Saturday, December 28, 2013

Taipei bike share counts 1.25 million trips in one month

The Straits Times, Singapore/Asia News Network
The Star Online: "Liu Chia-yu, spokesman for the Taipei city government’s transport department, said that the YouBike fleet clocked a total of 1.25 million passenger trips last month, after breaking the one-million mark for the first time in August."

'via Blog this'

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Taiwan has many buses, including lots of free ones

Taiwan is better prepared than the US for the end of oil. There is still more that can be done. Stay out of the "free trade" business and focus on developing local resources. Slowly raise gasoline taxes and lower bus fares.

There are already many shuttles that are fare-free. This should be expanded.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Taiwan learn from Japan experience and prepare for higher energy costs

Japan trade deficit nearly doubles on energy charges - Taipei Times: "Energy imports surged after the 2011 Fukushima Dai-ichi crisis forced the shutdown of Japan’s nuclear reactors, which once supplied a third of the nation’s power.
A sharp decline in the yen, which is good for exporters’ profitability, has also forced up the cost of importing pricey fossil-fuels to plug the country’s energy gap.
Japan’s trade imbalance was largely due to the rising cost — and volume — of crude oil and liquefied natural gas shipments as well as surging purchases of electronic parts."

'via Blog this'

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Singapore: Up to 1 million commuters may gain from fare review suggestions

Channel NewsAsia: "With the goal of keeping public transport fares affordable, the Fare Review Mechanism Committee (FRMC) has proposed two new concession schemes targeted at low-income workers and persons with disabilities.

It also recommended that the government funds these two schemes without imposing this as a financial burden on public transport operators.

The committee also proposed significant enhancements for existing schemes.

One is allow children below the age of seven to travel for free instead of using the current height criterion.

Another change proposed is a Monthly Travel Pass to be made available to adult commuters who frequently use public transport."

'via Blog this'

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Falling birth rate, a blessing for humanity, deadly for capitalism

Bloomberg: "Japan's demographics are worthy of study. How it balances a fast-aging population, a gigantic debt burden and a negligible birthrate -- if that's even possible -- will offer insights to officials in China, German and the U.S. in the years ahead. But portraying Japanese as libido-less oddballs and looking for clues in their culture only dehumanizes a nation. It misses Japan's pioneering role in one of the biggest economic challenges of this century as developed nations mature."
Cheap oil has peaked. Oil can only get more expensive. This means a great contraction of capitalism. There will be default on debt and much hardship will be passed to whomever is politically weak. They are now setting us up for letting old people suffer because "there are not enough young people." Don't fall for this, if inequality and waste are stopped there is enough for gradual degrowth and a low birth rate is a blessing. To end waste, we must stop producing cars.
Capitalism needs growth, and that means growing population, even if half of us have to starve. They are terrified of low birth rates. Humanity doesn't need growth, we need prudence and equality.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Japan on gas, coal power building spree to fill nuclear void | Reuters

Japan on gas, coal power building spree to fill nuclear void | Reuters: "(Reuters) - Japan plans to start up 14 new gas and coal-fired power plants by the end of 2014, allowing a switch away from pricey oil, as Tokyo struggles with a shutdown of nuclear reactors and energy imports drive a record trade deficit."

'via Blog this'

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Taipei Metro (mass transit) set to pass 6 billion passenger trips per year

Taipei Times: "The annual ridership of the Taipei Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) system is expected to top 6 billion passengers today, marking a new chapter in MRT services since the system’s inception in 1996, the Taipei Rapid Transit Corp (TRTC) said yesterday."

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

"Free" trade is not free

Statement: To confront the climate emergency we need to dismantle the WTO and the free trade regime | Climate Space: "At the same time, the losers are many – the farmers who lose their farms as they cannot compete with cheap food imports that flood the local markets, the workers whose jobs are made even more unstable and precarious with the pressure to lower labor standards, the persons who are forced to migrate because of loss of livelihood, the women who are most times those who bear the brunt of economic distress on the family and community, the indigenous people who are displaced from their lands, and Mother Earth."

'via Blog this'

Friday, September 6, 2013

The private auto is ruining beautiful Taiwan

Sunset must be protected against bridge, artists say - Taipei Times: "Artists and writers yesterday called for the protection of the famous sunset at Tamsui River’s (淡水河) mouth as a piece of cultural heritage, while they protested against a planned bridge construction project."

Taipei Times:"Environmental groups yesterday hailed as an important victory a decision by the Taipei High Administrative Court rejecting an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) report for the proposed Tamsui-Taipei expressway construction project in New Taipei City (新北市)."
All development is not the same. The private auto takes up too much room and should be discouraged. Car owners should have to pay based on the amount of space and resources consumed. Buses should be made gradually cheaper until free.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Fukushima problem 100 times worse now, Japan government taking over

Abe: Government will take charge of Fukushima radioactive water leak - AJW by The Asahi Shimbun: "The Nuclear Regulation Authority said Aug. 28 that it has formally raised the severity evaluation of the leak of 300 tons of highly radioactive water from a surface tank to Level 3 (serious incident) on the eight-level International Nuclear and Radiological Event Scale (INES). The leak was discovered Aug. 19."

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Taiwan should not follow in U.S. footsteps

Seven out of 10 floors set aside to accommodate cars

In 1956 the U.S. built the interstate highway system. This was a major part of a commitment to an economy dependent on cars. Now cheap oil has peaked, and the U.S. is in big trouble.

It is entering a long period of degrowth. Unemployment will stay high for many years and debt will take away any gains in productivity.

Taiwan is far ahead of the U.S. in the efficient use of energy. That does not mean there will be no problems. Climate change will mean more and more energy used for air-conditioning and storm mitigation. But if we were to build roads and sprawl like the U.S. that would be inexcusable as we can see before us the problems they cause.

The solution is to let the birth rate stay low, don't interfere. Make bus fares gradually cheaper and cheaper. Make cars pay their fair share based on the space they occupy and require to operate, the resources they use in manufacture, repair, and decommissioning, and the low efficiency by which they use fuel.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

China heat wave is a warning on global warming

China is experiencing a deadly heat wave. Meanwhile auto sales are up in Taiwan. Does that make sense? Taiwan has excellent public transit. Why go the way of the USA and China and become dependent on cars? Eventually world governments will have to start taking action as more people die in heat waves, floods destroy cities, and drought raises food prices. They will then force a cut back in energy use. Will Taiwan be ready?

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Fertility crisis? Who says?

Taiwan is a very intelligent place. Women are respected. Smart. Education is a priority. Smart. Cities are clean. Smart. Public transit is excellent. Again, smart.

These conditions lead to a low birth rate. Is that a problem. It shouldn't be.

We have to stop measuring the economy by growth. Why does growth have to be the goal?

Why not do as Bhutan does and measure gross nation happiness.

Gross National Happiness comprises of four pillars:
1. equitable and equal socio-economic development,
2. preservation and promotion of cultural and spiritual heritage,
3. conservation of environment and
4. good governance which are interwoven, complementary, and consistent.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Taiwan buses are comfortable

If you want people to ride #publictransit. Make it comfortable. Taiwan does.
 Facing seats for sociability, with plenty of hand hold bars for getting up and down
Individual air conditioning control. Yes, this is a public bus.

Monday, July 8, 2013

In Taiwan, respect for women is enforced on #publictransit

In Taiwan, gender equality is part of school curriculum. Public transit has ad campaigns against sexual harassment. Whistles hang from the strap supports on buses which may be used to alert passengers and driver if someone feels harassed.

Friday, July 5, 2013

Taiwan very bike-friendly, but cars gaining year by year.

Taiwan, compared to the U.S., is very bicycle-friendly. It is not uncommon to see elderly people pedaling happily and safely in heavy traffic. Motor scooters are more common and are allowed to filter through car traffic, making them more appealing for getting around quickly. Bike lanes can be found within pedestrian crossings--common at major intersections. Bike sharing serves 25,000 a day, with the first 30 minutes free.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Taipei experiencing hottest June in history

Do we have an aggressive plan to reduce fossil-fuel use?
CNA: "Taipei, June 30 (CNA) The past 30 days are set to become the hottest June on record in Taipei since the city's weather station was established in 1896, the Central Weather Bureau said Sunday."

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Green Declaration of Green Party Taiwan’s Founding Assembly | 台灣綠黨

Green Declaration of Green Party Taiwan’s Founding Assembly | 台灣綠黨: "We desire to reaffirm the principle of ecolgical sustenability and social justice for green politics. In Taiwan, high water and energy consumption industries were publicly challenged for polluting Taiwan, exhausting resources and uncompetitive marketing. The government began the importation of foreign workers for cheap labor and lowered environmental standards in order to keep the incompetitive polluting industries. Taiwan’s environment heads towards deep crisis. We believe that the use of green politics and the development of those industries that are compatible with natural environment is the only way out. Environmental ecologists realize that global resources are limited and realize the diversity of natural species. Thus, our goal is to create a healthy, global, environmentally benign and safe society. In order to achieve this goal, society and its lifestyles and beliefs must be altered for the better."

Jakarta public transportation fares up by 15 percent

This logic is backwards. If fuel prices are up, you should lower the price of public transport, not raise it. Public transport saves fuel, reducing demand. If one lowers fares, more people will ride, and more fuel will be saved. That is the way to deal with high prices.
Public transportation fares up by 15 percent: Minister | The Jakarta Post: "Transportation Minister EE Mangindaan said public transportation fares would increase by 15 percent due to the recent fuel price hikes."

Friday, June 21, 2013

TransJakarta Offers Free Rides for City Anniversary - The Jakarta Globe

TransJakarta Offers Free Rides for City Anniversary - The Jakarta Globe: "The Jakarta administration will give away TransJakarta buses tickets for free on Saturday as part of the capital’s 486th anniversary celebration.

“This activity is one of our attempts to encourage people to use public transport,” TransJakarta public relations officer Sri Ulina Pinem said on Thursday.

She added that residents of the capital may utilize the buses’ twelve different corridors for free all day.

“Citizens will experience the comfort of TransJakarta buses and hopefully start to use the service more in the future,” Sri said."

'via Blog this'

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Singapore to implement free early morning MRT rides

Businesses gearing up for more early birds ahead of free MRT travel scheme - Channel NewsAsia: "While it might be a comfortable ride for train commuters at 7.15am, the number of commuters travelling after 7.45am doubles, according to the LTA.

To ease congestion, LTA wants to get some 10 to 15 per cent of commuters to start their ride earlier. From June 24, those who do so will get a free ride -- if they exit at any of the 16 stations in the city before 7.45am."

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Singapore car-quota system a mess. Better to make cars less necessary

Pay a premium for a second car?: "Until now, the Government has controlled the car population through a vehicle quota system where people bid for a certificate of entitlement (COE), but spiralling prices have put even small-engine capacity category vehicles out of the reach of many."

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Why risk nuclear power when we waste so much energy with private autos?

TISR poll shows support for power plant decreased - Taipei Times: "The government’s efforts to persuade the public that the plant is safe are not only ineffective, they are actually causing more people to be worried, Tai said."

Saturday, June 8, 2013

In Taiwan, cities move people, not cars

 Inside an MRT (metro) car                               Inside a city bus

Outside the MRT

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

‘Transition Towns’ lead the way in low-carbon living

DW.DE | 07.05.2013: "Many Japanese, on the other hand, are losing patience with their government for failing to take the necessary steps to move towards an energy transition. Individual towns and communities are taking matters into their hands by taking steps to cut their reliance on fossil fuels and nuclear energy."

'via Blog this'

Friday, April 26, 2013

Ho Chi Minh City officials live in fear of the private auto

Eric Jaffe - The Atlantic Cities: "The Latitude blog of the New York Times recently tracked the efforts of Ho Chi Minh City, the most populous city in Vietnam, to get its metro system in place before residents catch the car bug. Cities in developing nations often put themselves behind the traffic curve, if you will, by encouraging people to drive before public transit has been established. As one transport expert told Latitude reporter Lien Hoang: "Once people get into a car, it's hard to get them out.""

'via Blog this'

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Singapore: free travel on [MRT] trains before 7.45am from June 24

Free travel on trains before 7.45am from June 24: "Commuters who are willing to get up earlier and travel to the city area before 7.45am will get free train rides from June 24."

'via Blog this'

Singapore, choked by cars, desperately seeking relief

'Pay as you drive' scheme suggested to ease Singapore's traffic congestion - Channel NewsAsia: "Prof Paul Barter, Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, said, "Singapore has a very high level of car use per car, each car is used around 20,000 kilometres per year, whereas for European or Japanese cities per year, it is more like 10,000 to 12,000 kilometres per car.

"So even though we have very low car ownership, we still have a lot of traffic because those car owners use the car more. Ideally cars would be cheaper in the future but perhaps more expensive to use, more expensive to park.""

'via Blog this'

Monday, April 1, 2013

Thailand decides to continue free public transport. Taiwan should copy this plan.

Free public transport would go a long way towards reducing noise and traffic congestion in Taiwan. It would reduce the demand for transport fuel and mean sending less money overseas to buy that fuel.
Free public bus & train services to continue for 6 more months: "BANGKOK, 31 March 2013 (NNT) - The mobile Cabinet meeting has decided to extend the free transport service, intended for low-income public, for another six months. "

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

汽車衍生種種問題 | This Big City 城事

汽車衍生種種問題 | This Big City 城事: "縱然車速緩慢,汽車依然主導街道,威脅其他用路人,若再加上高速,就會完全壟斷街道,導致許多民眾不願步行,更不想嘗試騎單車,以數據而言,步行與單車或許屬低風險活動,對健康也利多於弊,但在以汽車需求為主的道路網裡,行人與單車騎士大多感到討厭或可怕。"

'via Blog this'

Friday, March 22, 2013

Taiwan to spend more on rail than roads - intelligent place, Taiwan

Rail transport in Taiwan is streaming ahead 
as a result of ROC government policies promoting greener
and more sustainable transportation systems. (CNA)
Taiwan Today: "According to the CEPD, government investment in 2013 rail track construction, as a percentage of all major public infrastructure projects, will break the 30 percent mark for the first time. At the same time, the proportion set aside for road construction will drop below 20 percent."

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Thailand discussing expansion of free buses

Govt won't pay for free bus rides | Bangkok Post: news: "Mr Chadchat was reacting to Pheu Thai Party candidate Pongsapat Pongcharoen's campaign pledge to make all non-aircon bus services free of charge if he becomes governor.

Pol Gen Pongsapat has said his free bus fare scheme would be jointly subsidised by the Pheu Thai-led government and the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA).

Currently, services on certain routes are free thanks to a government subsidy. The bus services are operated by the Bangkok Mass Transit Authority under supervision of the Transport Ministry."

'via Blog this'