China's current 4,000-mile network consists of upgraded conventional lines, high-speed passenger designated lines and the world's first high-speed commercial magnetic levitation (maglev) line. The country also has an additional 11,000 miles of high-speed lines currently under construction and has plans to have a complete network of approximately 31,000 miles in place by 2020.
It may seem a bit far out, but one idea China has to increase efficiency of its high-speed system is creating a connector cabin that passengers would load while awaiting a train. When the train arrives at a station it will not stop at all, but rather pick up the connector cabin, which will move with the train along the roof. While the train continues its travel, those passengers will board the train from the connector cabin mounted on the train's roof. Once the cabin is empty, passengers getting off at the next stop would then load into the cabin upstairs from the back of the train.
The idea is to keep the trains moving at all times, saving both time and energy — it is estimated that the system would save about 2.5 hours of train journey time a day. (You can view the video below)
The point is this: As this country struggles to find financing solutions to fund public transportation and is still unsure, at this point, how or if it will continue to invest in high-speed rail, the rest of the world continues to think outside the box to find ways to make travel for its citizens easier. Isn't it time this country steps up and starts coming up with some innovative ideas to make travel easier?
It drives me nuts when people litter. One of my biggest pet peeves is when people throw trash out of their car windows while they’re driving. I’m always tempted to honk my horn when I see drivers slyly ditching cigarette butts through their open window. Listen up, people. We see you!
Agencies that use Twitter to respond to users’ complaints or answer questions get more positive Twitter reaction and more civil discourse online, according to Lisa Schweitzer the author of a recent study analyzing tweets of public transit agencies. “It’s about the marketing potential of social media — a lot of public transit agencies are simply tweeting their problems to the world by blasting out late service announcements. That’s not a good use of Twitter,” she says. “Transit agencies can influence the tone of the discussion by interacting with patrons online,” Schweitzer explains. “It gives people something to respond to, and it reminds people that somebody is listening.”
Usually by early January, I will hopefully have taken down the last of our holiday decorations and eaten or given away the remaining sweets that have become a part of my regular diet during the month of December. Then, of course like most people, I’ll think about ways I want to improve myself for the coming year. Whether it be exercising more (walking from the parking lot to my office doesn’t count), eating less ice cream or managing my email better. The latter practice alone would help improve my efficiency at work immensely. I’m sure you probably feel the same way.
A new National Resources Defense Council (NRDC) study solidifies what the American Public Transportation Association’s (APTA) Transit Savings Report has been telling us for years now: riding public transportation can save users money.
June 20 will mark the 8th annual National Dump the Pump Day sponsored by the American Public Transportation Association, in partnership with the Sierra Club and the Natural Resources Defense Council.