Stephen Rees's blog

Thoughts about the relationships between transport and the urban area it serves

Archive for February 10th, 2009

Paris Velib Crushed by Vandalism?

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Bike Europe News

J C Decaux the company that runs the popular rental program in Paris cannot continue with the current level of vanadalism. The City of Paris takes EU20m (CAN$32m) out of the bike scheme but is seemingly not interested in a bail out. But it ” is considering launching an anti-vandalism public awareness operation” which does not sound like much effective action to me.

According to JCDecaux 7,800 of the original 15,000 bikes have disappeared or [been] stolen and 11,600 have been vandalised. Since the start of the program the bikes have been used 42 million times, or an average  every bike 2,800 times!

This is really sad that the people of Paris and their city politicians seem incapable of keeping a very valuable service going. Unfortunately this has been the case elsewhere – for example a much earlier low technology trial of free “white bikes” in Amsterdam, nearly all of which simply ended up being thrown into the canals.

Written by Stephen Rees

February 10, 2009 at 1:58 pm

Posted in bicycles

Gondola planned for Burnaby Mountain

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Burnaby News Leader

Burnaby Mountain could soon have a gondola line serving Simon Fraser University and the rapidly-growing community of UniverCity.

The SFU Community Trust has put forward the concept of an estimated $68.9 million project that would run between the Production Way SkyTrain station and the transit loop at the east end of the SFU campus. Trust CEO Gordon Harris said a gondola transit system would improve reliability and travel times to and from Burnaby Mountain, and reduce the greenhouse gas emissions currently produced by the fleet of diesel buses that run up and down the mountain

This is an excellent idea. It cannot of course simply be implemented by the Trust – who own the UniverCity development on the mountain. They are now talking to the Province and Translink. Based on the figures presented in this story they should proceed. Travel time from Production Way to the current transit loop would be 6 minutes – not the 14 (minimum) it takes by bus. Operating cost is around half that of buses – and the capital cost is not much more than the $50m it will cost for a replacement fleet of buses. Ridership is currently around 20,000 a day. Obviously it will be much better if the gondola is integrated into the Translink fare system than run privately.

One major advantage of the aerial tramway is that it can operate in snow and not leave people stranded on the mountain top.

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Written by Stephen Rees

February 10, 2009 at 1:42 pm

Posted in transit

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