Sustainable Transportation: Columbus and Beyond

Join us next week for Sustainable Transportation: Columbus and Beyond – a public conversation sponsored by the Graduate Geography Organization (GGO) at The Ohio State University.  It will be held Thursday, March 27, 5-7pm Main Dining Room, OSU Faculty Club

This event is free and open to the public, and light refreshments will be served.

Speakers will include:

  • Harvey Miller (OSU Department of Geography)
  • Meredith Joy (Yay Bikes!)
  • Chet Ridenour (Car2Go)
  • Scott Ulrich (City of Columbus Department of Health)
  • Brad Westall (City of Columbus Department of Parks and Recreation)
  • A representative from the Central Ohio Transit Authority

For more information:

sustainable transportation columbus flier



Imagine: A World Where Nobody Owns Their Own Car

To paraphrase an old saying (often applied in a completely different context), why own a cow when you can drink milk by the glass?

Eric Jaffe in the Atlantic Cities (Imagine: A World Where Nobody Owns Their Own Car) puts two and two together:

car sharing + autonomous vehicles = shared autonomous vehicles (SAV)

Safety is only the beginning in a world with self-driving vehicles.   Why bother owning a car when one can drive to your door, take you where you want to go and then move on to the next person?  On average, less than 17 percent of U.S. household vehicles are in use at any given time.  That is a tremendously inefficient use of mobility resources.

SAVs could be a form of quasi-public transportation. They could also complement public transit – for example, by shuttling people between their homes and light rail stations.  This could generate enough demand to offer more frequent and reliable public transit service.

Will SAVs just create more sprawl, giving people incentives to move even further from the center of cities?  David Levinson from the University of Minnesota does not think so. “If you’re paying for the car by the minute, then you’re not going to want to move farther out,” says Levinson. “You’re going to want to move closer in.”

I said it before and I’ll say it again – I, for one, welcome our autonomous vehicular overlords.