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WBCSD report - Report Contributions

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  • eric.britton@ecoplan.org
    Tuesday, August 03, 2004, Paris, France, Europe Our reference: http://newmobility.org, WBCSD Peer review Dear Friends, While there
    Message 1 of 2 , Aug 3 6:56 AM
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      Tuesday, August 03, 2004, Paris, France, Europe

      Our reference: <http://newmobility.org/> http://newmobility.org, WBCSD
      Peer review

      Dear Friends,

      While there is certainly considerably more to say and more that we will
      be hearing from you over the next several weeks under the headings of
      (a) General Comments and (b) Targeting/Errors/Omissions for our WBCSD
      Peer Review, it will be useful to turn to the last two rubrics that we
      have here to develop our thoughts and comments: (c) WBCSD Report
      Contributions and (d) Recommendations/Next Steps. It is this last to
      which I hope we shall be giving the most thought and creative
      interaction of the sort that only a forum such as this can hope to
      provide. But before we get to that, I would now like to ask you if you
      spotted any strong ideas that appear in their report that they or
      someone else should be pursuing.

      In this regard, let me assure you that we now have the full attention of
      the report's sponsors, and while based on long past experience I would
      doubt that we will be hearing from them directly at this point, as we
      frame these important comments and recommendations let us bear in mind
      that our common objective is to turn them into a powerful instrument for
      sustainability in general and the drive to sustainable mobility more
      particularly.

      Before turning to the full report, I would like to list briefly a
      handful of point that I found to be potential value in their 29 page
      Overview Report. After many pages of hopping about with various
      unsurprising comments on their chosen scenarios, projections and "seven
      (who can argue) goals toward which we believe society should strive",
      the report on page 25 finally gets down to something we can maybe work
      with by way of, they call them, "opportunities"). Let me quote them in
      the order they appear:

      1. ". important opportunities for increased utilization of bus and
      bus-like: systems (including paratransit)."

      2. ". new information technologies into these bus-like systems"

      3. ". important potential for new patterns of vehicle ownership and
      use (such as carsharing) to become integral parts of the mobility system
      in many areas."

      4. "An alternative strategy is to adapt the technological and
      economic characteristics of the transport systems to fit the living
      choices of the public."

      5. "Moving toward sustainable mobility will involve paying as much
      attention to institutional frameworks as to (. the inherent potential of
      any vehicle technology or fuel or the theoretical 'effectiveness' of
      "'ineffectiveness' of any particular policy lever or action.)"

      6. ". we can support efforts to encourage new approaches to
      providing improved mobility opportunities in urbanized areas (i.e.,
      carsharing, paratransit, and new mobility systems."

      Hmm. If we are looking for areas in which they should now be
      concentrating some of their considerable resources in the sector hat
      does so nicely for them, I would like to suggest that they are giving us
      some encouraging signals here which we might now want to pursue.
      Moreover on the closing page, they invite "us" to do just this .

      "And in reviewing the conclusions of their work. the companies have
      looked at what could be done to accelerate progress on the goals beyond
      the extensive and diverse actions on which they are already engaged.
      There are clearly opportunities, but they must sensibly be the result of
      wider consultation both within the companies and with others. We
      therefore need to debate both internally and with a range of
      stakeholders to determine where and how to best focus our activity."

      Excellent. Let us consider this as a fine start. And now it is time
      for us to do as they have asked, and help them figure out what they
      should be putting resources and brainpower behind now to make real
      contributions in the troubling area of sustainable mobility. where the
      contributions are needed and possible in the months and years directly
      ahead, and not out there in 2030.

      Your reactions?

      Eric Britton

      PS. Gentlemen, we have a real fundamental problem which needs to be addressed and which certainly is influencing our level of understanding and lucidity in the analysis and recommendations. And that is we are grossly underrepresented in this assembly in terms of female colleagues. And while it is clearly not
      going to be possible for us to reverse this, may I say, stupid state of
      affairs in the weeks directly ahead, my bet is that if each of you put
      your mind and networks to it, we can at least start to do better in this
      important department, thanks to your recommendations. We males simply
      miss so much (or as one of my favorite authors so nicely put it: "blind
      by choice").
    • tara.bartee@dot.state.fl.us
      Eric Your list of opportunities is quite helpful. My thoughts on your list in order: Paratransit , as in door to door service, is quite expensive. It works
      Message 2 of 2 , Aug 3 10:59 AM
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        Eric

        Your list of "opportunities" is quite helpful. My thoughts on your list in
        order:

        Paratransit , as in door to door service, is quite expensive. It works
        best as an adjunct to a fairly good line haul system of rail and bus.
        Thus, as in New York, most trips are on transit, and paratransit's
        availability for special situations makes it really possible to really
        live without a personal car.
        "new technologies" such as real time information will encourage greater
        use, while others, such as signal priority, will improve operations and
        make transit a more realistic alternative for people who have choices.
        Business support for implementation and standardization could be very
        useful.
        Carsharing seems squirrely to me. The little I have seen was not
        convincing. However, car rentals by the hour instead of by the day
        might have potential.
        This could be a surrogate for the status quo.
        I could not agree more. Progressive business/government partnerships
        will be essential in coaxing change out of risk averse institutions.
        Support would be good. Cash would be better. Allowing taxes to rise so
        that alternatives to autos are realistic alternatives would be best.

        Change is hard. Change now for the sake of the next generation is a really
        tough sell. The business community is good at selling things. Perhaps
        they could apply some of that skill to selling change.

        A business group with a goal of supporting sustainable transportation could
        work toward that by including sustainable transport methods in their
        coolest ads for whatever they are selling. As in: the backdrop for an ad
        is a modern commuter train whizzing through a pastoral scene worthy of a
        Lexus commercial. Such a group would spurn ads that portrayed transit
        users as harried losers on an overcrowded conveyance.

        A business group with a goal of supporting sustainable transportation could
        work toward that by responding rationally to short sighted and knee jerk
        reactions to taxes necessary to subsidize sustainable transport. Public
        transport is a big part of sustainability and will need to be subsidized
        for some time, at least until the economic dynamics of land and energy
        change.


        Tara Bartee
        Public Transit Office FDOT
        Voice 850-414-4520
        FAX 850-414-4508
        E-Mail tara.bartee@...
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