Cash fare in London rises

The Guardian (and other papers) report on the increase in cash fares for public transport in London Most expensive in the world: London’s fares rise again .
The key issue is driving passengers toward electronic payment (Oyster-based smartcard prices have been frozen simultaneous with the cash increase). This is essentially the same as the model I developed a few years ago for toll roads with electronic toll collection, though in that case I suggested pushing travelers to electronic payment through delay reduction and ETC discounts, suggesting that it would be better overall to move travelers toward electronic payment sooner rather than later.
The more relevant point is that the Oyster fare is still more expensive than smartcard fares in other cities. Is that because London is recovering a higher share of its costs directly from passengers (rather than having a larger subsidy from general revenue), or because its costs are higher. The first would be a good reason for higher fares (why should bus users subsidize rail users, or bicyclists subsidize either?), the latter might suggest management problems, especially since there is no notable higher quality of service on the underground than on other large city metros. The network is more extensive, and more as a result more widely used, but on the other hand, it is far less reliable than any other city’s system I have used.
The increase in National Rail fares is another issue entirely …

We are dying less

According to an article in the Strib Road toll is lowest since 1945, the number of traffic fatalities was down to 475 people in Minnesota for the year 2006 (from 655 people in 2003 and 1060 in 1968). This is a significant and non-random improvement in traffic safety, and notable given the continuing increase in total travel (indicating safety per trip or per mile has improved even more).
How much of the improvement is due to better vehicles, better weather, better roads, better drivers, better law enforcement, or better emergency response is an important question, as it may help direct resources toward the most productive areas additional improvements. I suspect a large part of the recent trend is emergency response, especially with the advent and widespread adoption of cell phones in the last decade leading to faster notification and response, as well as better medical treatment in hospitals for injured persons.

Is this what Hans Monderman has in mind

A find from Digg: Asia’s Craziest Intersection .
Is this what Hans Monderman who believes in designing for negotiation, had in mind?

Word on the Street about Streetcars

Downtown Journal Online has a follow-up to their article on streetcars in Minneapolis. Seems opinion is mixed. Of course the person from the streetcar museum was in favor.

New Nexus website

Nexus group has unveiled its new Home Page for Nexus: Researching Networks, Economics & Urban Systems.
This site is the product of a class project at Metropolitan State University where Nexus was the client. The students did an excellent job (as did the two groups whose product was not selected), and the final site largely reflects their design. There are still a few things to debug and certainly to update, but I think it looks significantly better than our 20th century website (which was really slick for 1996, moderately slick for 1999, and barely acceptable for 2006 … although eventually may come back into fashion as a retro design).