Transport Findings launches

We are pleased to announce the launch of Transport Findings, a new, independent, community-led, peer-reviewed, open-access journal focused on short, clear, and pointed research results. We welcome submissions.

Transport Findings

The launch includes the following articles:

 


You can follow the release of new articles on Twitter and RSS feeds, or check back in on the website from time-to-time

On Debt Repudiation

The US Debt, a national blessing in the words of Alexander Hamilton, continues to rise in size despite an economy as strong as its going to get. Over recent decades it has risen as a share of gross domestic product.US-Debt-GDP-Ratio

 

 

We can discuss causes: decline in revenue due to recession and tax cuts; increased spending due to interest on the debt (which is a positive feedback system), economic stimulus during recessions, and defense spending. While it is not at the World War II record high, it’s higher than its been in the post-war period. While interest rates have been low for the past few decades (especially the last decade), there is no guarantee this will continue. And when interest rates rise, the debt will be more and more difficult to repay.

Who owns the debt? The $21T debt ($65,000 per capita) is owned both by Americans and by foreigners. About 28% of the debt is owed to the government itself (think about the Social Security Trust Fund). Of the remainder ($14.8T) half is owned by foreigners. China owns a bit over $1T. That’s a lot of money of course. The interest on that at 2% per year is $20B/year (you can do the math at different interest rates). So far, that’s hardly enough to break the economy over, though you can easily imagine an unwise President doing so.

In olden days, a superpower could send troops into a foreign country to seize assets when debts were unpaid, such as the US invasion of The Dominican Republic in the early 20th century.  Instead today it is the most powerful that is becoming increasingly financially strapped.

An historic example is England’s King Edward I whose populace was in debt to Jewish money-lenders (since Jews were not bound by Catholic prohibitions on usury but were prohibited from other activities), choose to issue the Edict of Expulsion in 1290. Only after the Monarchy was deposed by Oliver Cromwell were Jews readmitted to England in 1657.

Imagine it’s 2030 and there is a financial crisis of some form. Interest rates rise because confidence in repayment collapses. The economy locks up. The US is no longer the world’s most trustworthy economy. However, the US still has the strongest military. The US can choose to issue still more debt at ever higher interest rates, or it can turn the table over and no longer play the game. What might a populist President and Congress do?

So instead of the debt-holders being compensated, they are repudiated. The US stops paying interest on all bonds, or selected bonds, or bonds held by selected parties (non US nationals, Chinese) under some trumped up excuse.

Obviously the US can no longer borrow internationally in these circumstances, or even domestically, not for many decades until financiers forgive and forget. But if the interest on the debt is sufficient, this may be a trade-off worth making. Should the US continue to pay, say, $100B annually to its lenders, and borrow more, and get deeper in debt, or just keep the $100B and live within its means going forward.

The US in 2030 is not likely to be the Dominican Republic of 1916, foreign powers cannot simply invade to collect their debt. At best they can declare a trade war and impose tariffs.

I obviously don’t know if something like this plays out, but I do know the market is undervaluing the possibility.

Transportist: February 2019

Welcome to the February 2019 issue of The Transportist, especially to our new readers. As always you can follow along at the  blog or on Twitter.

I spent much of the last month in the Northern Hemisphere, visiting the relos in California, Arizona, Maryland, and Pennsylvania, as well as attending the Transportation Research Board conference and seeing many old friends and colleagues. We presented a bunch of papers. Let me know if you want copies.

TransportLab

  • We are pleased to launch TransportLab, a new interdisciplinary research group at the University of Sydney, aimed at finding solutions to transport problems, independent of domain.Members of the group come from the Faculties of Architecture, Design, and Planning (Somwrita Sarkar and Jennifer Kent) and Engineering (David Levinson, Mohsen Ramezani, Emily Moylan, and Mengying Cui). Our research themes are: AccessConnectControlDesignRelySustain.Current question we are researching include:
  • System Impacts of Autonomous Vehicles
  • Transport and Land Use Interactions
  • Transport System Performance Measures
  • Traffic Operations and Control
  • Network and Spatial Inequalities

Let us know if you want to collaborate on or sponsor research.

Follow us on Twitter @TransLab_Sydney. Subscribe to our Newsletter. Visit the website.

Conferences

WalkSydney

Jobs

Posts at the Blog

News

Macromobility:

Transit and Microtransit

Automated, Autonomous, Driverless, and Self-Driving Vehicles, and Semi-Autonomous Systems 

Human-Driven Vehicles, Signs, Signals, Sensors, and Markings, and Roads

Mesomobility:

Shared Vehicles/Ride-sharing/Ride-hailing/Taxis/Car Sharing

Micromobility:

Human-Powered Vehicles/Bikes/Pedestrians/Scooters/eBikes/Last-Mile/First-Mile/Last-Meter/First-Meter/etc.

Electrification

Kerbs and Curbs

Land Use

Intercity Trains

Aviation and Space

Infrastructure

Equity and Justice

Funding and Finance and Governance

Climate

History

Behavior

Fantasy

Media

Professoring

Publishing

Research & Data

Papers by Us

  • Huang, Jie, David Levinson, Jiaoe Wang, Haitao Jin (2019) Job-worker spatial dynamics in Beijing: Insights from Smart Card Data. Cities 86 89-93 [doi]

Papers by Others

Books

TransportLab

TransportLab.Sydney
TransportLab.Sydney

We are pleased to launch TransportLab, a new interdisciplinary research group at the University of Sydney, aimed at finding solutions to transport problems, independent of domain.

Members of the group come from the Faculties of Architecture, Design, and Planning (Somwrita Sarkar and Jennifer Kent) and Engineering (David Levinson, Mohsen Ramezani, Emily Moylan, and Mengying Cui). Our research themes are: Access, Connect, Control, Design, Rely, Sustain.

Current question we are researching include:

  • System Impacts of Autonomous Vehicles
  • Transport and Land Use Interactions
  • Transport System Performance Measures
  • Traffic Operations and Control
  • Network and Spatial Inequalities

Let us know if you want to collaborate on or sponsor research.

Follow us on Twitter @TransLab_Sydney. Subscribe to our Newsletter. Visit the website.

Transport Newsletters: An Incomplete List

A list of Transport Newsletters,iu

As you all know, among the many things I do, I publish the monthly Transportist Newsletter. This is not my first foray into newslettering. Back in the days of the US Mail and desktop pubishing, I maintained a quizbowl newsletter for a couple of years.

I get a few newsletters in my inbox that are of interest, and no employed person could possibly read them all, and there is no complete list (nor is this), but here is a go. Thanks to my Twitter followers for filling in. I do NOT subscribe to all of them. I currently subscribe to the ones in green

Independent

Think Tanks

News Verticals

Urban Blogs w/Newsletters
Government

Corporate

Societies

Public Sector

University Transport Centers

Advocacy Groups

Industry Verticals
Freight and Logistics and Supply Chain

Shipping

Rails

Infrastructure

Regional Business

Podcasts

Also of interest, a list of Transport Podcasts collected by Reinventing Transport.

Others

 

Job-worker spatial dynamics in Beijing: Insights from Smart Card Data

Recently published:

Highlights

Beijing Metro
Beijing Metro
  • We evaluated the ratio of jobs to workers from Smart Card Data at the transit station level in Beijing.
  • A year-to-year evolutionary analysis of job to worker ratios was conducted at the transit station level.
  • We classify general cases of steepening and flattening job-worker dynamics.
  • The paper finds that only temporary balance appears around a few stations in Beijing.
  • Job-worker ratios tend to be steepening rather than flattening from 2011 to 2015.

Abstract
As a megacity, Beijing has experienced traffic congestion, unaffordable housing issues and jobs-housing imbalance. Recent decades have seen policies and projects aiming at decentralizing urban structure and job-worker patterns, such as subway network expansion, the suburbanization of housing and firms. But it is unclear whether these changes produced a more balanced spatial configuration of jobs and workers. To answer this question, this paper evaluated the ratio of jobs to workers from Smart Card Data at the transit station level and offered a longitudinal study for regular transit commuters. The method identifies the most preferred station around each commuter’s workpalce and home location from individual smart datasets according to their travel regularity, then the amounts of jobs and workers around each station are estimated. A year-to-year evolution of job to worker ratios at the station level is conducted. We classify general cases of steepening and flattening job-worker dynamics, and they can be used in the study of other cities. The paper finds that (1) only temporary balance appears around a few stations; (2) job-worker ratios tend to be steepening rather than flattening, influencing commute patterns; (3) the polycentric configuration of Beijing can be seen from the spatial pattern of job centers identified.

Journal of Transport and Land Use Transitions

Journal of Transport and Land Use Transitions

www.jtlu.org – ISSN 1938-7849

January 2, 2019

The Journal of Transport and Land Use was founded in 2007, publishing its first issue in 2008. It has grown significantly over the past decade to become the most widely cited open-access journal in the field of transport, with its most recent volume publishing over 70 articles. It is now indexed by DOAJ, Google Scholar, JSTOR, Research Papers in Economics (RePEc), Social Sciences Citation Index (Web of Science), and Scopus. It is also affiliated with the World Society for Transport and Land Use Research to be a major outlet for papers presented at its conferences after undergoing a rigorous review process.

As we enter its twelfth year in 2019, David Levinson, who has served as general editor for its entire existence to date, is passing the baton to his University of Minnesota colleague Yingling Fan. David will continue to be around, but is devoting more energies to the launch of Transport Findings, a new peer-reviewed, open-access journal devoted to short form articles, and to the development of a Transport Accessibility Manual.

Yingling Fan Yingling Fan

Yingling Fan is Professor of Urban and Regional Planning and the Director of the Global Transit Innovations program at the University of Minnesota. Her research focuses on developing novel land use and transportation solutions to improve public health and social equity. She has served as a board member of the World Society for Transport and Land Use Research since 2014 and an editor of the Journal of Transport and Land Use since 2015.

The Journal has also added new volunteer editors and associate editors to help with the increased workload.

Editorial Team:

General Editor

  • Yingling Fan, University of Minnesota, United States

Managing Editor

  • Arlene Mathison, University of Minnesota, United States

Editors

  • João de Abreu e Silva, Instituto Superior Técnico, Universidade de Lisboa, Portugal
  • Ahmed El-Geneidy, McGill University, Canada
  • Dick Ettema, Utrecht University, Netherlands
  • Rolf Moeckel,Technical University of Munich, Germany
  • Robert James Schneider, University of Wisconsin- Milwaukee, United States

Associate Editors

  • Dea van Lierop, Department of Human Geography and Spatial Planning, Utrecht University, Netherlands
  • Marco Helbich, Department of Human Geography and Spatial Planning, Utrecht University, Netherlands
  • Weifeng Li, University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong
  • Ying (Allison) Song, University of Minnesota

Editorial Advisory Board

  • Kay Axhausen, ETH, Switzerland
  • Marlon G Boarnet, University of Southern California, United States
  • Jason Cao, University of Minnesota, United States
  • Daniel G Chatman, University of California, Berkeley, United States
  • Kelly Clifton, Portland State University, United States
  • Randall Crane, University of California at Los Angeles, United States
  • Carey Curtis, Curtin University, Australia
  • Jonas De Vos, Geography Department, Ghent University, Belgium
  • Alexa Delbosc, Monash University
  • Jennifer Dill, Portland State University, United States
  • Satoshi Fujii, Kyoto University, Japan
  • Karst Geurs, University of Twente, Netherlands
  • Susan L Handy, University of California at Davis, United States
  • Daniel B Hess, University at Buffalo, State University of New York, United States
  • Mark Horner, Florida State University, United States
  • John Douglas Hunt, University of Calgary, Canada
  • MD Liton Kamruzzaman, Monash University
  • David King, Arizona State University
  • Kara Kockelman, University of Texas, United States
  • Kevin J. Krizek, University of Colorado, United States
  • Jonathan Levine, University of Michigan, United States
  • Zhiyuan (Terry) Liu, School of Transportation, Southeast University, China
  • Becky Loo, Hong Kong University, Hong Kong
  • Kees Maat, Delft University of Technology, Netherlands
  • Wesley E Marshall, University of Colorado Denver
  • Karel Martens, Technion – Israel Institute of Technology Faculty of Architecture and Town Planning Israel & Radboud University Institute for Management Research the Netherlands, Israel
  • Francisco Martinez, Universidad de Chile, Chile
  • Eric J Miller, University of Toronto, Canada
  • Harv Miller, Ohio State University, United States
  • Petter Naess, Norwegian University of Life Sciences, Department of Urban and Regional Planning, Norway
  • Robert B Noland, Rutgers University, United States
  • Haixiao Pan, Department of Urban Planning,Tongji University, Shanghai, China, China
  • Enrica Papa, University of Westminster, United Kingdom
  • Aura Reggiani, University of Bologna, Italy
  • Daniel Rodríguez, United States
  • Jan-Dirk Schmöcker, Kyoto University, Japan
  • Qing Shen, University of Washington, United States
  • Nebiyou Tilahun, University of Illinois at Chicago
  • Helena Titheridge, University College London, United Kingdom
  • Veronique Van Acker, Luxembourg Institute of Socio- Economic Research (LISER), Luxembourg
  • Christo Venter, University of Pretoria, South Africa
  • Paul Waddell, University of California, Berkeley, United States
  • Lei Zhang, University of Maryland, United States
  • Ming Zhong, ITS Research Center, Wuhan University of Technology, China

18 Most Popular Transportist Posts of 2018

These are the most popular posts for 2018. If you missed any of these, go read them now, before the Singularity makes everything obsolete.

  1. 21 Strategies to Solve Congestion * (for second year running, note it was only 10th most popular in the year it was written.)
  2. What Do We Know About the “First Mile/Last Mile” Problem for Transit? * (by David King)
  3. Signalling Inequality (Blog version, adding views of the version on the Conversation: How traffic signals favour cars and discourage walking, would make this #1)
  4. Road Rent – On the Opportunity Cost of Land Used for Roads
  5. How much time is spent at traffic signals?
  6. A Pedestrian Bill of Rights
  7. Why is the Walking Man White?*
  8. Why is Public Transport Use Higher in Australia and What to Do about it? 
  9. An Argument in Favour of Streetcars.
  10. On Academic Compliance Bullsh*t.
  11. Evolution of the Sydney Trams Network
  12. Speed vs. Safety
  13. Five rings, five continents, five Olympic host cities*
  14. Are Australian Vehicles Getting Bigger?
  15. Uber’s Self-Driving Car Killed Someone Today.
  16. On the Four Paths
  17. Is Reducing a Negative Externality a Positive Externality (Or on biking and Vikings)
  18. Observations of Canberra

Those published in earlier years marked with an *.

The most popular post was 2x the second most popular post, 4x the third post, and 7x the fourth post (and 60x the 18th post). So much for a Zipf rule.

 

Previous Years:

Safety Theatre | WalkSydney

I posted a piece on WalkSydney: Safety Theatre.

What do the following things have in common:

Bicycling in Amsterdam is safer than Sydney, yet there are no helmets in sight. Instead there are separated bikelanes and a better culture, as well as safety-in-neighbors.

 

  • Bike Helmets
  • Sharrows
  • Marked Crosswalks
  • Fining Pedestrians

They are designed to make people feel safer than they are. The natural reaction is a misjudgment of actual risk due to risk compensation. The result is that people don’t behave safely enough, which makes it more dangerous.

In contrast, when people feel less safe, they behave in a safer way, which improves safety compared to normal behaviour in the same circumstances.

For instance in the controversial case of bike helmets, I am not saying if you are dropped on your head, wearing a helmet doesn’t reduce the chance of your head splitting open. I am saying it increases the likelihood of being dropped on your head. The total risk of your head being split open is the product of these two factors:

P(HeadSplitOpen)=P(DroppedOnHead)*P(HeadSplitOpen|DroppedOnHead).

Helmets are associated both with P(HeadSplitOpen|DroppedOnHead) decreasing and P(DroppedOnHead) increasing. How this nets out is an empirical question, whose answer varies depending on context.