less than 2 miles </li></ul>
  7. 10. Except…
  8. 11. At the time we need transit the most…
  9. 12. “ A man who, beyond the age of 26, finds himself on a bus can count himself as a failure” Margaret Thatcher said:
  10. 13. There is a huge chasm: <ul><li>Lack of money </li></ul><ul><li>Lack of respect (transit is transportation of last resort) </li></ul><ul><li>Lack of technology </li></ul><ul><li>Lack of passenger information </li></ul>
  11. 14. How to Increase Transit Usage? <ul><li>$10/gallon gasoline </li></ul><ul><li>or </li></ul><ul><li>Improve transit </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Investment </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Management </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Technology </li></ul></ul>
  12. 15. Ouch!
  13. 16. New Technologies…
  14. 18. GM’s Plan for Future
  15. 19. Problems With Transit <ul><li>It takes too much time! </li></ul><ul><li>Passengers don’t have confidence in system </li></ul><ul><li>Unaware of choices </li></ul><ul><li>Unforgiving with respect to mistakes </li></ul>
  16. 20. Old habits die hard
  17. 21. Information as Part of the Solution!
  18. 22. History of NextBus <ul><li>Over 10 years old </li></ul><ul><li>Started by the father of “Fast Pass” </li></ul><ul><li>Emphasis on improving transit </li></ul><ul><li>In over 45 cities </li></ul>
  19. 23. Current Customers
  20. 24. Real-Time Passenger Information <ul><li>We tell users, for every stop, when the next vehicle is going to arrive </li></ul><ul><li>“ NextBus in 5 minutes” </li></ul><ul><li>Can also display text messages </li></ul><ul><li>“ Detour next week due to construction” </li></ul><ul><li>AVL & Management tools </li></ul>
  21. 25. Signs, website, cell phones, etc
  22. 26. Why Real-Time Information is Valuable <ul><li>Make transit a better alternative: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Reduces travel time </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Reduces perceived wait times </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Reduces exposure to elements </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Reduces uncertainty </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Empowers the passengers </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Increases ridership </li></ul>
  23. 27. Don’t want to wait in rain
  24. 28. Wait where there’s coffee!
  25. 31. Cell Phones & PDAs
  26. 35. Does It Make a Difference? <ul><li>We get fan mail from users </li></ul><ul><li>“ Best thing to happen to SF Muni” </li></ul><ul><li>Difference between taking or not taking the bus </li></ul>
  27. 36. Conclusion <ul><li>Yes, we have a problem </li></ul><ul><li>Need to improve transit </li></ul><ul><li>Funding will be short </li></ul><ul><li>Transit information technology is part of the solution </li></ul>

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