Posts Tagged ‘transport’

What challenges do you like?

I was looking at some pictures from this summer. This is F rebuilding her bike, and she was convinced that her invention could fly. -”It’s just about getting the propeller spinning” she said. And got angry when I didn’t have any quick solutions on this, talking about challenge….
Flying bike under construction

Do you know that we have more we have more reachable challenges in the Commute Greener app? During this year we have been launching many different sponsor challenges with all in common to reward commuters who change to a more sustainable transport to work. Thousands of tons of CO2 emissions have been saved during the year and many fine prizes have been awarded to lucky and well deserved winners.

Interesting in sponsoring a challenge? Why not a Christmas challenge? The challenge could be local, regional, national or global, you decide who you will reach. Or why not a dedicated badge as the perfect Christmas gift!  Contact me at Support.CommuteGreener@volvo.com or at facebook and I provide you with all you need to know to set up a successful challenge, or dedicated badges, for your customers, employees or citizens. You can also find more information at: www.CommuteGreener.com

Another funny picture from this summer, F with a friend,very proud in their self made Commute Greener rain suit!

Commute Greener!

/Karin

commute greener rain suit

 

 

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“Why should I commute greener?”

See this short introduction to the Facebook app and get inspired to rest the car and make improvements in your daily travelling! In the app you get points for all your greener journeys to work, points that you can redeem to real-life awards. Or why not join one of the challenges? For example the one from GSOPlay, and you will have the chance to get free music downloads, win concert tickets and other prizes from the digital concert hall of Gothenburg Symphony.
Download the app from App Store or Google Play or find it on Facebook.
Please contact support if you have further questions.
/Karin

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Commute Greener feedback on World Usability Day

Another posting from guest bloggers Liene Vanaga and Pavel Rodin.

Today is the World Usability Day 2012. Since 2005 the whole world celebrates the day that could not be imagined even few decades ago. Handy and easy-comprehensible technologies make human life more comfortable and increase its quality in different part of the world. And as outcome the usability increases equality in the world.The motto of the World Usability Day is “Make it easy!” And the whole idea with the new Commute Greene Facebook app was to make it more easier in everyday usage for commuters going to and from work. We believe that the idea of human progress in its core is based on improvements, achieving results and get benefits from that.

But simplification doesn’t affect the whole idea of greener way of life. Hard to believe it? Try it yourself!  And it would be great if you could share your experience with us. Put out your stories on Facebook and read how other people Commute greener. It’s fun to commute greener together with your friends or some new people from your city! And dear to challenge them! And since it is the World Usability Day, please give us feedback how the usuability could be can be even better.  

It is easy to Commute Greener! And even easier with Facebook app!

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Yeaha… I’m a bus driver….

Another good reason to take the bus, watch this cool bus driver…

Do you want some company on the bustrip? Just register and login to Commute Greener and search for a ride share friend!
Follow this blog or like us at Facebook to keep you updated about the coming Commute Greener Facebook app release, including an improved ride share feature and much more….

Commute Greener!
/Karin

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It’s the full experience that matters

A posting from guest blogger Frances Sprei, PhD, Stanford University 

I keep having my love-hate affair with public transport in the Bay area. The love part is primarily a love to public transport that doesn’t let me give up on it despite my misfortunes. And just to be fair, some misfortunes are due to my poor planning. As today when I just missed the train because I didn’t have time to buy the ticket. Had I left home 5 minutes earlier I would have been on my way to the city and not sitting in the sun writing, anyway, I finally got a Clipper* card – which you can’t buy at the Caltrain** stations (why make it simple?) but luckily Wahlgrens wasn’t too far away. So let’s see if this helps smoothen my trips from now on.
But what I really wanted to get to was how the design of different trains or vehicles and the stations contribute to the commuting experience. I realized that I have a certain aversion to the BART***, which has lead me to try to minimize the length of trip on BART, sometimes to the prize of increasing my total travel time. So what is wrong with the BART? Well, first of all I must say nothing if you are just traveling a short trip, say max 20 min. But to get, e.g., to the East Bay from Menlo Park in the Peninsula I have to be on it for over 1 hour and I just don’t like that. There are no express options, so no matter where or when you are going you are forced to all those stops. There is this on and off running and you are not sealed from it in any way. On the Caltrain you can often choose to sit up high and create your own bubble, and I love that. I love being in motion in my own world, and it’s just harder for me to get that feeling in the BART.

Public Passenger in harmony

Then there is Millbrae station, ahhh, just the thought of it… This barren place with no esthetic charm, no place to wait in shelter, no cafe, nothing appealing. Still it’s the only connection place between the BART and Caltrain, so people really easily get stranded here. So what about engaging a designer when planning a public transport system? I believe the whole experience of commuting and going on public transport should be taken into consideration, not just time and costs, of course I acknowledge that these are important – but maybe not sufficient. The idea is to start thinking of how the experience can be made more pleasant for the customers. Other businesses think this way, why shouldn’t public transport? So starting here: What is important for you when you travel on public transport? What would enhance your experience?

Frances Sprei

* A card that you can fill up with money and that you can use on all the different systems in the Bay Area – the only way you can pay for a the whole trip simply, otherwise you have to get a new ticket each time you transfer to another operator
** Caltrain is a commuter train that runs in Silicon Valley between San Jose and San Francisco.3
*** BART – Bay Area Rapid Transfer, Something between subway and commuter train that supposedly connects the whole Bay Area.

 

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Skiing – a white transportation through history

 

 

 

 

 

Happy Easter – Wester – Norther and Souther!

I guess there were a couple on tens of thousands or more that had the privilige to change the streets and wheels of ordinary life, to white snow and skies during the past holiday.

Skiing is actually one of the oldest ways to transport oneself in Northern Europe. Through centuries people have used wooden tools underneath their feet to transport themselves. How Sweden got its first modern time king, Gustav Vasa in the 16th century, include skiing – a trip that has become the famous race Vasaloppet of 90 km. And Finland is said to have been able to defend itself successfully against the Soviet union in 1939, partly thanks to good Finnish skiers during that hard winter. Not to mention that slalom is a Norwegian word for technique to go downhill,  developed in region Telemark which also has given its name to a skiing technique.

I keep remembering the time when my family heading back after winter holiday in Norway in the 90s, in a snow blizz missed the road to Sweden and surprisingly ended up in Oslo in the middle of the night, the city all covered with a white layer. The next day people were skiing in the central parks of Oslo and because so much snow had fallen, the city was paralyzed and people skied to work, quite happily.

Ski to work. That is definitely a green way to transport oneself.

Sorry.

White.

 

 

 

 

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Peak travel and Detroit growing as a bicycle city

Peak travel, heard about it?

That’s the moment when a society stops using more energy on transportation and more private cars, and slowly turns to a greener way. It seems to be happening, or even have happened. Swedish radio reported last week about this from prominent researchers who have studied the energy and transportation sector for a long time.

Adam Millard-Ball from McGill university in Montreal points out that the raised gas price is not the only explanation for why fewer people are getting private cars, attitudes among people are changing too. Even in the car’s home town Detroit bicycling is growing largely.

Peter Newman, professor i sustainable development at Curtin University of Technology, Perth, tell that the “peak car” happened already in 2004 in developed countries.  Therefore he recommends urban city planners to re-check their plans and drawings. Most cities might not need more highways in the future, but more bicycle lanes or train tracks, for example.

I also just found this great video from Detroit, showing how bicycling can be a new lifestyle, bringing both joy, less pollution but also an improved health. Enjoy:

 

Want more info about this?

Are We Reaching Peak Travel? Trends in Passenger Transport in Eight Industrialized Countries, Adam Millard-Ball & Lee Schipper, Transport Reviews: A Transnational Transdisciplinary Journal, Volume 31 Issue 3, pages 357-378, 18 Nov 2010, DOI:10.1080/01441647.2010.518291

‘Peak Car Use’ (pdf) : Understanding the Demise of Automobile Dependence, Peter Newman & Jeff Kenworthy, Western Australia Eco‐Logica Ltd. ISSN 1352‐7614World Transport, Policy & Practice, Volume 17.2 June 2011

 

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The three tools of daily life

It’s about where I place my head, my mouth and my feet.

What?

When I studied journalism four years ago I made a reportage about what young people thought about the environmental challenge and how they tried to adopt their ideas into daily life. I also made an interview with Fredrik Hedenius, researcher at Chalmers’ department of physical resource theory, and asked what are the strongest ways for private people to affect the environment in a good way. (Apart from the political changes he pointed out that are needed)

He answered me three things:

how we live and warm our houses

what we eat

and how we transport ourselves

Those are the things of every day that we cannot avoid doing, they are always there. And together, being billions here, these three factors can change A LOT. So where I place my head – (on what pillow, in what housing conditions) what I put into my mouth (has the food travelled far or is it local, is it vegetarian or meat-based)  and: how I move myself (by feet, bicycle, bus, car, train, plane..) – that daily life style is my private footprint. It’s all so close, all about how our bodies interact with the surroundings.  No political or economical papers or decisions abstracly far away.

So in case you’re thinking of transporting yourself in another way, commute greener, but wonder if it’s worthwhile on a whole. Then the answer is YES.

Every action we undertake in our lives are of value.

And if you don’t feel like moving at all tonight, then enjoy a meal with friends instead.

A beautiful mouth print

 

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Copenhagen – a h(e)aven of bicycles

Living in Copenhagen I feel like a little mermaid transportation wise. Fluent, flowing.

The capital of Denmark is namely a wonderful city for anyone wanting to become a bit greener. The bicycle lanes are broad, well-done and cover the city. And apart from buses and well functioning commuter trains, the city is also provided with a autorunning (!) metro, only inaugurated in 2002 and right now being expanded with more stations. The options for anyone wanting to try something else than a car, are thereby many.

In fact more than 33 percents of the population are going to work or their place of education today by bicycle. Families often travel in the special “Christiania bicycle” with three wheels and a big wagon in the front where one can place one or two kids. Or big packages. Perfect. The bicycles really rule parts of the city, and on one of the biggest streets there is a cycle counter, some days reaching 20 000. Even now, when Copenhagen has been covered with a white winter layer, the cycle crowd at the red light is big every morning.

The city has set a high target and hope that in 2015, only three years, HALF of the population will transport themselves on two wheels. One is investing in the transportation sector and wants to become the “World’s best city for cycles”. I wouldn’t be surprised if they make it. Since the city if flat, nothing but old habits stops one.

So in case you’re looking for a new place to live, transporting yourselves in greener ways, but still want the multitude of a capital or metropol, you’re welcome to the haven of trading!

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How to start a movement!

A posting from guest blogger Jessica Gold, Sustainergies

It takes courage to question and challenge existing systems and behaviors. To start a movement requires leadership, guts and the right people. Luckily some forerunners have the courage to become first leaders; they stand up to spread their ideas. Some people have the ability to recognize and willingness to join great ideas. Derek Sivers shows in his TED-speech a wonderful example of how a movement can be started.



For change to happen there is a need for someone to start the movement process, likewise followers are always needed. This is very true for the travelling choices we make. If individuals, both leaders and followers, work together, we can establish a sustainable way of travelling.

Jessica Gold

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