Posts Tagged ‘transit’

Commuting By Gyrocar

January 11, 2018

” … the gyroscopes would be initially powered by flywheels wound-up in the morning, and would continue to be powered throughout the day from energy supplied by solar panels mounted on the roofs of the cars. pods are stilted on expandable legs that can both contract and enlarge depending on the context, meaning they can pass under bridges and vehicular overpasses with ease. inside, passengers sit in rows just like they would on a subway or bus, or — alternatively — ride-in-style inside luxurious pods that include comfortable couches and TV sets.”

–” gyroscopic public transportation: your future commute?” designboom

An amusing, elaborate fantasy. Much more fun than those Chinese straddling buses.


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For a Better Commute, Throw Drivers Under the Bus

July 13, 2016

China has almost 300 million private cars, and some of the worst traffic and air pollution in the world. Auto sales are brisk, crashes and road rage are epidemic, and it’s so dire a futuristic transit concept first proposed 45 years ago might finally get the green light.

In 1969 architects Craig Hodgetts and Lester Walker proposed the Bos-Wash Landliner, a towering vehicle running between DC and Boston with enough space underneath that passenger cars could dive under it. China’s Shenzhen Huashi Future Parking Equipment Company (HS Future) introduced a similar electric-powered “Straddle-Bus” design at a 2010 trade fair and updated it a few years later but got no, um, traction, and the concept went back into hibernation.

Until now. HS Future says it will start building the first 116 miles (186 km) of track in western Beijing’s Mentougou District for the “Widebody Elevated Dimensional Fast Bus” aka 3D Express Coach” at the end of the year. It will only travel through the city at about 38 mph (60 Km/hr) but holds 1400 passengers, isn’t troubled by traffic jams, doesn’t need its own dedicated lane or parking lot, and only costs about 15% of what a subway would.


Driverless Bus

April 14, 2016

Driverless Bus

A robotic bus in Trikala, Greece, is serving city passengers for free. In the first six months of operation there have been no accidents or complaints about rude drivers.


DC Politics: Underwood, Underground

March 3, 2016

DC Politics: Underwood, Underground

Navy Yard Metro Station, March 3, 2016.


“’House of Cards’ Season 4 Is Less Vulgar Than Real Politics,” Ian Crouch,” The New Yorker


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Snapshot by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht,

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The Blessing of the Buses

January 11, 2016

The Blessing of the Buses
“The quality of life in cities has much to do with systems of transport, which are often a source of much suffering for those who use them. Many cars, used by one or more people, circulate in cities, causing traffic congestion, raising the level of pollution, and consuming enormous quantities of non-renewable energy. This makes it necessary to build more roads and parking areas which spoil the urban landscape. Many specialists agree on the need to give priority to public transportation. Yet some measures needed will not prove easily acceptable to society unless substantial improvements are made in the systems themselves, which in many cities force people to put up with undignified conditions due to crowding, inconvenience, infrequent service and lack of safety.”

—  Laudato si’, Encyclical Letter of Pope Francis on care for our common home


Pizza Rat

September 28, 2015

Pizza Rat
Last week New York comedian Matt Little was at the First Avenue subway station waiting for the Canarsie Line when a fellow traveller walked down the stairs carrying a slice of pizza. Nothing unusual about that, except the diner was a rat. Mr. Little recorded a video on his phone, and it’s been watched 6 million times on YouTube:


Train Bridge

March 14, 2014

Train Bridge

The Reagan National Airport Metro station now has a Train Bridge:

“The ‘Train Bridge’ is Metro’s solution to temporarily out-of-service elevators at the National Airport station. Rather than shuttle passengers who need elevator assistance from the airport to another nearby station, Metro officials decided they could use a train to bridge the temporary gap.

And so, a train bridge is just that — an Metro train riders can use as a pass through to the other platform.”

“The station at National Airport is uniquely configured to allow such a use since it has three tracks. Metro officials simply park the train on the middle track, allowing folks to move easily between platforms depending on whether they’re headed toward Franconia-Springfield or into Prince George’s County.”

— “See Metro’s ‘Train Bridge,’” Lori Aratani, Washington Post


Metro Shuttle Buses

November 4, 2013

Metro Shuttle Buses

The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority closed the Smithsonian, L’Enfant Plaza, Federal Center SW, and Capitol South subway stations for construction work on tracks and station platforms this past weekend. Metro buses were used to bridge the rail line gaps. Since subway trains can haul 1,000 to 1,400 passengers and a bus fits only about 75, it took lots of buses. The logistics reminded us of the Berlin Airlift (June 27, 1948 to May 12, 1949) when British and U.S. airplanes flew food and coal into West Berlin, which had been blockaded by the Soviets.


Preview: New Metrorail Cars

October 8, 2012

Preview: New Metrorail Cars

Metro is previewing the new Model 7000 railcar, and it falls far short of our design concept (above).  It’s a Kawasaki. Let the Good Times Roll! 


March 18th: International Bus Driver Appreciation Day

March 18, 2012

March 18th: International Bus Driver Appreciation Day

Today is International Bus Driver Appreciation Day but there’s no holiday website and the bus drivers’ union doesn’t mention it. The holiday is the idea of Seattle bus rider Hans Gerwitz. Why March 18th? On that date in 1662, city buses premiered in Paris (for the record: they flopped).