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Public Transport

When you think of an electric bus, you probably either picture a vehicle that has to stay constantly connected to overhead trolley cables, or that attempts to run its entire route on one charge of its onboard batteries. In Geneva, however, they’re trying something else – a system in which an electric bus takes 15 seconds to receive an energy boost at selected stops. Read More
Plans are afoot to build a high tech mini-city outside the city of Paris, France. Like all good grandstanding architectural schemes, the task of designing a 0.8-sq km (0.3-sq mile) retail, leisure and culture park was put to a competition. This was won by a team including Bjarke Ingels Group (aka BIG) which has outlined its vision for a mixed use, green-roofed development dubbed EuropaCity, which looks something akin to a crashed, overgrown UFO. Read More
With big changes likely in the global transport infrastructure, the race is on to create the missing link – the smallest, lightest man-packable form of motorized transport yet known. Honda, Toyota, Volkswagen, BMW and Nissan have all shown vehicles in this area, but none have yet hit the market. The best-of-breed is currently the Yikebike and it announced today that it has further extended its lead, lightening its US$4,000 Carbon model from 11.5 kg to 11.2 kg and extending its range to 15 km (9.3 miles). There's also now a choice of Yikebikes with two cheaper versions at 12.7 kg ($3,000) and 14 kg ($2000). Read More
If you've ever taken the New York City subway, you know what a mess it can be for an inexperienced rider. Transferring to the right line can be confusing, there's always at least one track closed for maintenance, and the maps at the station aren't much help if you don't know where you are to begin with. Luckily, the MTA (Metropolitan Transportation Authority) plans to replace all station maps and announcements with interactive HD displays that will provide simple directions and real-time service alerts. Read More
The Mayor of London has announced nearly £1 billion of spending intended to overhaul London's cycle routes. The plan includes the creation of a 15-mile (24-km) "Crossrail for the bike," substantially segregated from road traffic, connecting the suburbs of East and West London. Read More
Regional German transport operator Rhein-Neckar-Verkehr GmbH (RNV) is set to carry out a pilot project to test the viability of wireless inductive charging technology of electric buses. The trial will see two electric buses fitted with Canadian transportation manufacturer Bombardier's PRIMOVE inductive charging technology that will enable them to be recharged wirelessly as they let passengers on and off at bus stops along the inner city route 63 in Mannheim, Germany. Read More
Taking to the stage at this year's Economist Innovation Awards, Elon Musk of SpaceX let slip a few more choice details about his "Hyperloop" high-speed transportation system that would see commuters travel between Los Angeles and San Francisco in a mere 30 minutes, describing the concept for the first time as a cross between Concorde and railgun. Read More
Plans have been laid to fundamentally rethink Moscow. The Kremlin and the rest of the historic center of Russia's capital city are groaning under the weight of automobile traffic thanks to the boom in car ownership that followed the collapse of communism. Traffic in the city, memorably described by Keith Gessen for The New Yorker in 2010 as feeling "like an existential threat," frequently coagulates into jams which were reported by Pravda last year to be the longest in duration in the world: on average 2.5 hours long. The plan is bold: to create a new Federal District that would move the seat of government out of the old center and into a brand new district, doubling the size of the city. Following a six-month international design competition, a particular vision has been chosen. Read More
For people who live in towns and cities, catching a taxi cab is a regular pastime. Hailing one on the street can be dangerous, and persuading one to stop seems to be more about luck than anything else. Taxi stands or taxi ranks provide an alternative, but they normally amount to nothing more than a structure to keep out the worst of the weather. The TAXI station from Designnobis seeks to up the ante, providing a visual presence for taxi cabs and their potential passengers. Read More
Over the next six months, the United States Department of Homeland Security’s Science and Technology Directorate is releasing a harmless bacterium into the underground train system as part of its “Detect to Protect” program. It’s purpose isn’t to frighten commuters, but to test sensors designed to detect biological weapon attacks. Read More
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