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TheCityFix Picks, January 20: Transforming Transportation, China’s Urban Majority, TRB Annual Meeting

The Mexican state government of Tamaulipas launched an urban mobility plan for cities across the state, such as Nuevo Laredo. Photo by J. Stephen Conn.

Welcome back to TheCityFix Picks, our series highlighting the newsy and noteworthy of the past week. Each Friday, we’ll run down the headlines falling under TheCityFix’s five themes: integrated transport, urban development and accessibility, air quality and climate change, health and road safety, and communications and marketing.

Integrated Transport

The Asian Development Bank will provide the city of Dhaka a loan of $255 million to establish its first bus rapid transit (BRT) lines.

The Transport Rustenburg Incubation Programme (TRIP) was launched in Rustenburg, South Africa, creating an avenue for local college graduates to receive training for work on the city’s Rustenburg Rapid Transport (RRT) project.

China is poised to roll out the largest buses the world has ever seen. The vehicles, measuring more than 82 feet long and carrying up to 300 passengers, will soon begin operations in China’s bus rapid transit systems in Beijing and Hangzhou.

Transforming Transportation is less than a week away! Confirm your attendance by registering for the annual sustainable transport conference, hosted by EMBARQ (the producer of this blog) and its partners.

As China approaches its peak travel season during the Spring Festival, the Ministry of Railways predicts a total of 235 million rail passengers will travel across the country between January 8 and February 16.

Urban Development + Accessibility

The Mexican state government of Tamaulipas launched an urban mobility plan for cities in the state.

For the first time in history, the majority of China’s population in 2011 was located in cities rather than rural settings, according to new reports from the country’s National Bureau of Statistics.

The 2012 Sustainable Transport Award Ceremony is next Tuesday evening in Washington, D.C. This year’s nominees are Buenos Aires, Argentina; Cape Town, South Africa; Medellin, Colombia; and San Francisco, USA. You can register for the free event here.

A new bike sharing system, Bikla, was created in Guadalajara, Mexico. Bikla is based on a unique funding scheme of selling the system’s bike racks, called “Cycle Ports,” to local businesses.

Air Quality + Climate Change

Deloitte’s annual consumer survey suggests that Gen Y’s (the survey identifies this age group to be between 19 and 31 years old) affinity for hybrid vehicles might be the impetus for society’s shift away from traditional gasoline-powered vehicles.

General Motors Co. is improving the exhaust system of the Chevrolet Volt plug-in electric vehicle to be in accordance with California’s statewide emissions standards. Car buyers falling within the state’s standards qualify for a $1,500 state-funded rebate.

Health + Road Safety

Rutgers University developed an independently traveling robot that diagnoses structural deficiencies in bridges before they’re detectable to the naked eye. Support for the project comes in part from a U.S. Department of Transportation grant—one among the 22 that were awarded to universities this year.

New research published in the January issue of Transportation Research Part F develops and tests a theoretical framework for modeling pedestrian street-crossing behavior in urban areas. Research findings show that pedestrians are increasingly likely to cross streets at non-intersections at the beginning of a trip.

Communications + Marketing

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg promised to build more protected bike lanes in his “State of the City” address this week. He also touted the city’s planned launch of its bike share system this summer.

California Gov. Jerry Brown spoke out in favor of Californian high-speed rail in his “State of the State” address this week. Regarding his dissenters, Brown said, “The critics were wrong then and they’re wrong now.”

The Transportation Research Board’s 91st Annual Meeting is ready to set down on Washington, D.C. next week, January 22-26. The event is anticipated to attract more than 11,000 transportation professionals from around the world.

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