Tuesday, November 30, 2010

A critical look at major bus improvements in Latin America and Asia: Case studies of hitches, hic-ups and areas for improvement; Synthesis of lessons learned

Dario Hidalgo
Paulo Custodio
Pierre Graftieaux
April 2007

Lots of papers are available about the famous successes of Transmilenio (Bogotá) and Curitiba but not much is being said about the shortcomings of similar systems, be they recurrent, permanent, temporary during the first months of operation, or appearing gradually as the system grows. Understandably, few cities experts are willing to describe these issues at seminars or in papers. This creates an information gap in the detriment of those who could learn from these lessons. TRISP, a partnership between the UK Department for International Development and the World Bank, has agreed to fund case studies and a transversal analysis to fill this gap and make available this valuable information to our clients and beyond. The methodology used for this assignment included field visits and detailed interviews of key stakeholders, especially the implementation teams, the operators and the decision-makers. The purpose of this BBL will be to present the main findings of the case studies (Quito, Bogotá, León, México, Guayaquil, Pereira, Santiago) complemented with data from Beijing, Jakarta, São Paulo and Curitiba, and the lessons learned.

Source: Worldbank

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Tuesday, November 23, 2010

A Track Record of Success: High-Speed Rail Around the World and Its Promise for America

U.S. PIRG Education Fund
November 2010

As America moves toward construction of new high-speed rail networks in regions throughout the country, we have much to learn from experiences abroad. High-speed rail lines have operated for more than 45 years in Japan and for three decades in Europe, providing a wealth of information about what the United States can expect from high-speed rail and how we can receive the greatest possible benefits from our investment.

Indeed, the experience of high-speed rail lines abroad, as well as America’s limited experience with high-speed rail on the East Coast, suggests that the United States can expect great benefits from investing in a high-speed passenger rail system, particularly if it makes steady commitments and designs the system wisely.

Executive Summary 1
Introduction 6
High-Speed Rail:
Experiences from Around the World 8
High-Speed Rail Replaces Short-Haul Air Travel 8
High-Speed Rail Replaces Car Travel 17
High-Speed Rail Saves Energy and Protects the Environment 19
High-Speed Rail Is Safe and Reliable 23
High-Speed Rail Boosts the Economy 26
High-Speed Rail Is Often Economically Self Sufficient 33
High-Speed Rail, Transit and Land Use 34
Conclusion and Recommendations 39
Notes 43

Press Release

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Tuesday, November 2, 2010

The hidden health costs of transportation

American Public Health Association
May 2010

      Photo extracted from the report 

Our past and current paradigm of transportation investment has created a transportation system that is focused on road building and the private auto. This systemhas given our country an unprecedented level of individual mobility and facilitated economic growth fromcoast to coast. As important as these benefits are, they have come at a high price—costs to our environment and the health of our communities.U.S. residents—especially our children—aremore obese and overweight than ever before due in part to sedentary lifestyles and the lack of opportunity for everyday physical activity. Traffic crashes cause close to 40,000 deaths a year, and exposure to air pollution from traffic results in high rates of asthma and respiratory illness.

These negative outcomes have the largest effect on those who aremost vulnerable—the elderly, children, and traditionally underserved and disadvantaged (low income and non-white/ethnic minority) communities—themost, through greater adverse health impacts and through a relative lack of access to economic, recreational, and social opportunities. The full costs to public health of transportation are only beginning to be understood. Although health impacts—such as not being able to walk safely to school or breathe clean air—may not seem tangible, they can in fact be valued. These costs are as real and in certain instances as measurable as the costs of steel and concrete. It has often been said that “what gets measured gets done.” To date, the costs of public health impacts have been “externalized”—that is, they are not accounted for in the current framework of planning, funding and building highways, bridges and public transit. No doubt, different decisions about transportation investments would be made if health-related costs were incorporated into the decision-making process.

A look at our cities and towns confirms that sidewalks, bikeways do not compete well against cars for lane space—and transit funding is a fraction of what is spent on roads. For many years, public transit, bicycle lanes, and trails and sidewalks have suffered from a lack of investment. A more balanced transportation system is needed, or these costs will continue to grow and undermine the country’s economic health and quality of life. Fortunately, there are plenty of models illustrating how to engineer physical activity and safety back into everyday lives, and plenty of opportunities to create the political support, funding systems and evaluativemethods to do so. This document outlines some of those pathways and opportunities, and the role the public health community can play.

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Also: At the Intersection of Public Health and Transportation Promoting Healthy Transportation Policy

Manual de Puertos de Centroamérica - Central American Ports Handbook - 2010-2011


COCATRAM tiene el honor de presentarle a la región centroamericana y al resto del mundo la primera edición del Manual de Puertos de Centroamérica en la que se describen las características, tráfico de carga y planes de sus 25 puertos.

En su gran mayoría los puertos son operados por empresas estatales con excepción de Panamá que son manejados por operadores portuarios globales. Esperamos que la presente publicación sea de utilidad a los usuarios del sistema portuario centroamericano, investigadores y estudiantes de manera que logren obtener una clara perspectiva del presente y futuro de este sector de la economía regional.

  • La ampliación del canal de Panamá y su impacto en Centroamérica/Panama Canal expansion and its impact in Central America
  • Proyecto de expansión y modernización de Puerto Cortés/Expansion and modernization project for Puerto Cortés
  • El reto del transporte marítimo de corta distancia/The short sea shipping challenge
  • Evolución y comportamiento de los puertos del istmo centroamericano/Evolution and activity pattern of Central American ports
  • Limón – Moín avanza hacia la modernización de sus instalaciones portuarias/Limon – Moin advances towards modernization of port facilities
  • Puerto de la unión, motor de desarrollo de El Salvador/Port of La Union: powering development in El Salvador
  • El desarrollo de una estrategia marítima portuaria para Centroamérica/Development of a Central American maritime port strategy
  • Puerto Santo Tomás de Castilla proyecta una nueva terminal de contenedores/Port of Santo Tomas de Castilla plans new container terminal
  • Mapa / map
  • Perfiles de compañías / company profiles
  • Directorio / Directory

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Monday, November 1, 2010

Walking and Cycling to Health: A Comparative Analysis of City, State, and International Data

John Pucher, PhD, Ralph Buehler, PhD, David R. Bassett, PhD, and Andrew L. Dannenberg, MD, MPH
American Journal of Public Health
Vol. 100 Issue 10
p1986-1992 7p
4 Graphs

Objectives. We sought to determine the magnitude, direction, and statistical significance of the relationship between active travel and rates of physical activity, obesity, and diabetes.

Methods. We examined aggregate cross-sectional health and travel data for 14 countries, all 50 US states, and 47 of the 50 largest US cities through graphical, correlation, and bivariate regression analysis on the country, state, and city levels.

Results. At all 3 geographic levels, we found statistically significant negative relationships between active travel and self-reported obesity. At the state and city levels, we found statistically significant positive relationships between active travel and physical activity and statistically significant negative relationships between active travel and diabetes.

Conclusions. Together with many other studies, our analysis provides evidence of the population-level health benefits of active travel. Policies on transport, land-use, and urban development should be designed to encourage walking and cycling for daily travel.
(Am J Public Health. 2010;100:1986–1992.doi:10.2105/AJPH.2009.189324)

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