Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Number of Public Bicycle Share Systems in Spain

In the chart below you can conclude that there are currently 66 public bicycle systems operating in Spain. Since the first experience in 2003 have been implemented in all 130 systems, thus surviving half of them. The largest increase in the number of systems occurred between 2007 and 2010, with 2009 the year of further growth. The peak was reached in 2010 with 100 systems in operation around the country. In 2010 the number of systems started down due to closures and openings substantially reduced. The largest net decrease was recorded in 2012. The downward trend that began in 2010 continues today. In view of these results it can be said that public bicycle in Spain has left behind a phase of initial boom. Possible causes closure of public bicycle systems in recent years are: 1) overconfidence in his introduction; 2) poor planning of the costs associated with the system, mainly its stage of exploitation and maintenance and redistribution; and 3) the accentuation of financing difficulties because of the economic crisis. Read more here in English and here in Spanish.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Bicycling around the World

‘Bicycling Around The World’ celebrates bike travel and culture around the globe. In 2010, photographer Paul Jeurissen and Grace Johnson set off on a multi-year bicycle tour covering four continents. Wherever we go, we search out bike culture, dramatic landscapes and remote places. So come pedal with us through the icy Himalayas, the barren Pamir highway, tropical East Africa and the chaos of Dhaka in search of unique cycling images. We also show you glimpses of bicycle culture via painted rickshaws, overloaded cargo bikes and even two wheelers piled high with cotton candy. By the end of this book, we hope you’ll agree that the world is best viewed from a bike saddle. Get the eBook here!

Sunday, February 8, 2015

China has 8 cities with bigger bike share systems than all of America

The growth of bike share programs is gaining momentum in the US. But this growth is absolutely dwarfed by the explosion of bike share programs in China over the last couple of years. The country now has more than 400,000 bike share bikes in operation across dozens of cities with programs, with the vast majority installed since 2012. To put this in perspective, there are an estimated 822,00 bikes in operation around the world — so China has more bikes than all other countries combined. The individual country with the next-highest number of bikes, France, has just 45,000. Here are the 15 countries with more than 3,000 bikes in operation, with data coming from the Bike-sharing World Map, a database maintained by Russell Meddin and Paul DeMaio.Early on, most bike share programs were in Europe. The French town of Rennes pioneered the first computerized system in 1998, and as late as 2008, only a single system existed outside of Europe (Washington DC's). For years, Paris had the largest system. Read more here.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Temporary bicycle parking facility in Tilburg

The university city of Tilburg in the south of the Netherlands is one of the many Dutch cities in which the central station area is under extensive reconstruction. Because that reconstruction involved building a new underpass at the location of the bicycle parking facility, that facility had to be relocated. So a temporary facility was constructed on an abandoned platform, originally built for postal trains, but that was also used as a car parking area later. Tilburg’s central station is used by 30,000 travellers per day. In 2020 that is expected to have risen to 40,000. To make the station future proof, two new underpasses under the existing and remaining monumental station hall from 1965 will be built. One for train passengers and a public one for people walking and cycling. That last underpass will connect to Willem II-straat. The passage will be 13 metres wide and 3 metres high. The reconstruction of the station is taking place right now and it is expected to be finished mid-2016.  When the station was built, this was where the postal trains were loaded and unloaded. But when the postal trains were abolished it was turned into a car park. The car park has now been transformed into a bicycle parking facility. Read on here.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Seville: the cycling capital of southern Europe

Spain remains far from a paradise for bikes – yet cycling has increased 11-fold in Seville in the space of a few years. Is this proof that any city can get lots of people riding by building an ambitious network of connected, segregated bike lanes? tour around the network reveals fewer cyclists than normal, mainly due to what is, for local standards, something of a cold snap (it is sunny and 11C, a temperature at which Sevillans seemingly require down jackets, thick gloves and hats).But plenty of cyclists are out and what is noticeable to a British eye is both their variety and the ordinariness. The variety comes from the riders themselves – a seemingly equal gender split, with ages going from children to people well into their 70s. Net result is not Dutch or Danish levels of cycling, but nonetheless impressive. The average number of bikes used daily in the city rose from just over 6,000 to more than 70,000. The last audit, about a year ago, found 6% of all trips were made by bike, rising to 9% for non-commuter journeys. Read on here.

Cycling key in reducing urban air pollution

A new study has been published arguing that a modal shift from cars to bicycles will help to cut air pollution in Europe. According to the study, non-technical measures, such as increasing cycling and bringing in restrictions on cars, such as car-free zones, can provide clear improvements in air quality. A core finding was that the stronger the action taken by city authorities, the better the result. Commissioned by the European Cyclists’ Federation (ECF) and conducted by consultancy Ricardo-AEA, the study examined transport pollutants NOx, NO2 and PM10 using five European cities – Antwerp, London, Nantes, Seville and Thessaloniki – as case studies. According to the ECF, the city of Seville managed to comply with EU limit values for air pollution due to raising the modal share of cycling from 0.5% to 7% through investment in cycling and measures to reduce motorised traffic. There has been mounting concern over the health and economic impact of air pollution in Europe’s urban areas. While EU limits have been introduced, in many cities there remains a failure to comply. 

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Master's Programme Spatial, Transport and Environmental Economics

The Master of Science in Spatial, Transport and Environmental Economics (“STREEM”) is a one-year master’s programme offered at the Department of Spatial Economics, VU University Amsterdam, which is one of the main players world-wide in these three fields of specialization. This master will be of interest to students with a background not only in economics, but also in geography, transport science and related disciplines. The programme starts in September each year and is completely taught in English. More detailed information is provided at the website. The application deadline for the next academic year is 1 April, 2015 (and 1 March, 2015, if applying for a scholarship). The admission and application procedure can be found hereIn addition to the master’s programme STREEM, we offer a summer school (3 ects) on Metropolitan Economics from 6-17 July, 2015. This might be of interest to the same group of students. It addresses economic mechanisms behind urbanization, urban policy challenges, as well as policy instruments to address these. More information can be found on the website. We look forward to welcoming new students at our department!