The future of "xTransit"
I think you're giving the answer right there... it's part of the
solution, and one part which we don't see any movement on.
I also think it's a necessary part of the solution in rural/semi-rural
areas and outer suburban areas with travel patterns too diverse to
support bus services in every direction. Just like poor old walking,
it's one of the things we need to plan for in a New Mobility (TM)
future, but which we're still behind on...
The problem with xTransit is that it's trying to do a lot of things,
a. (xTransit in Leeds, UK) Providing access to those unable to use
normal public transport services, for example electric wheelchairs are
usually quite awkward on normal buses as they are designed to fit the
turning circles and brakes of manual wheelchairs.
b. (xTransit in Islanbul, Turkey) Providing access to and from places
without a regular bus service by running in a general direction,
picking people up along main roads and sometimes diverting to drop
c. (xTransit in Lincolnshire, UK) Linking key interurban transport
services to enable people who live several km from a bus service to go
to a village or town in time to connect with the main bus route
...and that's just three examples... potentially xTransit is anything
you can do with a minibus, whether it is any of the vehicles pictured
in http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dolmus or more modern vehicles built
for this purpose such as the Alero ( http://www.optare.com/
Personally, I think this makes it near impossible to get a handle on,
so it doesn't surprise me that there's been little activity in the
world of xTransit. What can we do about it? I think we need to define
xTransit's niches in the context of the whole New Mobility (TM)
system. Unlike mainline transit services, I don't think it will fill
one easily definable niche, despite what I was thinking 2 years ago
On 26 Aug 2008, at 14:45, Eric Britton wrote:
> >> Comment from user taunyak@...: I am a transit consultant
> with a special interest in demand response transportation. I see
> that there has been no discussion on this list for a long while, but
> who knows. Looks good anyway. :)<<
> So I now want to figure out how I should be answering taunyak@...
> . To encourage him to come on in to the xTransit forum which we will
> envigor with a new wave of exchanges? Or instead should we be
> considering bringing the topic back into the main forum of the New
> Mobility Agenda?
> Why this is important:
> The New Mobility strategy has three main building pillars:
> a. To reduce VM/KT radically. (You can’t even start to move
> toward sustainable unless you put this at the top of the agenda. No
> b. To do it fast: Bearing in mind the excellent heads-up provided
> by President Clinton just two years ago on the occasion of the
> established of the Clinton Climate Initiative when he said: “We have
> to reduce about 80% of our greenhouse gas emissions over the next 10
> to 15 years." This means that we should be aiming for at least 5%
> reductions annually – and the only way to achieve this is via those
> radical VM/KT reductions.
> c. To provide new, better, faster, cheaper means of getting
> around in the city: But this is going to be doable only if we are
> able to offer high quality transportation services. And this is the
> main challenge of the New Mobility Agenda.
> xTransit is one of those building blocks, and unlike approaches such
> as BRT, cycling improvements, Better-Faster-Cheaper public
> transport, this is an area which has yet to be explored as a key
> high profile component of the new system strategy, and developed and
> demonstrated with clear models. That is the next step.
> What does this mean in the face of taunyak’s query? Should we be
> continuing to off-stream the xTransit discussions so that we save
> the time and patience of the thousand or so people who tune into the
> new mobility forum? Or should we be giving this good idea a good
> kick and cranking up both our communications and exchanges on this
> important topic and bringing it into the heart of the new mobility