Archive | June, 2014

TriMet APIs Keep Getting Better

TriMet is holding their second developer event, a hackathon, in conjunction with the Open Source Bridge conference in a couple of weeks.

Today, in preparation for the hackathon, TriMet released version 2 of their arrivals API, including information on detours, delayed vehicles and even experimental features like how heavily loaded a bus is…

The also released a (machine readable) glossary of English-Spanish translations of common terms used in user interfaces for transit. That’s something I had suggested at the first developer event. Thanks for listening, Bibiana!

Hack on.

The Longer You Car Share, The Less You Car Share

This article looks at car sharing, attempting to figure out how many cars are removed from our streets, and what the impact on VMT is.

The consensus is 9-13 cars per sharing vehicle (compared to claims of up to 32 cars).

But the really interesting finding is that there is substantial VMT reduction even though many car-sharing customers are from car-free households. The conclusion is that over time you learn how to use the car less and less, as you get better and better at using other modes.

But the studies by Shaheen and other researchers show that VMT among carsharing customers drops in subsequent years, often quite dramatically, as people figure out that it’s not really so hard to get around by public transit, bike, or on foot. “When people use carsharing, they use it less and less and less,” Shaheen told us.

That matches my personal, anecdotal experience. I think a big part of that is because when each car-share trip becomes an incremental expense, the pricing signals encourage you to think harder about the alternatives.

Rose Festival Open Thread

Time for another open thread.

  • The Portland City Council is delaying until November a vote on the proposed (and controversial) per-household street fee.  The Willamette Week has more hereWW‘s Aaron Mesh suggests that there weren’t yet three votes on the council (beyond Steve Novick and mayor Charlie Hales), and that councilor Amanda Fritz requested the delay.
  • Next Monday, Metro will formally approve the scope of the Southwest Corridor project.  As previously noted, TriMet has reportedly suggested a “split” line, with two branches diverging in the Tigard Triangle:  A short one across 217 to Tigard TC, and a longer one heading south to Tualatin.  And in a story that will get the motorists-first crowd up in a tizzy, Joseph Rose is reporting that the leading alignment being considered would use existing lanes on Barbur Boulevard, rather than a new alignment.
  • Metro has radically redesigned their home page.  So far, I like the old one better…
  • The Powell-Division Transit and Development Project (the “and Development” part appears to be a recent addition to the name of this endeavor, make of that what you will) now has a project atlas.
  • TriMet is looking for a few good hackers.
  • TriMet is considering closing a pedestrian path between Willow Creek TC and SW Baseline due to persistent vandalism and drug use.