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					OTESHA UK | HANDBOOK           TRANSPORT




  TRANSPORT
      OTESHA PROJECT UK HANDBOOK

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TRANSPORT                                                                                    OTESHA UK | HANDBOOK




                        THE BASICS
                     I’m sitting in an internet cafe in Thailand,        to the fact that their mode of transport to
                     having just flown 8,542 miles in a plane,           the paradise island was actually screwing
                     which should automatically disqualify me            up the paradise island (not at some distant
                     from narrating this chapter.... but wait, wait...   point in the future, but right there and then,
                     don’t run off.                                      as they were doing it). Then, a week later,
                                                                         I found myself taking the same speedboat
                     Knowing that I’ve come somewhere                    to get home. It turns out the big slow boat is
                     devastatingly beautiful – and, by whizzing          even more polluting, costs about the same,
                     through the sky in a kerosene-spewing               takes an hour longer and you have to take a
                     rocket, have done my bit to devastate that          van-taxi across the island to get to it - what
                     beauty on the way here – has made me                was I to do?
                     acutely aware of the shortcomings of some
                     of our daily transport choices.                     All in all, this has led me to think about the
                ry                                                       suitability of different modes of transport
        by a ve
Narrated harlie      Last week, I was sitting on a beach on an           from two different angles: (1) what are they
        C
buoyant              island watching people arrive in speedboats         like when you’re in them and using them. (2)
                     ploughing through crowds of swimmers                what are they like when you’re not in them
                     leaking gasoline, heat, black smoke and             and not using them?
                     noise. They seemed completely oblivious

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OTESHA UK | HANDBOOK                                                                                               TRANSPORT




It turns out quite a few that seem just great       works for the people who happen to be
when you’re in them are a bit rubbish when          using it AND the people who aren’t using
you’re not in them.                                 it? And i’ll just get cross and frustrated and
                                                    shout at taxi drivers and moan in the pub.
The thing is, watching a speedboat tear up
the beach or the van-taxi spewing black             So instead of moaning, I’m going to think
fumes out into the hilltop rainforest, it’s all     about what I can do when I get home so that
too obvious when something is a bad idea.           the ways I choose to get around day-to-day
But when I’m home in my big concrete city           improve the place I live, instead of messing
that gave up a long time ago on feeling like        it up. So that I can dream of London one
a beautiful natural paradise where I’d like to      day turning into a beautiful green island -
lounge around, breathing fresh air, watching        knowing that the little things I’ve done every   Boat pollution's
the sky and listening to birds... then it’s a bit   day have helped it get there.
                                                                                                      more obvious than
less obvious what works and what doesn’t.
                                                                                                     taxis, but is it re
                                                    ps. when I’m done, maybe I’ll invent some                            ally
When I get home, I’ll know everytime I step         kind of trans-continental solar-powered            any worse?
onto a bus or hop in a taxi that dammit, this       plane so I can see the world without feeling
is just making this city uglier and dirtier -       guilty too.
why can’t we come up with transport that

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TRANSPORT                                                                                     OTESHA UK | HANDBOOK




            FYI - the dirt on driving
      •	    Globally, 1.2 million people die on   •	   Traffic delays are estimated to cost
            the roads every year – the same            the country £20 billion a year and
            number as killed by malaria and            rising on top of the environmental
            tuberculosis.1                             and social costs.3

      •	    In the UK, each car trip to school    •	   Congestion charging in London has
            or work carries, on average, 1.2           reduced car traffic by 18%. That’s
            people. So this means something            like taking 1 in 5 cars off the road
            like 3.8 empty seats on each trip.2        permanently.4




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OTESHA UK | HANDBOOK                                      TRANSPORT




If you’re into counting COs emissions...
Here’s the (carbon) budget for a few trips
around the UK 5



                              Car            Rail   Bus

London-Edinburgh             129 kg CO2      73     59

London-Manchester             63              36    29

Southampton-Abeerden          178            101    83

Birmingham-Edinburgh           93             53    43

Cardiff- Newcastle             99             56    46




                  diet? Here's
     On a carbon carbon dioxide
       w much - in
      ho                           na
                    ch trip is gon
     emissions - ea
     cost you
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TRANSPORT                                                                                                OTESHA UK | HANDBOOK




  TRUE OR FALSE?
                       Things we’re trying to
                           wrap our heads around
What’s the most efficient route from A to B?                        more multi-task-friendly. On a bus? Do some reading, finish
                                                                    off a bit of homework, catch up on neighbourhood gossip
Is driving faster? Let’s say a 10-minute drive takes 20             and peer into people’s upstairs windows – all while getting
minutes to cycle. Driving clearly wins. In a hurry, it makes        chauffeured around town. Cycling? Walking? You’re getting
sense to hop in the car instead of cycling, bussing or taking       fit and getting somewhere, all at the same time. (Regular
the train – except in a big city in the middle of rush hour.        cyclists typically have a level of fitness equivalent to being
Then driving isn’t always faster, as anyone who’s ever              10 years younger than the rest of the population.6) It’s like
been stuck in the middle of London at 6:30pm on a Friday            multi-tasking, but without the colour-coded diary. Not to
night knows. And that’s before you factor in little things like     mention that in a lot of big cities, it’s faster to get on your
finding your keys…or a parking space.                               bike than it is to sit behind a steering wheel in traffic.

Or are you better off bombing about on a bike or on the             The verdict: In the end, every type of transport except
back of a bus? When someone’s driving, what are they                driving can end up as a better use of time since they’re all
doing? Just driving. Do anything else – check a map, make           multi-task friendly - and don’t involve looking and hoping
a phone call, a bit of light ironing – and you risk a big fine or   and praying for that elusive parking spot.
an even bigger accident. Other modes of transport are far

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OTESHA UK | HANDBOOK                                                                                        TRANSPORT




Is it safe to cycle?
                                                                                                When I see an
                                                                                                               adult
Definitely dangerous: Cyclists can be          The verdict: The simple fact is that cars       on a bicycle, I
                                                                                                               do not
kamikazes! Seeing people on bikes weaving      kill. In the UK, traffic is the leading cause   despair for the
                                                                                                               future
through traffic and dodging cars that barely   of death for children aged one to 14.9 In       of the human ra
                                                                                                                ce.
acknowledge their presence is a bit nerve-     America, cars have killed more Americans
wracking. Especially when you think how        than have died in all the wars fought in the            - H.G. Wells
much bigger cars are than bikes. Or about      last 100 years.10 Besides, if most cycling
the fact that cars are responsible for more    deaths are caused by drivers, isn’t that just
than 90% of all cycling fatalities.7           another good reason to ditch the car?

Significantly safer than you might
think: Hurtling along at speeds no human
could accomplish without a machine, car
passengers are at a far greater risk in a
car than cyclists who have only their wits
and helmets to protect them. Statistically,
we’re 10 times more likely to die in a motor
vehicle than on a bike.8



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            What’s the cheapest way to travel?
            Driving’s a decent deal: Bikes get nicked         Better on a bike: Bicycles cost a fraction
            every other month, taxis cost an arm and a        of the price of a car, never stall in the winter
            leg, and monthly travel passes don’t come         and need minimal repairs (most of which
            cheap.                                            are pretty easy to DIY), not to mention all
                                                              that leg room. Plus, cyclists are always
            Public transport is preferable: Season            guaranteed a prime parking spot, get door-
            tickets, bus passes and travel cards may          to-door delivery and never have to stop
            set you back a small fortune, but that’s          at the petrol station for a fill-up. A good
            only a fraction of the large fortune you’d        insurance policy (and a decent lock) can
            need to buy the most challenging scrap-           minimize the risk of getting a bike nicked,
            heap of a car. It costs, on average, £2650        and make sure that it’s replaceable even if it
            - £6800 a year to run a car, and that’s just      does get stolen.
            for maintenance, petrol and repairs. The
            amount paid to actually buy the thing (and        The verdict: Buying a car is the most
            the interest on car loans) is extra. In fact, a   expensive way to make yourself mobile.
            full 30% of drivers have no idea how much         And the purchase price is just tip of the
            their cars actually cost to run.11                invoice – once insurance, petrol, repairs,
                                                              congestion charges, road tolls, parking
                                                              permits and those pesky parking/speeding/

148
                                                     g
                                              sharin
OTESHA UK | HANDBOOK                                                                                   TRANSPORT
                                     o f car icely
                              Thinklaying n and
                                  p
                              as our toys use
                               with g others re not.
                               lettin when we'
                                'em
                                                         Car-sharing clubs

going in the bus-lane tickets are all added               If you live in a city and need a car, you have to try out
up, the costs start to mount pretty fast.                 Streetcar or City Car Club (or one of the other car-
Meanwhile, the value of a car declines 30%               sharing clubs round the country). For a small monthly
the minute it’s driven off the forecourt. When
                                                         fee you get access to a car around the corner, you
all the costs are added up, walking is dead
                                                         only pay for the miles you drive and there’s no annual
cheap, cycling comes next (depending on
what kind of bike you buy, of course), public
                                                         insurance, car tax or any other penalties. Once you’ve
transit comes in third, and driving’s a distant          signed up, they post you a credit card. You book the car
fourth.                                                  online, then just to walk up to it and wave the card at the
        www.streetcar.co.uk                              windscreen. As if by magic, it opens up, the petrol tank’s
                                                         full and the keys are in the glove compartment. Try it!
      www.citycarclub.co.uk/
                                                         In the UK, two-thirds of former car owners who joined a
                                                         car club saw their mileage fall by an average of 25%.12




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                                Why don’t we just make cars more
                                fuel-efficient and solve all our
                                worries?

                                True, less petrol = more sustainable.            False –we need to reduce our
                                Problem solved. Let’s get this straight - cars   dependence on all types of cars, not
                                are incredibly useful inventions. They can       just the oil guzzling varieties. Sure, we
                                carry around heavy loads, give freedom to        just need to make cars more fuel-efficient,
                                less mobile people and travel long distances     and then all our problems will be solved.
                                at quick speeds.                                 Then we just need to work out how to
                                                                                 manufacture ‘em using less than 70 barrels
                                At Otesha, we find ‘em handy too – some          of oil a pop,13 not to mention the water,
                                past cycle tours in Canada took along            metals and toxic chemicals that go into the
                                a hybrid car for support, which came in          manufacture of each and every car, hybrid
                                pretty useful when cyclists got sick or a        or Chelsea tractor. Next, we just need to
                                bike broke down miles away from the              find somewhere other than landfills to dump
                        r       nearest repair shop. Going hybrid (or even       old cars and just cook up a scheme to sort
The Otesha hybrid ca            better – electric) lets us keep using cars       out the little problem of road deaths and
                          rry
 definitely helped to ca        while reducing our dependency on petrol,         magic a way to prevent gridlock at rush
all the camping   gear!         lessening climate change, air pollution and      hour. Our local planning departments will
                                all the other downsides of burning oil. It’s     have no problem planning streets and cities
                                win-win.                                         that are safe, efficient and user-friendly for

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OTESHA UK | HANDBOOK                                                                                TRANSPORT




                                                       Ideas for getting around
pedestrians, cyclists, buses and cars alike            Part 1 - on foot
(‘cos they’ve done so well with it so far).
Oh, and we’ll also have to find a way to stay     Want to ramble around London, Birmingham,
active while getting around mainly by car.        Edinburgh or Newcastle without getting lost? Get
Hmmm…                                             customized walking maps online from Walkit.
                                                  (www.walkit.com), a clever little site which helps
The verdict: Okay, so, fuel-efficiency is a       pedestrians get around town on foot.
good thing, and so are electric cars. But
                                                  How to do it:
only when compared to other cars. If the          1. Type in your starting point and destination
question is ‘how to make a better car’ –          2. Choose a scenic route or the quickest journey
yeah, fine. But if you’re trying to think of      3. Pick a walking speed (fast, medium or slow)
ways of getting around that suit you better
– financially, time-wise and health-wise –        And presto, the site makes you a map, including
and that help make your neighbourhood             handy info on how long the walk will take and how
an ever nicer place to live, then walking,        many calories you’ll burn getting there (if you’re into
cycling, trams, trains and exciting, as-yet-to-   knowing that sort of thing).
be-invented-transport-contraptions look like
better options.

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TRANSPORT                                                                                         OTESHA UK | HANDBOOK




Alright then. But I live in the city
and don’t own a car. I take the bus
to work and I walk to the shops. I
am a transport saint. Can’t I just
feel smug and skip this whole                  if you’re a transport saint, chances are that
chapter?                                       your stuff isn’t. Unless, of course, you buy
                                               most of your food, clothing and other items
Yes, yes, very well done. Take a moment        from local manufacturers or second-hand
to pat yourself on the back. Your own          shops. In that case, you really can feel
personal contribution means there’s one        smug.
less car on the road, improving air quality
for people around you, slowing climate         The verdict: It’s good to think about
change, boosting your health, making the       how we get around on a regular day, but
roads safer for others and saving you a wad    transportation goes so much further than
of cash.                                       that. It includes all the things and people
                                               that are shipped from one side of the world
Er, not so fast footloose. Indeed, the way     to the other on a daily basis. Transportation
we get ourselves around from day to day is     over long distances matters, including          How many food miles
pretty important, but let’s not forget about   where we go on holiday and how we get
how all our other stuff gets around. Most      there.
                                                                                               has this market stand
of what we buy, wear, eat and use travels                                                       clocked up?
thousands of miles to get to us – so even

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                                                                          What does
                                                                          think of th Charlie
                                                                                     is all?
        Ideas for getting around
        Part 2 - by car                                       So… notes to self: walk more, cycle more, and keep an eye
                                                              on how many miles the food in the fridge traveled to get
  If you’re gonna drive, why not cozy up with a few           there. Cyclists are as healthy as people 10 years younger
  others and share a lift? You’ll save petrol, spend far      than them – and car passengers are ten times more likely to
  less money than driving on your own and, as a bonus,        die than cyclists.
  you’ll get someone new to talk to whilst stuck in traffic
  instead of listening to the same boring radio chat show
  over and over. Try these websites (or look into car         And don’t believe anyone who says it’s just a matter of
  sharing clubs):                                             making more cars and making them better. In the last
                     www.carbudi.com                          couple of weeks, I’ve traveled in a tuk-tuk, a longtail boat
                     www.liftshare.org                        powered by a car engine, a sidecar strapped onto a moped,
                                                              speedboats, ferries, open-backed-vans-converted-into-
  Another idea: commit to better fuel-efficiency by           taxis. It seems like everyone here in Krabi Town, Thailand,
  staying below 70 miles per hour on highways. Get a          is busy inventing new ways of getting around. So, there’s
  sticker at www.70max.com                                    definitely some potential for more interesting approaches to
                                                              traveling at home than the normal car-bus-train trilogy...
  Want more ideas? Visit: www.eta.co.uk/green_driving




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  HOW ROSIE GOT INTO CYCLING
Living in a city like London, I never           When people talk about London, they
considered owning a car. It wasn’t so           frequently mention how polluted it is. And
much the environmental impact of them           so I began to see a problem. While cars
that put me off the idea; the costs of owning   make up the greatest percentage of CO2
and parking a private vehicle alone were        emissions in London, they’re not the whole
enough to put me off. And I wasn’t the only     story. And even though lorries and delivery
one: I didn’t know many people in London        vans do their bit in chucking out those thick
who owned a car. Why would you? Too             clouds of smog that make me feel like I
expensive, nowhere to park – and a decent       need a gas mask, I knew I couldn’t pin all
public transport system in place anyway.        of the blame on those. It was impossible to
                                                deny that those buses I was relying on to
I’d get a bus from where I was living in        transport me the six miles between college
Greenwich to my college in central London       and home every day were a part of the
every morning and back in the evening, and      problem.
it was fine. Sure, we’d get stuck in traffic
now and then, but it was an inexpensive         I started noticing London’s cyclists as
and convenient way of getting around.           they overtook my bus. From the business
                                                men and women in suits on their brightly

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coloured Bromptons to the uber-cool             on behalf of cyclists in the city – pushing
couriers on fixed wheel speed machines-         for better conditions for cycling in London,
they looked so free. So I decided I didn’t      increased provision of cycle parking,
want to be stuck on a bus in a line of          and more cycle training in schools and
buses belching out black smoke into the         communities. Riding in London is incredible
environment anymore. I wanted to be on a        these days. At junctions during rush hour,
bike, flying past traffic, through parks, and   you can find yourself waiting at the lights
spending some time outdoors everyday.           with a dozen other people on bikes.

I got a second-hand Raleigh Pioneer off         Transport for London is now taking steps
London Freecycle from a lady in Camden          to improve the efficiency of London buses
who’d just bought a new bike, and I rode        which will cut their emissions, but there’s no
it home that very evening. And it was           arguing with it – I’m better off by bike.
wonderful. That was three years ago and
I’ve never looked back. I even went the
extra mile and started working for London
Cycling Campaign, the largest urban cycling
organisation in the world. Now I campaign

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                 Ideas for getting around
                  Part 3 - by bike
            Figure out where you’re going and how to get there.

            •	   If you live outside London or are making a longer journey
                 (like, say, a cycle tour), you’ll probably need to know how
                 to find and follow the national cycle routes. Get maps from
                 Sustrans at www.cycle-routes.org

            •	   If you live in or around London, Transport for London gives
                 away free detailed cycle route maps of the area, divided up
                 into almost 20 different zones. The beautiful part? You can
                 request online to get ‘em sent to your home: www.tfl.gov.uk




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OTESHA UK | HANDBOOK                                                                                          TRANSPORT




  THINGS THAT WORK
                            What other people did
Jason Loughlin: an inspiration to narrow-minded carmakers everywhere
(or how to open your mind messing around and rebuilding bikes and
milk floats)
                                                vehicle. In the process, I ended up learning
How I Invented the EcoACTIVE                    a huge amount about environmental
Educational Milk Float:                         issues, design methods, and working with
                                                an incredible group of people who were all
So, a organisation called EcoACTIVE found       passionate about their local community and
itself in a situation where it was having       the environment.
some trouble paying the rent on its premises
and needed to find a way to teach without       The milk float is still in use today. It turns up
a classroom. After various discussions with     to schools and opens out into an impressive         The EcoACTIVE milk
staff and volunteers, they came up with the     display area, educating people about solar          float in all its glory
idea to revamp an old milk float, since it      and wind power and holding pedal-powered
was electric and would minmize the impact       aluminum-recycling races. The whole float
on the environment. It was my job to see if     also shows that it’s possible to make an
I could cram all of their existing education    entire vehicle from recycled, reduced and
displays and activities onto the back of this   re-used materials.

                                                       www.ecoactive.org.uk                                          157
TRANSPORT                                                                                       OTESHA UK | HANDBOOK




  How it all happened (Jason’s story):

   A few years ago, on the way home afte                   How I Invented the Eco-veg Delivery Bike
                                             r a party I
   thought that it’d be a good idea to driv
                                              e the mile
   home. I thought I was sober enough                      Then a group of local people in Stoke Newington, East
                                         to drive, but
  thankfully the police stopped me imm                     London asked if I could design a trailer for an existing
                                            ediately
  going the wrong way down a one way                       ‘Broc’ bike. The Broc is a four-wheeled recumbent bicycle
                                           street and
  threw the book at me. I lost my licen                    with space for at least two adults. The bike was in need
                                          ce for a year,
  prompting me to cycle everywhere in                      of a revamp so that it could continue to be used to deliver
                                           London, and
  as a result of my stupidity I was give                   locally-grown organic fruit and veg around East London.
                                         n a year’s
  community service. Luckily for me, I
                                          was offered
 the chance to do my community serv                        The final product? A container on the back of the bike
                                         ice working
 for EcoACTIVE, a not-for-profit envi                      which could open out at weekends to display fruit and
                                           ronmental
 education organisation. I was already                     veg and transport the food to local drop-off points without
                                           interested
 in design and recycling through my desi                   being squashed. The design was entirely made from
                                             gn
 degree, so this was a perfect fit. And                    locally sourced, recyclable materials. The container can
                                        Shirley, the
 EcoACTIVE milk float was born.                            be dismantled at the end of its life and all the parts can be
                                                           reused. The Broc bike is still bringing muddy, misshapen
                                                           vegetables to people all over East London today.



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Car-Free Day in Bogota, Columbia

Enrique Penalosa, the former mayor                 the past the city had poured thousands of
of Bogota, Columbia, revolutionized                dollars into building more highways. So to
transportation in his city of 6.4 million people   create a more egalitarian and integrated
– at least for one day a year. In 2000, he         city where the people driving £10,000 cars
shut down private vehicle use in the city          and the ones riding £10 bicycles were
from 6:30 am to 7:30 pm on International           valued equally, Mayor Penalosa diverted
Car Free Day. On that day, taxis and buses         funds earmarked for public highways into
still ran, but over 832,000 cars were left         the public transit system and hundreds of
in the driveway. It was also the first day in      kilometres of bike highways. His strategy
three years that no traffic related deaths         was so popular that Bogota’s citizens voted
were reported. What’s more, 88% of citizens        to outlaw private cars during daytime rush
supported the move and said they’d like to         hours, starting in 2015. 15
hold another car-free day. 14
                                                   Cyclists, pedestrians and bus riders—the
Bogota’s Car Free Day led to even more             majority of Bogota’s citizens—are finally
far-reaching changes. Mayor Penalosa               having their voices heard and their needs
knew that the majority of people in his            met. Democracy in motion… it’s a beautiful
city didn’t have cars, and he knew that in         thing, innit?

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                     Bike recycling with Bikeworks

                     I’d been thinking for a while that I’d like to    to try and create an alternative to the stolen
                     start up my own project - own it, grow it,        bike trade for second-hand bikes.
                     do it all etc. - and see if there really was an
                     entrepreneur somewhere inside of me. I’d          Then I met my partner Jim, who had more
                     also been thinking it would be good to avoid      brilliant bike business ideas, and we got
                     spending all my time stuck in an office. So       going. Realising there was a need for cycle
                     after pondering this for a while it came to me    training in order to get more people on the
                     that cycling might be the answer somehow.         road, we started to get contracts with local
                                                                       authorities and charities to deliver this. Even
                     Cycling can achieve so many different             though our first year was tough at times
                     things – tackle carbon emissions, obesity,        (we were broke, stressed and struggling to
                     get people into work, have fun. What’s            get people to take us seriously), we quickly
 Dave, in front of   more, with London’s roads jammed to               realised we were onto something. Now a
 Bikeworks' new      the hilt with cars, cycling has been on the       year later Bikeworks has a proper home,
 home in east        rise for some time and only looks set to          a great team and funding in place. We’re
 London.             continue. So I worked on some plans for a         really excited about the future, when we
                     community business starting with the idea of      hope to use cycling to tackle social and
                     bike recycling – refurbishing old bikes for re-   environmental problems on a local level but
                     use to make cycling more sustainable and          with a wider impact.

160                                                                          www.bikeworks.org.uk/
OTESHA UK | HANDBOOK                                                                                             TRANSPORT




Revolutionizing student transport
with the U-Pass
At the turn of the millennium, the University of British         with the city bus system to give every UBC student a hightly
Columbia (UBC) campus was a car-choked nightmare.                subsidized bus pass. Since everyone gets the pass with his
Streets on and around campus were chronically jammed full        or her student card, it makes little sense not to use it.
of car-loads of people trying to make their morning classes.
Garish parking lots were springing up everywhere. Even           The deal has been so successful that in its first year it
the beloved Hub, home of UBC’s Bike Co-op, was under             increased bus ridership by 53%—from 29,700 to 45,300
threat—ironically, slated to be torn down and paved to make      passengers every day! All this can be credited to the TREK
space for more cars. Now, five years later, the campus is        program, an open-minded university, and the thousands
almost unrecognizable: the new parking lots are all but          of students and faculty who pushed, worked and voted to
empty; busses zip onto campus from all around the city;          make it happen. Similar ideas are springing up in a number
and the streets are full of students walking and biking to and   of cities around Canada and in other countries too. This
from their classes. How did this happen?                         recipe can be put into action anywhere—all you need to do
                                                                 is get fed up with traffic and start dreaming big.
In 1997, UBC launched ‘TREK’, a program to explore better
transportation options for students. Over the past decade,
                                                                                                         your campus
over 6,000 parking stalls have been eliminated and cycling               What you can do: Get started on
on campus has more than doubled thanks to TREK’s                         with TREK’s U-pass toolkit:
                                                                                                          it.pdf
initiatives. The most successul? A deal negotiated in 2003               www.cutaactu.ca/pdf/U-PassToolk



                                                                                   www.trek.ubc.ca                       161
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                                                                 Beyond environm
                                                                                    ental
            FYI - Some last thoughts                            and pollution reas
                                                                                    ons, a
                                                                unique social inte
                                                                                   gration
            • In Freiberg, Germany, 29% of shopping             takes place when
                                                                                   people
            trips are made by foot, 26% by public               of all socio-econom
                                                                                     ic
            transport, 24% by bicycle and only 14% by          classes sit next to
                                                                                   each
            car.16                                             other in a bus, or
                                                                                   stand
                                                               together at a traffic
                                                                                      light
            • A person on a bicycle can go three or four      on a bicycle.
            times faster than the pedestrian, but uses        – Enrique Penalo
                                                                                  sa,
            five times less energy in the process. (He or     Economist and fo
                                                                                 rmer
            she carries one gram of his/her weight over       major of Bogata,
            a kilometre of flat road at an expense of only    Columbia
            0.15 calories.) Equipped with this tool, [a
            person...] outstrips the efficiency of not only
            all machines but all other animals as well.
                   – Ivan Illich, contemporary philospoher
            17




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                                      can do
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OTESHA UK | HANDBOOK                                                                            TRANSPORT




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166
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  ESCALATE
     How to feed a BIG idea!
Read these websites                              Then do something

Get yourself ready for the road. Check           Flex your letter-writing muscles. Do some
out these sites for safety info, winter-biking   research on how accessible your local
know-how, kit lists, and deco ideas for your     transport system is. How much do tickets
bicycle:                                         cost? Are they affordable? Are the buses
                                                 accessible to people with disabilities? If
• Getting started: http://www.lcc.org.uk/        services could be better, write letters to your
  index.asp?PageID=565                           local transit authorities and government and
                                                 make your voice heard.
• Avoiding cars: http://www.lcc.org.uk/
  index.asp?PageID=61                            Run a Sustainability Joy Ride in your
                                                 community. Check out the Otesha Canada
• Mastering city riding:                         website for a plan of action: www.otesha.ca
  www.urbanbicyclist.org/cityriderguide.pdf
                                                 Join a Critical Mass in your community.
                                                 Rides usually happen on the last Friday of
                                                 each month: http://criticalmassrides.info

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Then (and here’s the big one), take everything
in the rest of this chapter and apply it to your
holidays.

For example, see how far you can get without hopping on a
plane. Or how far you can get using only people-power - no
engines allowed! When you extend the idea of transport
beyond how we get around day-to-day, there are so many
more possiblities to make interesting choices. But here’s a
warning: slow travel can be addictive, so don’t try this out
                                                                                       you can get
unless you’re prepared to revolutionize your travels.           Who needs to fly when
                                                                                      bus, a boat or a
                                                                 around on a train, a
                                                                                        ybe not a camel
If you’re thinking about taking a holiday to or from the UK       camel? (Okay, so ma
                                                                                              are valid!)
by train, the incredibly useful site Man in Seat 61 (www.               but the other options
maninseat61.com) should be your first stop. Then take a
look at the sites and suggestions on the following pages.
And if you’re planning to fly, be sure to read the pages at
the end on carbon offsetting (and start collecting your empty
cereal boxes and spare string now).




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What’s the most memorable thing
that’s happened to you on a train?


 Lately, we’ve been thinking a lot about the quality of slow vs. fast travel.
 Are our experiences different? Is one travel style better than the other?
 So as an experiment, we asked some people we knew: what’s the most
                                                                         ed
 memorable, interesting or just plain strange thing that’s ever happen
 to you on a train? Here’s what they said...




...I left London in the rain and woke up in     ...I found out about illicit affairs between
Biarritz with sun streaming through the         passengers and ticket inspectors…
windows and palm trees outside…
                                                ...I had an argument with a train conductor
...I met a group of circus performers that      about taking my bike on & we ended up
gave me free tickets to the circus and told     crying and hugging. The next day he
me all about the life of a circus performer….   phoned me to offer me his access to free
it made me want to join…                        tickets…



                                                                                 keep reading for more         169
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And more train stories...                                                                               NEED SERIOUSLY
                                                                                                        COLOURFUL / NON-
...I met my wife…                                  ...I met someone who’s now my climbing               BORING PHOTO
                                                   partner on a train to Suffolk, one of the flattest   HERE, IF WE CAN.
...I had a nice three-hour discussion with a       parts of the country…
cousin I used to hate…
                                                   ...I pretended to be Australian to the conductor
...I got drunk at Oktoberfest, slept it off on a   and talked for the whole journey on where we
train to Italy, and enjoyed it so much I turned    should visit whilst on holiday. She forgot to
round and went back again…                         charge us...

...I took the train from London to Istanbul.       ...Whilst traveling down the coast of Italy,
It took 5 days, but now I know I don’t really      watching little white sailboats go by, I finally
need to fly ever again…                            understood what I’m missing out on when I
                                                   fly...
...I was on a train in India and was sitting in
the doorway with my legs hanging out of the        ...I got drunk with the judge from the very
train. They oddly kept getting wet. I had no       highbrow Channel 4 show “Sex in Court”…
idea why until I realized I was sitting next to
the toilet…                                        ...I met my first long-term girlfriend!



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Escape London (or how to turn a
holiday into a full-on project)

In August 2007, Hanna Thomas and Barney        Londoners, and both prone to going a bit
Gough were having a hard time deciding         stir-crazy when they have been in the city
whether to go camping in the Gower             too long, they thought that there should be
Peninsula in Wales for their summer holiday,   a central resource where people could find
or to go for a package deal in Greece.         information on fun, local holidays. Then
Hanna was strapped for cash, so they opted     a (energy-saving) lightbulb went on, and
for the former.                                Escape London was born.

Looking out over the incredibly beautiful,     After winning the Fix World, Feel Good
National Trust-protected Rhossili Beach        Award which got them started (thanks
from their tipi, they were very happy          Anti-Apathy!), escapelondon.co.uk is
with their decision! They realised how         launching in May 2008. It’s a fun, friendly
nonsensical it was that people were flying     and informative website for Londoners, full
across the globe and contributing to climate   of suggestions for trips out of the capital
change, only to end up on some polluted        that are affordable and accessible by public
beach in the Mediterranean with a whole        transport, in order to encourage low-carbon
load of other English people. With this new-   travel. In the same way as we’re being
found paradise on their doorstep, they felt    encouraged to shop locally, we need to
it was only right to spread the word. Both     holiday locally too!

                                                 www.escapelondon.co.uk                             171
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                   Ideas for getting around. Part 4 - by train
                   (travel tips from Hanna)
      •	    To start out, scope out all your options with Transport Direct – it’s like Journey Planner for the
            whole country! Traveline can direct you to the relevant local transport planning tools in all parts of
            the UK – and you can call them for advice on 0871 200 22 33.

      •	    We all know that journeys can be disrupted. Rather than finding out too late, or having to check
            while you’ve got one foot already out the door, you can plan well ahead by seeing station closures
            and track closures on the tube for the next six months. Another recent innovation is National Rail’s
            widgets (for mac) and gadgets (for Windows Vista), which essentially give you your own personal
            departure board on your computer desktop.

      •	    If you need information on the accessibility of transport services for people with disabilities, the
            best place to start is accessibility information pages for London and the rest of the country.

      •	    If you travel more than a few times a year by train, it’s worth looking into whether you are eligible to
            buy a rail discount card – they exist for individuals under 26, over 60, and for families and people
            with disabilities. And there is also a Network Railcard which will save money for anyone who’s
            planning a lot of travel in the South East.


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Here’s how to really offset your
carbon

Flying somewhere? There are ways to              what actions you can take to offset your
take action and compensate for the carbon        emissions by reducing carbon dioxide
dioxide produced during your flight that work    (CO2).
much better than paying a dodgy company          - For example, you can plant a certain
money for vague ‘offsetting’ projects.           number of trees (or pay to buy the trees for
                                                 someone else to plant around the world),
To make it happen, you’ll need:                  which absorb C02 and convert it to oxygen.
• Internet access • Money
• An old cereal box • String                     - Or you can replace regular light bulbs
                                                 around your house with energy-efficient
Directions:                                      light-bulbs (either CFLs or for bonus points,
1. First things first: Do some research on       mercury-free LEDs). Saving electricity
the Internet to calculate the amount of          every time you turn on the light means less
carbon dioxide that your flight, and you as      electricity needs to be made, which means
a traveler on that flight, will produce. There   fewer fossil fuels burned and less CO2 in
are lots of websites that can help you (such     the air to begin with.
as www.carbonneutral.com/cncalculators/
flightcalculator.asp).They should tell you

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The Internet travel calculator should give you an exact
number of trees to plant or bulbs to replace in order to offset
the emissions from your particular flight.

2. Do the prep work: Walk or cycle to your local hardware
store to buy the light bulbs (if you drive there, you’re just
making it harder on yourself…).
                                                                                                        ciences!
                                                                               Not just for guilty cons
                                                                                                        reduce the
Or find your nearest nursery or environmental organization -                   Everyone can start to
                                                                                                      planes...
or get in touch with the local council to see if they’ll give you              impact of hopping on
a tree (sometimes they will). Planting trees that are native
to your area is the best option, as they’re likely to be better
suited to the environmental conditions. Make sure you
continue to water the tree for some time, at least until it has     some string) to attach to your luggage. On your tag, write
developed a decent root system and can provide for itself.          something like this: WHEN I GET HOME I’M GOING TO
                                                                    PLANT SIX TREES SO I DON’T FEEL GUILTY ABOUT
3. To let others know about your motivation to take action,         THIS FLIGHT (I have tree seeds in my hand luggage if you
make up a GIANT travel tag (from an old cereal box and              want some).

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  REFERENCES
                                                    What we read
1 - Make Roads Safe: A New Priority for Sustainable Development       10 - The Web of Hope. Transport Horrors. Retrieved Dec 2004 from
published by the Commission for Global Road Safety                    www.thewebofhope.com/horrors/transport/.
www.makeroadssafe.org/                                                11 -RAC Cost of Motoring Index 2003 Quarter 3 findings
2 - Travel to work: Personal Travel Factsheet – July 2007             www.rac.co.uk/web/knowhow/owning_a_car/running_costs/motor_
Published by the Department for Transport                             index_results/results_q3_05
3 - www.news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/5197920.stm4 - www.tfl.gov.      12 - ‘UK car clubs: an effective way of cutting vehicle usage and
uk/roadusers/congestioncharging/6723.aspx                             emissions?’ by Matthew Ledbury 2004, ECI, University of Oxford.
5 - Carbon Counter by Mark Lynas 2007
6 - Clean Air Network. Benefits of Cycling to AQ and Health.
Retrieved December 10th, 2004, from www.gemsnet.org/can/
templates/mn_template.asp?id=34)
7 - Kiefer, Ken. Is Cycling Dangerous? Retrieved Dec 2004, from
www.kenkifer.com/bikepages/health/risks.htm
8 - See source 7 (yep, it’s the same one)
9 - Friends of the Earth press release, 23 Jan 1998, on research by
Dr Ian Roberts, Director of the Child Health Monitoring Unit at the
Institute for Child Health, Great Ormond Street Hospital
www.foe.co.uk/resource/press_releases/19980123000106.html


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   REFERENCES
                                                    More of what we read
13 - Watch Greg Greene’s film The End of Suburbia: Oil Depletion
and the collapse of the American dream (2004 ).
14 - Car Free Bogotá: the response to the transportation challenge
by Oscar Edmundo Díaz
www.newcolonist.com/bogota.html.
15 - as above (no. 14)l.
16 - Encycleopedia, For the Love of Bikes. City Bikes. Retrieved
December 11th, 2004, from www. encycleopedia.com/index.
cfm?pid=21&catID=3

17 - Energy and Equity. In Ivan Illich: Toward a History of Needs.
New York: Pantheon, 1978.
www.cogsci.ed.ac.uk/~ira/illich/facts/social_effects.html




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