Category Archives: Rail Transit

Deabstracting Energy

I was thinking about this previous post about long-distance commuting and journey times and was reminded just how abstract a concept energy and energy use really is. I find it somewhat difficult to actually visualize the 167,656 Kilojoules (that’s over 167 million Joules) I use taking the train one way from Leipzig to Dresden. And that times two and almost every single day. It’s like trying to visualize the national debt. These staggering sums at some point just lose any sort of tangible meaning. All the more reason to cut up your credit cards and live close to where you work.

With these sums in mind I decided to take another look at my twice-daily energy consumed for transportation (which isn’t even really the total amount since it doesn’t account for the calories I burn riding my bike to the train station nor the energy used by the tram in Dresden) and see if there wasn’t a way to give it some sort of visual component. What I came up with were dark chocolate Easter bunnies. Continue reading

Journey Times

And no, I’m not talking about the band.

I’ve been wanting to do this comparison for a while, just to highlight some differences in transportation networks between a mid-sized U.S. city and mid-sized German cities. I’m not sure to what extent this comparison is applicable to other U.S. cities, but I’ll be comparing Cleveland and Leipzig/Dresden as regards my journey from home to university in each city. From 2002-2003 I took classes at Cleveland State University (CSU) while living in Mayfield, an eastern suburb of Cleveland. I took public transportation every day to get to and from school. I currently live in Leipzig and study in Dresden and likewise take public transportation, albeit the regional express, on a daily basis.

From a spatial perspective this is an interesting comparison. Mayfield and Cleveland are obviously Continue reading

Activist Profile: VCD

Verkehrsclub Deutschland : Transportation Club of Germany

The VCD (german) is the ecological alternative to Germany’s version of AAA. So if AAA represents primarily the traditional automotive interests, then the VCD advocates for the interests of not only bicycle commuters, mass transit riders and pedestrians but also ecologically conscious drivers. What I find impressive about the VCD is how organized they are. They’re a Germany-wide organization with local subgroups who are active in front of city hall as well as within the political system. Continue reading

What Crisis?

Stadtbahn_BM_Bayern_925695g(photo from HHA) With NYC DOT trying to push Bus Rapid Transit on New Yorkers I thought it intresting this series of articles that came out this week in Hamburg newspapers relating to an upcoming fare hike, a new street car line to start construction 2012 and lastly a study that shows one third of Hamburg’s commuters would leave the car at home if they had better options with public transit.

I thought I’d start with a quick look at this new street car line, a LRT line connecting a ring of neighborhoods surrounding Hamburg City.  Ultimately the line will run from Bramfeld to Altona via Steilshoop, Winterhude, Eppendorf and Eimsbüttel.  Here’s the map with my extremely rough estimate of the new route (note: this is not the set-in-stone route.)  Currently these areas are only connected via buses.  The city wants to increase capacity along this line but not spend as much money as a new subway line would cost. Continue reading