The Top Five Transit Technologies For The Low-Carbon Economy

People need to move around, but we can do it in a less impactful way with these five innovations. Some are new and some are old, but together they could remake transportation.

Low carbon economyEscribe Boyd Cohen para, artículo recogido en el Boletín Electrónico de CEDE–A movement led by visionary climate activist Bill McKibben,, has spearheaded the Moving Planet initiative to show how we go beyond fossil fuels while moving towards a low-carbon economy. The day (September 24th) is not exclusively fixated on mobility but has a significant focus on low-carbon transit solutions.

In light of Moving Planet, I thought it made sense to consider the top five emerging low-carbon transit technologies and some of the companies playing a key role in moving towards them. Some of the technologies are "bleeding-edge," others are also more low-tech, but when applied globally they all have the potential to make a huge dent in our global carbon emissions.

Bike-sharing: The first bicycles were introduced in the 1800s. While many of us own one or more of these two-wheeled machines, not enough of us use them as regular means of transportation. Amsterdam and Copenhagen have garnered world-wide fame for their use of bikes, which approach 50% of all commutes. For those who live too far (e.g. in distant suburbs) from their work, having access to a bike for inter-city trips may be attractive. Thus, the rapid growth of bike-sharing systems around the globe, with more than 400 systems now in operation in Europe alone. Bike-sharing has moved across the Atlantic, with cities such as New York, Vancouver, and Boston launching programs. PBSC Urban Solutions has been cashing in on this growing trend in bike-sharing systems. Their flexible, modular BIXI bike-sharing system–complete with software and solar-powered communication systems–is now in use in 10 cities around the globe, which support nearly 15,000 bikes and 300,000 users. The next phase of bike-sharing is e-bikes. The University of Tennessee just launched a pilot e-bike sharing program, one of the first in the world.

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