Stephen Rees's blog

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

Posts Tagged ‘research

A Route Planner to Facilitate and Promote Cycling in Metro Vancouver

with 3 comments

Now isn’t that a title to stir your heart?

As I am sure most of you know, while I am a cyclist – sometimes – I am a fairly cautious one. That is because I am a fat old man with a dicky ticker. Where I live there are steep hills in three of the four cardinal compass points. We live in a bowl – and Valley Drive is the only flat way out. It is uphill from here to Kerrisdale or Shaughnessy and even Kits requires tackling a short but killer grind up Nanton to the new Greenway. So the idea of a tool that takes topography into account as one of the keys to route choice had an instant appeal to me.

I came across it due to a new twitter account called Vancouver Studies run by my old friend Raul Pacheco-Vega. “This account tweets scholarly studies about the city of Vancouver (BC, Canada).”

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So that link took me to the academic publisher Elsevier who, of course, charge an arm and a leg to read research articles – but at least the Abstract provided a link to the program itself. I thought.

With increasing fuel costs, greater awareness of greenhouse gas emissions and increasing obesity levels, cycling is promoted as a health promoting and sustainable transport mode. We developed a cycling route planner (http://cyclevancouver.ubc.ca) for Metro Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, to facilitate cycling amongst the general public and to facilitate new route location by transportation planners. The geographical information system-based planner incorporates variables that influence choices to travel by bicycle (e.g., distance, elevation gain, safety, route features, air pollution and links to transit) in selecting the preferred routing. Using a familiar and user-friendly Google Maps interface, the planner allows individuals to seek optimized cycling routes throughout the region based on their own preferences. In addition to the incorporation of multiple user preferences in route selection, the planner is unique amongst cycling route planners in its use of topology to minimize data storage redundancy, its reliance on node/vertex index tables to increase efficiency of the route selection process, and the use of web services and asynchronous technologies for quick data delivery. Use of this tool can help promote bicycle travel as a form of active transportation and help lower greenhouse gas carbon dioxide (CO2) and air pollutant emissions by reducing car trips.

I have disabled the link in the quote because that site no longer responds. But Topophilo will give you both the sad story of why this useful tool is no longer available and what else is around to help you.

Cycle Vancouver Is Now Offline

October 31st, 2014

CycleVancouver, Metro Vancouver’s cycling trip planner, has been taken offline because it is no longer receiving funding to be maintained and hosted.

Other useful resources that may be helpful in planning your route are:

and then it also says

The original Cycle Vancouver code has been posted to GitHub for reference.

Which might be good news if we can come up with a rescue plan. Doesn’t this seem to be a Good Idea for crowdfunding? Or maybe support from the City – or even Metro? Isn’t Translink supposed to be into this alternative mode stuff too?

Of course being dead for three years may mean all of this has been tried before – but now the Mayors have come up with some funding for Translink, and even the feds seem interested in less carbon intensive ways of getting around (which wasn’t the case back in 2014) shouldn’t we be trying to resuscitate the patient?

UPDATE Sunday January 8

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and because that link won’t work in an image

AFTERWORD May 16, 2017

Written by Stephen Rees

January 7, 2017 at 7:21 pm

Journal of Public Transportation Vol 15 #1

with 2 comments

Academic journals in general are ridiculously expensive, and often only available in university libraries. JPT is a welcome exception and is free for anyone to download as a pdf file. I get an email when a new issue is available.

Below I have cut and pasted the Table of Contents for Volume 15 No 1, 2012  

In view of the lively debates that break out here in the comments sections whenever transit is mentioned, I trust that readers will benefit from the information from the National Centre for  Transit Research at the University of South Florida

Should Transit Serve the CBD or a Diverse Array of Destinations?
A Case Study Comparison of Two Transit Systems
Jeffrey R. Brown, Gregory L. Thompson……………………………………………………………..1

An Approach to Calculate Overall Efficiency of Rolling Stock
for an Urban Rail Transit System
Qamar Mahboob, Thomas Stoiber, Stephanie Gottstein, Antonios Tsakarestos…….19

Assessment of Models to Estimate Bus-Stop Level Transit Ridership
using Spatial Modeling Methods
Srinivas S. Pulugurtha, Mahesh Agurla………………………………………………………………….33

Transit Coordination in the U.S.: A Survey of Current Practice

Charles Rivasplata, Adam Smith, Hiroyuki Iseki ……………………………………………………..53

Bus or Rail: An Approach to Explain the Psychological Rail Factor

Milena Scherer, Katrin Megel Dziekan…………………………………………………………………..75

The Impact of Weather on Bus Ridership in Pierce County, Washington

Victor W. Stover, Edward D. McCormack……………………………………………………………….95

The Potential Role of Flexible Transport Services in Enhancing
Rural Public Transport Provision
Nagendra R. Velaga, John D. Nelson, Steve D. Wright, John H. Farrington……………..111

Are Smart Card Ticketing Systems Profitable?
Evidence from the City of Trondheim
Morten Welde………………………………………………………………………………………………….133 

Written by Stephen Rees

April 17, 2012 at 12:11 pm

How to influence people

with 42 comments

but not win friends. Translink is currently running a survey on line as part of its “Translink listens” exercise. But it would seem it only listens these days when you agree with what is happening

Sample questions:
From the list below, please choose the three words that you feel should best describe Canada’s Pacific Gateway.
Well-managed
Prosperity
Opportunity
Growth
Connection
Movement
Efficient
Improvement
Expansion
Sustainable
Liveable
Integrated.
Which of the following statements do you agree with the most?
Please pick one only.
Canada’s Pacific Gateway increases mobility in our region, allowing people and goods to move more freely.
Canada’s Pacific Gateway improves our quality of life, reducing congestion and making trips safer.
Canada’s Pacific Gateway is important to our region’s economy and future prosperity.
Canada’s Pacific Gateway supports employment throughout our region, delivering opportunity.

Already email is flying and list serves grumbling. These questions are NOT open ended – they are multiple choice – but you can only choose things which support the Gateway. You are not allowed the opportunity to be critical of the program in any way.

When I worked for Translink – and its predecessor – the folks in the market research section were very proud of their reputation, and took great care to ensure that all the surveys they mounted – or commissioned from external consultants – were above reproach. I can only assume that the people involved have changed in the 5 years since I left. Or, since SoCoBriTCA is now in nearly all respects under the aegis of the Minister of Transportation, that standards have changed.

Quite disgraceful really. And it will colour my views of all subsequent research that Translink produces unless there is some public declaration that there has been a regrettable error, the survey is closed and a more balanced one replaces it pronto.

Written by Stephen Rees

February 23, 2009 at 2:23 pm

Posted in Gateway

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