Thursday, January 27, 2011

Global Car Sharing Organization

Eighteen carsharing organizations from around the world have announced formation of an association that sets the ethical, social and environmental bar for the carsharing industry. The driving principles of the new CarSharing Association (CSA) focus on environmental and social impact and responsibility, education, research and ethical practices. The goals of carsharing organizations in CSA include reducing the number of cars on the road, relieving congestion and increasing transportation options. Unlike “cars on demand” services, member carsharing organizations are “transit-oriented” services, encouraging carsharing as part of a sustainable transportation network of choices that includes walking, cycling, and transit. “We view our carsharing programs as a form of transit, getting people to the last leg of their destination,” said Benoît Robert, President-CEO of Communauto, based in Québec. “Communauto and other members of the Association provide an important public service that enhances mobility options while creating sustainable communities.” The Association’s member organizations span from Sydney to Halifax to Minneapolis to Sao Paolo and represent approximately 100,000 members across the globe. Read on here.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

It is all relative ....

A hot, rainy summer and an early and cold winter in combination with the economic decline made many Dutch decide to refrain from buying a new bicycle in 2010. The total number of bicycles sold last year in The Netherlands (with 16 mio inhabitants) dropped to 1,186,000 units; 7% down on the 2009 total. The sector’s turnover was again saved by the e-Bike and decreased by only 3.5% to € 898 million. Electric bicycles were the only category which showed an increase in units sold related to 2009. The total number of e-Bikes sold rose from 153,720 in 2009 to 166,040 in 2010; 14% market share in the total number of bikes sold last year.  The average price of bicycles sold through the specialist dealer channel increased to €916. This is mainly the result of the growing e-Bike sales. The average price of bicycles is € 757. For 2011 the Rai association expects a stable market with a possible increase of 3% in units. However, this greatly depends on the new tax regime currently under discussion at the Dutch Government. The future of the Dutch “Bike to Work Scheme” is threatened by budget cuts. It might even be abolished completely. In 2010 this “Bike to Work Scheme” accounted for 16% of all bike sales, or 189,760 units. Read on here.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Electric vehicles; Survey amongst car producers and consumers

Many automobile industry executives believe that sales of traditional vehicles will peak before 2020 and are looking to electric-only vehicles (EVs) as one of the next hot products, but they will first have to address stringent consumer requirements about EV performance, recharging, and convenience, according to a new IBM (NYSE: IBM) survey of consumer attitudes and a recent study of auto industry executives. Taken together, the two studies uncover significant differences between the automobile industry executives IBM spoke to and consumers on the factors motivating consumers to purchase electric vehicles, with auto execs placing greater emphasis than consumers on government incentives and oil prices. The executives were also skeptical of consumers’ willingness to pay a premium for green vehicles. The insights, from IBM’s Institute for Business Value (IBV), are derived from a new survey of 1,716 U.S. drivers (1) and interviews with 123 auto industry executives (2).  The study indicates that, even in these early days, there is a potentially large market for EVs.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Access Restriction Schemes: a European study

An increasing number of European cities is engaged in the design and implementation of demand management strategies based upon the concept of "controlled access", which entails the more or less gradual interdiction of selected urban areas to traffic. Access restrictionschemes (ARS) vary a great deal, depending on the chosen exclusion criteria. Popular examples include closure of inner city areas and other sensitive zones to less clean and energy efficient vehicles or to freight vehicles above a certain weight, to private vehicles owned by non-residents in the restricted area, or to motorized vehicles altogether. In line and within the spirit of the Urban Action Plan, recommendations primarily concentrate on actions that the EU could undertake in order to make the most of the good practices developed in those EU cities that have already accrued a meaningful experience in the design, implementation and evaluation of schemes. These notably include (i) the development of a harmonised guidance on ARS good practice that would support cities without prescribing standardized solutions (ii) the establishment and maintenance of a single-window information resource on all ARS aspects, (iii) the funding of large ARS demonstrators. Read on here!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Ottawa's Five Pillars to Support Cycling

Cycling Vision imagines an Ottawa where people of all ages and ability feel comfortable and welcome getting around their city by bike. Building a city where cycling appeals to the many needs work on five pillars: Network Infrastructure: an effective network of cycling lanes, segregated lanes and pathways throughout the city. Such a network needs special intersection treatments, such as priority bicycle traffic signals and new pavement markings. Regular maintenance is important. Traffic calming of neighbourhoods is also part of this approach. Inter-modal Integration: better coordination of cycling with public transit. Destination Facilities: ample, convenient and sheltered bike parking. Workplace facilities for changing and storage. Education: particularly important in the school system, but also needed for both cyclists and drivers to increase respect for each other. Government Policies: transportation and land use measures to curb urban sprawl, reduce car usage and encourage local businesses. Better legislation to favour cyclists and pedestrians. Diversifying funding sources and reaching greater funding levels are also important policy tools. Increasing cycling levels will help make Ottawa greener, healthier, less congested and safer. Read more here.

Ottawa moving ahead.

'Because of their historical background, the Dutch believe in an equality ideal; cycling is for everyone. They believe in taking responsibility for your environment and your society, saving on water and energy. They believe in participation and freedom. Women's cycling was encouraged from the early 20th century, and a Dutch woman invented the plastic chain guard, a footrest for children who are passengers, and a windshield for children perched in front'. On the first snow day of the winter, more than 100 participants showed up at the RA Centre for a Cycling Vision Ottawa workshop on cycling and mobility issues. Speakers were Angela van der Kloof and Dick van Veen of Mobycon, a Netherlands company promoting sustainable change and partner of Velo Mondial in a number of projects. Angela said she was "overwhelmed" by the large turnout. "Cycling is so normal for the Dutch we'd never fill a room," she said. "In the Netherlands we benefit from cycling and so does society and the future generation." She showed slides of schoolchildren doing a practical exam, learning the rules of traffic. "I'm proud to say we're cycling country Number 1," she said, listing the benefits of cycling.  You can read more about the workshop in the Ottawa Citizen. 

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Bologna leads the way in Europe

With the increase in car numbers on our roads the pollution and congestion in our cities is growing rapidly. This situation becomes problematic especially for city centres with historic heritage like Bologna. "We decided to close the city centre for traffic”, explains Fabio Cartolano the drastic measures to liberate the city of Bologna from unbearable traffic jams. The move was well planned and included several innovative support actions. For example, at the entry points of the city centre an automatic camera system was set up to scan all license plates - only registered vehicles, taxis and buses are authorized to enter the inner zone. At the same time the city offers a bike and car sharing system and various electric or methane-fuelled public transportation lines to bring more vitality and mobility to the city centre. The overall goal is to convince people to switch from private vehicles to public vehicles – and it is working: With 25% fewer cars in the centre, the people of Bologna are already enjoying a calmer, less polluted urban space. Bologna is one of five European cities joining the CIVITAS initiative for cleaner and better transport in cities, which was co-financed by the European Commission.

Sunday, January 2, 2011


2011 the year of:


Read Velo Mondial's blog regularly to find out more soon!

Happy New Year from all of us at Velo Mondial