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December 15, 2017

Are Private Free Float Systems the Death of Publicly Available Bike Share Data?

In my last blog post, I wrote about the new bike share systems that have taken over the city of Seattle. However, when writing this post, I left out one major detail, the data for the bike share companies is not publicly available like that of their predecessor. This issue has been brought back to…

November 16, 2017

What is a PhD student and how does the proposed Tax Cuts and Jobs Act apply

I chose to pursue a Ph.D. in Transportation Engineering at the University of Washington in Seattle for a few reasons: I want to teach. I found a passion for it as a tutor and teaching assistant during my undergrad and I want to learn how to educate the next generation(s) of engineers. I want to…

TNCs and transit: frenemies? Again

Yanbo Ge A report that came out recently by researchers from the University of California Davis looks closely into the relationship between Transportation Network Companies (TNCs, also called ride-hailing services) and transit. The article sheds light on several interesting questions related to vehicle ownership and trip replacement of TNC users. By collecting data in several…

November 15, 2017

Minimum time for an electric Cannonball Run

  The advent of the automobile brought an unprecedented level of freedom for Americans: the promise of going anywhere at anytime. To push this ideal to the limits, people have taken this freedom even farther, driving across the country as fast as possible. This exercise is eloquently named the Cannonball Run after Edwin “Cannonball” Baker…

November 13, 2017

Seattle’s Newest Outdoor Activities: Bike Share and Bike Share Trolling

In March Seattle city council voted to remove its bike share program (Pronto) and redirect any proposed funding for future bike shares. At that point I wrote a blog post talking about how Seattle would be the perfect location for a private free float bike share company. I had little expectation that this would happen…

November 6, 2017

Why regulating ride-sourcing fares is risky

Update: Thanks to Harry the Rideshare Guy for pointing me to this paper (also here) by Uber’s Jonathan Hall and Dan Knoepfle, and NYU’s John Horton. The paper addresses the same question covered in this post, albeit in much more depth, and with actual data. The paper finds that the supply of driver labor faced…

October 27, 2017

Sustainability of car2go abandoning smart cars

Carsharing company car2go announced last week that it would be replacing all of its smart cars in Portland with Mercedes-Benz CLA sedans and GLA crossovers. For most of this year, the company has been operating a mixed fleet comprising the CLA, GLA, and smart fortwo, much as they have been doing in Seattle. The switch…

October 18, 2017

Transportation Lessons from a Summer in Suburbia

Over the summer I completed an internship in Washington D.C. working for Toyota North America. I learned a lot, not just about Toyota but also about using mobility services for suburban commuting. While looking for summer housing, I wanted to live close to work in the downtown area. I soon realized this was not going…

October 5, 2017

Limiting freeways to autonomous vehicles is a bad idea (today)

Can a good idea implemented too soon actually be a bad idea? I would say so, if the early implementation imposes costs in return for little benefit. About a year ago I posted about an under-developed proposal from Madrona Venture Group to restrict I-5 between Seattle and Vancouver to autonomous cars only. The Madrona team…

October 3, 2017

Gas anxiety and PHEV charging behavior

Combing an internal combustion engine and an electric powertrain, plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) offer the potential to reduce gasoline consumption while retaining the ability to travel long distances with fast and convenient refueling. They are inherently less dependent on recharging infrastructures than battery electric vehicles (BEVs), which can only be powered by electricity. However,…

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