Friday, September 30, 2011

Floating Dutchman

The amphibious bus, Floating Dutchman, has made its maiden trip between Schiphol and Amsterdam.  The amphibious bus called Floating Dutchman, on which tourists can travel from Schiphol to Amsterdam finally made its maiden trip. The Ministry of Infrastructure and Environment blocked the approval for a long time, thinking there were still some technical problems with the vehicle. As of now, the bus sails and drives three times a day from the Airport of Schiphol to Amsterdam. Tourists can take the bus at 9am, 12 or 3pm. When there’s enough time, the bus can make a fourth round trip, depending on weather and water conditions. The bus, owned by shipping company Lovers, cost €2.5 million which is three times more than originally thought. A ticket costs €39. The city of Amsterdam hopes to attract more tourists to the city. Whether you have a transfer at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol or want to start your holiday with a splash, the Floating Dutchman is the most spectacular way to experience Amsterdam. The bus leaves from the airport to the city. Once there, it will 'splash' into the canals and show you highlights of the city, before taking you back to the airport!

Velo Mondial proudly presents

Cycling For Everyone from Dutch Cycling Embassy on Vimeo.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Glamour, Velo Mondial's key word

‘The Global Sport Market Estimate’ is now also focusing on bicycles as well as bike parts and accessories. NPD’s survey on the 2010 bike market shows total retail sales (after VAT) valued at 32.9 billion euro (45.8 bn US dollar). This includes the sale of bikes parts, accessories, rental, maintenance, cycling shoes and cycling apparel. In 2009 the value stood at 29.9 billion euro (39.5 bn US dollar). The NPD data, provided exclusively to Bike Europe, further notes that the average price of a bike stood at 179 euro (249 US dollar) in 2010. NPD’s 6th survey ‘The Global Sport Market Estimate’ further deduced that cycling is the number 1 sport market in the world in terms of revenue, ahead of any other sport. It is accounting for 15% of the global sport market in 2010; was 14% in 2009. The survey further says: “Electrical bikes have yet to prove that they are a mass market product in Western Europe. We believe what is missing is a touch of glamour on the bikes and they are expensive in comparison with traditional bicycles. So the interesting question is at what level of price will we observe that the demand for hybrid technology products will start to rocket and hit the mass market.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Portland The Next Phase

Portland is nationally recognized as a leader in the movement to create bicycle-friendly cities. About 7 percent of commuters here travel by bike (the national average is under 1 percent) and the city has an ambitious plan, adopted last year, to increase that proportion to 25 percent by 2030. Until recently, Portland’s bike initiatives focused on improving the transportation infrastructure. But as businesses awaken to the purchasing power of cyclists, “bicycle-supported developments” are also beginning to appear around town. These are residential and commercial projects built near popular bikeways and outfitted with cycling-related services and amenities. The change is coming from the private sector.  But not everyone is unreservedly enthusiastic about the district’s new orientation. In some neighborhoods businesses and many residents see bicycles as a symbol of the gentrification taking place in the neighborhood. The city’s Bureau of Transportation is considering working with the Bureau of Planning on bicycle-oriented developments, possibly connected to “cycle tracks” — physically separated bike lanes that have some of the permanence of a streetcar line. Read more in the  NYT

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Workplace Travel Plans.

The European project COMMERCE has developed standards and guidance for the delivery of successful workplace travel plans across the EU. This constitutes a benchmarking tool to compare travel plan quality as well as a management tool for self improvement. They have been designed to be relevant to public and private sector stakeholders. The criteria to be fulfilled are organised under the following headings: Strategic focus, Stakeholder commitment, Site audit and Travel Survey, Objectives and targets, Actions and measures, Monitoring an evaluation, Costs and cost benefits. The criteria belong to either a basic, an intermediate or an advanced level of workplace travel planning. In order to achieve a certain level, the business should be able to demonstrate compliance with all criteria from that level. The glossy publications of the Travel Plan Standards are available in English, French, Romanian, Bulgarian, Lithuanian and Hungarian. The Pan-European Workplace Travel Plan Awards (PEWTA) awarded best practice in Travel Plans. They proved to be a real success attracting 111 applications over 3 years, and extended awareness to countries where the value of travel plans was not well known. Read more here.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

New York gets it's Bike Share

New York City Department of Transportation (DOT) Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan and Deputy Mayor Howard Wolfson today announced the selection of Alta Bicycle Share, Inc. to develop and operate a privately funded bike share system in New York City, the first step in the process of bringing a low-cost and accessible 24-hour transportation option to New Yorkers. The New York City bike share system will launch in 2012, and will include approximately 10,000 bicycles, distributed at 600 stations in Manhattan south of 79th Street, as well as in Brooklyn neighborhoods from Williamsburg, Crown Heights and Bedford-Stuyvesant to Park Slope and Carroll Gardens. Options for additional stations in other boroughs are also being explored.  “With bike share, we’re reinventing the wheel by providing an affordable transportation option that’s there when you want it,” said Commissioner Sadik-Khan. “Whether it’s covering the last quarter mile from the subway or reaching that dead zone between stations, bike share offers a great, new way to get around in a New York minute and will bring needed jobs and revenue to the city.” In addition, DOT is launching an online Web portal VeloMondial congratulates New York, TA and Alta Planing.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Cargo Hopper Utrecht

In the Dutch CIVITAS MIMOSA city of Utrecht a partnership between municipal agencies and a company called Hoek has lead to a new type of truck delivery appearing on the streets. In both Utrecht and Enschede, retailers in the core of the inner city agreed to have needed goods shipped by large freight trucks to a depot ten kilometers outside city limits, then trucked by Cargohopper tiny electric "truck train" delivery vehicles directly to shop locations. This solves two problems - no more huge trucks idling in the shopping streets during peak hours (there are already strict rules in place in the Netherlands limiting delivery times), and less need for shopkeepers to have big loads delivered, as the Cargohopper can make smaller, more frequent deliveries from the depots each day. The Cargohopper is a long and narrow "train" that easily maneuvers Dutch inner cities' cramped streets. It has a maximum speed of just 12 kilometers per hour, which is deemed fine for the deliveries the Cargohopper makes. The Cargohopper can go do about 60 kilometers of deliveries each day and each of the truck trains can reduce diesel fuel use by 20,000 liters annually, and cut CO2 emissions by 30 ton. Have a look for yourself at this video.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

'We Need Safe Footpaths'

A study that benchmarks the pedestrian infrastructure of six Indian cities was released by the Clean Air Initiative for Asian Cities (CAI-Asia) in a publication titled ‘Walkability in Indian Cities’. The walkability study serves to help decision makers prioritize planning and investments to improve non-motorized mobility in India. In addition to the availability of pedestrian footpaths, it also includes other parameters such as accessibility to crossings and amenities and road safety issues, such as motorists’ behaviour towards pedestrians. Pune scored the highest walkability rating (54 out of 100) followed by Rajkot, Bhubaneshwar, Indore, Surat and, Chennai with a score of 40 out of 100. Demonstrating the challenges ahead, the walkability rating at bus stops and railway stations scored the worst in all six cities, with an average score of 39. Residential and commercial areas averaged 52 and 57 respectively with Bhubaneshwar and Pune scoring the highest among the cities. It is pertinent to note that Indian cities were way below their Asian counterparts. Improving the pedestrian facilities significantly reduces the shift from non-motorized transportation to two wheelers and cars.