TheCityFix Picks, November 5: Best Public Transit Cities, No Helmets in Holland, Car-Free Jakarta
After the recent midterm elections in the United States, transportation projects from bicycle infrastructure to high-speed rail face an uncertain future. Photo by Milos Milosevic.

After the recent mid-term elections in the United States, transportation projects from bicycle infrastructure to high-speed rail face an uncertain future. Photo by Milos Milosevic.

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: mobility, quality of life, environment, public space, and technology and innovation.

Mobility

Delhi is set to roll out an “ambitious bus cluster plan” in the Indian capital in order to replace the 2,400 Blueline buses that will be phased out by mid-December. The city’s current 650 bus routes are to be divided in to 17 “clusters,” each operated by a private operator.

The United States mid-term elections were held November 2. With general voter dissatisfaction with government spending, the nation’s transportation future is unclear, according to a post-election overview on Transportation Nation.

The South African Transport Department intends to create viable public transport through improved taxi service and take the focus off building more roads, according to a new 10-year strategy announced on Tuesday.

Curitiba, Moscow and Hong Kong are among the world cities on AOL’s list of the top ten cities with the best public transit systems.

Quality of Life

You don’t have to cart your kids around in a minivan or SUV in order to be a good parent, according one Grist writer. Public transport does the trick.

If you live in or are just visiting Istanbul, expect to pay a bit extra to get around on public transportation. The transit authority has just put a systemwide fare hike in effect.

Have you ever seen a Dutchman using a helmet? No? It may be because only 0.1% of Dutch bikers wear helmets. Safety advocates are trying to change that number.

Drivers in the United States spent a lower percentage of their income on gasoline in 2009 than in 2008, according to a recently released report from the Natural Resources Defense Council.

Environment

Jakarta went car-free on Sunday in an effort to improve the air quality of the Indonesian capital. The local government hopes that such efforts will encourage reduced private motor vehicle usage.

The European Union needs a long-term strategy for reducing the heavy dependency on fossil fuels in transportation, according to a draft report from the European Commission. The paper points to a “decarbonise[d]” transport sector by 2050.

Public Space

The question is not whether or not Americans want to live in cities, Slate.com says, but rather, what kind of cities do they want to live in? Compact or sprawling? New or old?

TransMilenio is going underground! Today the system’s third phase construction begins, which will see the installation of the first underground bus stop in the Colombian capital.

Technology and Innovation

No more engines? Carburetors? Spark plugs? The Japanese are looking on the horizon when electric cars overtake gas-powered vehicles and thus bring major change to auto parts manufacturers and suppliers.

The ticketing area and platforms of one Tube station in London recently launched a six-month trial of public Wi-Fi broadband connectivity.

Four driverless electric vans, which we first noted in a June edition of TheCityFix Picks, successfully ended an 8,000-mile test drive from Italy to China on Thursday. The vehicles are part of an experiment aimed at improving road safety and advancing automotive technology.

In other long distance travel, a Middle Tennessee State University professor recently completed a 500-mile trip in a hydrogen-powered vehicle harnassing fuel through electrolysis, using the sun to create hydrogen and oxygen from water.

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