Tag Archives: transportation

Solar buses

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Solar-power meets mass transit with the Tindo solar bus. This latest and greatest from the City of Adelaide in South Australia can hold 42 people and go for 200 km on one charge. The Tindo bus (named for the Aboriginal Australian word for “sun”) will be free to ride and started normal service last week.

For more detailed information check out the “article”:http://www.inhabitat.com/2007/12/18/transportation-tuesday-tindo-the-solar-powered-bus-arrives/ from “Inhabitat.com”:http://www.inhabitat.com, or skip the middle man and go straight to the source at the “Adelaide City Council”:http://www.adelaidecitycouncil.com/scripts/nc.dll?ADCC:STANDARD::pc=PC_151048.

The sweet irony of bike helmets

Believe it or not, bike helmets are not universally loved. In fact there are big groups of people in the biking world who think that they bring more harm than good. As a bike advocate, I’ve often found myself in the middle of this conversation but never knew what to believe, but now there’s more data.

Ian Walker, a psychology professor from the University of Bath, has been conducting research about how motorists react to him riding on his bicycle with and without his helmet. By attaching ultrasonic sensors to his bike that measured just how much room cars give him while passing. He found that when NOT wearing his helmet, drivers gave him an average of 3.35 inches more room while passing. In fact, if he didn’t wear his helmet AND wore a wig to look like a woman, he got an additional 2.2 inches.

I’d always heard that you get more room when you don’t wear a helmet, but it was cool to see that assertion backed up by the numbers. Is the extra respect worth the sacrifice in protection? That’s up to you to decide. More about this research at “Scientific American”:http://www.sciam.com/article.cfm?articleid=778EF0AB-E7F2-99DF-3594A60E4D9A76B2.

Peer-to-peer parking

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/London_congestion_charge but who still want to drive into the city have a new option. Drive most of the way into the city, park in someone's driveway and then take public transport the rest of the way. Reacting to an intense shortage of public parking spaces in crowded London, "ParkatMyHouse.com":http://www.parkatmyhouse.com/ is a web2.0 approach to solving everyone's problem. London residents with parking spaces to let can list them and the times they are available on the "website":http://www.parkatmyhouse.com/ and wannabe commuters can rent (or let) it. This is a really cool application of appropriate technology with people helping people. We've profiled similarly-spirited projects here at duenos before, including: "social lending at Zopa.com":http://duenos.net/article/136/ZopacomItslendingwithoutthebanks and "third-world direct lending at Kiva.org":http://duenos.net/article/106/lend-money-online-to-third-world-entrepreneurs.

Russians plan Bering Tunnel

Russian engineering seems to be thinking pretty highly of itself these days. First it was the “floating power plant”:http://duenos.net/article/173/FloatingnuclearreactorbuiltbyRussians and now this, a 64 mile tunnel connecting Asia and North America across the International Date Line. The tunnel could revolutionize international trade, lowering the price of freight, passenger, and fiber-optic traffic between the world’s largest producer countries in east Asia and the largest consumer base, the United States.

The plan calls for two separate lengths of tunnel to meet halfway on the Diomede Islands pictured above. Of course this isn’t the first time a Bering Tunnel has been proposed. Before World War I, Czar Nicholas II had the idea to connect the two land masses and the “TKM-World Link tunnel”:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/TKM-World_Link has been on the table for over 5 years. Still, there are a lot of hurdles to jump before this idea becomes reality. In the meantime we should all consider how great it would be to take a train through Arctic waters in the world’s most active volcanic/earthquake zone.

The “Times article”:http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/europe/article1680121.ece that reported the most recent moves towards tunneling. The picture is from “Wikipedia”:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diomede_Islands.

French Shatter High-Speed Record for Trains w/ Wheels

A modified TGV (Train de Grande Vitesse / Train of Great Speed) with two engines called the V150 attained a record speed of 581 km/hr (361 mph) on the run between Paris and Strasbourg. The record for all trains belongs to the mag-lev trains of Japan. Of course, none of this helps me get to Spain any faster as there are no direct connections between the countries owing to a difference in rail gauges.

A “BBC article”:http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/6521295.stm with the same AFP photo.