This is my actual Dissertation submission.
Course: Interior & Spatial Design at Buckinghamshire New University
Topic: Urban Transportation
Dissertation Question: “To what extent can London Transport improve through learning from other Urban Transport soloutions around the world?”
Created and Narrated by Myself
Special thanks to – James Verdi, Andrew Mucci, Demi Guertsen, Nick Cant, The Chiltern Rangers, Sam Mcmahon, Colin Bloodworth & Tabitha Mcconnell.
Please note that I do not own rights to any of the music used or about 50% of the video footage shown. The places that I got it from are all in my account of references submitted as a separate word document, and they are too long to fit in the description of this video.
London capital of the UK tourist hotspot home of nearly eight point eight million people a city where transport really matters but is it doing this right in this documentary I'm going to explore places around the world by a transport is also vital seeing the solutions that have been put in place to cope with transporting the vast amount of people that live in commute in the cities are we looking at New York Amsterdam and Masdar City New York is the classic comparing it to London it's got the same types of transport a subway City Bikes Amsterdam will be looking into green ways of traveling like bikes and Masdar City is looking into the future with driverless personal rapid transport systems this is London Transport doesn't need improving Londyn how does the capital of the UK currently attempt to handle nearly 1.4 billion people a year that either commute or tourists around the city currently there are three main methods for if you include cars but traffic slows knees down way too much I'll come back to that point later the first that I want to mention is the London Underground the most expansive tube network in the world with approximately 400 two kilometers of rails with 270 different stations to hop on not that it is mostly a constant blur of motion more so in city centre stops and especially a rush out it's an easy-to-understand hop-on hop-off system mainline and the chief are convenient and easy to use I find them well signed there lots of informations really easy to navigate people are on hand if you've got problems particularly chief of staff so long as you have the right ticket or card it'll get you near enough to where you want to be it was designed with speed and efficiency in mind by having two or three minutes on average between stops this makes it really easy to figure out travel times just take the number of stations to your stop times up by three and you've got a rough time it's generally a fast service it has to be to keep up with the demand of the city there will always be a train coming every 2 or 3 minutes after the previous one unless there's any problems on the line so if you do happen to miss one it isn't too much for worry now it's fast but is it comfy no comfort is a big thing for travelers of any description it was hot I know and it sort of triggered I don't like traveling in Russia and do my best not to do I hate the crowds and being underground for its peak times this can be a bit of a nightmare there's a number of people especially daily commuters that have to do this every day every week imagine coming out of a long day's work tire and exhausted the last thing you'd want to do is stand around with people jammed up against you as hundreds of people crammed into each train the 2009 stock are rated for a capacity of eight hundred and seventy six per train the underground is an uncomfortable place to be only the outer city zones aren't like this but the part that the majority of people experience is closed sweaty hot at the less commonly used stations and sometimes at off-peak times it can be bearable or even nice but if the people don't get to you the noise will but still at least it's nice to have a seat remember that when I said the trains were fast well they are getting turned from them can feel like it takes ages though there's just endless escalators angel even has a 60 meter long escalator some stations do have lifts and some do have stairs for those that are brave but no matter what it will take some time getting down to and up from the trains it was designed with speed and efficiency in mind but could it be quicker to run well in 2014 a couple of free runners tested this between mansion-house and Cannon Street one stood in the Train while the other ran up the escalators through the ticket barriers across the streets through the barriers and got back on the train proving that it could be quicker to run another race that was held to test the speed of not only the underground but a range of methods to travel across London was when top gear held a race between public transport a bike a boat and a car which lost unsurprising considering it can really cut through any traffic public transport came third so it isn't the quickest method but it's still better than a car the boat came in at second which puts the question of would it actually be quicker to have a transport network that goes up and down the river but the bike came in first now this was a special edition carbon-fiber road bike but there has to be something about being able to dart in and out of traffic that is appealing and quick this brings me neatly on to the next method London currently has the Santander cycles previously known as Barclays Cycle Hire or unofficially known as Boris bikes what are they they're a bike hire system where there are docking stations where you can travel from station to station paying coupla quid to take a bike out and return it what are they like we have an original and a brand new generation bike though tires themselves are smaller they now have gone down to 24 inches we have a much more comfortable seat is now a softer gel seat we handle that you use to adjust the seat is much easier to control straight up 100 there up and down got a slightly elongated mudguards there to protect your clothing more lighting the front brake lighting at the back as well as the wonderful blaze lighting built-in as well are they cheap well it costs two pounds to access them for 24 hours with the first 30 minutes of each journey included longer journeys will cost to pound more for each 30 minutes after that there's also a membership scheme at ninety pound a year which gives unlimited access to them it's definitely worth it for a regular user so yes they are cheap are they easy to use well there's even an app that tells you where the locations of the stops are and how many bikes there are at each stop it's a very simple method to just go up to a machine say hire a bike insert your card pay for the bike and get a code for a bike that allows you to use them so using them is very easy so why doesn't everyone use this cheap and convenient option there's two reasons apart from cycling isn't everyone's cup of tea weather and safety in London it rains on average nearly 1 in 3 days and can also be windy and unpleasant that's just the British weather as for safety the dense traffic means that drivers may not see the bike darting in and out a round of vehicles also cycle lanes are usually included in bus lanes yes this can mean the bikes can easily I passed traffic but what else uses bus lanes buses always stopping always pulling out buses and bikes are bit of an odd mix as one can quite easily crush the other but moving onto buses with these lanes they can skip through traffic making it quicker than cars so what do they like to use I ask train and bus Mata Nick Kant who has been using London buses for nearly 60 years now I've used public transport a lot as my youthful interests of included bus and train spotting I've retained that interest particularly in buses and I still enjoy riding on trains buses and trams – with my experience I can use them easily but four people are not used to using them or or making an unfamiliar journey I'm sure that more information is needed to make their journey easier there is a lot of information on the Internet like the TfL website that making a bus journey could be quite problematical compared with just jumping in your car and driving somewhere I find bus is a great way of getting around you can see things and with improvements like bus priorities more information etc I'm sure they could be even better London has gone for reintroducing or retaining tram systems like many cities British European worldwide trams great mass movers but they're necessary restricted as to route so as buses can be much more flexible of course that means that if there's traffic congestion without priorities they can be held up in the congestion as with general public transport I think there's a need for bus priorities and much better connection between trains tubes and buses to make journeys as easy and attractive as possible I'm very passionate about the need for good public and particularly in London I'd love to see far more use of buses and trams and tubes and fewer collagen is being made so as a whole the thing that London can do is just to connect transport networks better just make use of having all these different methods of transporting people and just having better connections to get you from the trains to the buses from the buses back to the trains just to get you to exactly where you need to be because at the moment there is too much competition between them trying to steal passengers from each other when as has been said by the people they're really competing against cars are there other places doing this better moving on to new york this powerhouse of a city is home to nearly 20 million people and is one of if not the busiest place on the planet seven out of ten people who were thermoses who commute in and out daily with having this vast amount of people always moving in and out there must be a sufficient solution to keep up from above it appears not what do you think of when you think of New York's roads gridlock traffic it is habit so what's the point in using a cab there's two reasons why you would they're convenient there's always gonna be one around another thing that's fantastic in New York is the taxi system there's clearly taxis all along this road you can pretty much pick up a taxi anywhere you want the second reason is they're comfy you have a nice seat you can choose the air conditioning temperature most of them have a TV inside but they're still in that gridlock traffic so they're not going anywhere and the rate is always going up since it's still burning fuel to demonstrate these costs is James Verde someone that used to commute into central Manhattan from Staten Island every day for four years if you were to take an uber as an example from my house to say my school you're looking at about 120 dollars and you're looking at almost the same amount of that for a taxi as well you're going through bridges and tunnels so you're paying tolls on top of that to put that in context right now the subway fare in New York City is 275 so 275 versus 120 it's much less expensive to take the transit system in New York City than it is to take a cat taxi ruber with the subway being ridiculously cheap why don't just take that most people do it's probably because of its cheap price and the ease of using the ticket machines what's cool there's so many different places that you can board the subway using these machines right over here and you just buy a ticket you jump on the subway you jump off and there's a variety of options that you can use for the transportation you can buy all day passes you can you can buy one-way trips you can buy multiple passes and put 20 bucks on the card and see how long that lasts you now the issue with London's underground was the comfort his New York subway any better no it isn't if anything it's worse off as it hasn't had the same amount of updates and upgrades in the hundred and thirteen years there's been operating yes it has had extensions refurbishment and repairs to try to streamline the service for all this users but it is nowhere near the amount that it welcome site for passengers Friday afternoon Subway's running again this after picture after picture of a horrendous morning commute that left thousands stuck on trains and in stations sweating and hoping to get to work at some point it's still having failures that caused delays which could be quite a major problem especially considering how frequent they can be many many delays I had I actually came from 139th Street and I had taken over the 96th Street in order to get to here it always delays delays lately now you would think with one of the busiest train systems in the world innovation be a top priority but what you're finding in these Subway's have a very aged infrastructure the MTA admits that it desperately needs to change its current hard to repair of six-block signal system which is so old the only way the agency can get parts is to manufacture them itself and what this means is the service is extremely unreliable it's ridiculous because it's almost every day going along with the aged infrastructure is there's no AC so if it's 95 degrees outside on a hot July day it's 110 degrees in the subway system so it's definitely not the most reliable means if looking convenience and comfort just like anywhere else at peak times it becomes incredibly close and sweaty and really isn't a nice place to be on these hot days you'd prefer to be outside this is where the city bikes come into play they are much like the Boris bikes in London you pay a small fee to take the bike out and put it back in another station these cost $10 for the day or 95 dollars for an annual pass which is a bargain the Annual Pass also has a key to quickly unlock the bikes compared to the trouble that Casey nice that went through on a one-time use now we have bike share city bike so I figured I'd try it out now full disclosure I'd never ridden one before and I didn't really know what to expect i glossed over the directions and then got to the touchscreen it was slow and not super responsive plus there were way way too many screens to cycle through he even shows how it's less painful than owning a bike in New York City there's a high chance of his own bike being stolen when I went to New York with a group of about 15 of us we went to a separate cycle hire shop as the long winded touchscreen options list was too much to go through 15 times also when you're in a group you can go into these cycle hire shops and try to get a group discount which we did i've only been around Central Park which is lovely but the streets are a mess you have to dart in and out of traffic and as for the cycle lanes that skip past this traffic they always have things in the way of them so what can London learn from New York well if anything I think that New York could learn from London the bikes in New York will one thing the bikes in Amsterdam are something else for after them I'm going to move a couple of hours north to Honea to explore how bikes have been prioritized there our stam itself has a system of bike lanes that go almost everywhere it has these bike lanes on the outside of every road it has them by pedestrianised areas and by themselves to connect different parts of the city the Netherlands is itself is a very green nation it really shows this with its new town layouts like Haniyeh one again is probably one of the best bicycling cities in the world we go there because it's a city that Dutch cities look to for inspiration and examples and ideas when they want to improve bicycling just had bike lanes already planned before the whole town was built so that bikes are the more pila former transportation to get across the town bike paths have a more direct and therefore quicker route than cars on the road the city center is offered in four quarters which means that car traffic can't go from one quarter to the other they have to go along in the little wing route which leads along with the town center as well as being a quicker and shorter route it's also cheaper as cars cost more than bikes as well as the fuel and insurance costs on top of that you can go faster on the bicycle to the city center than by car it is cheaper to go there on the bicycle imagine what will happen if all these bicycles that you see in the street will be cars and people in cars then everything would be jammed Debbie Garson is a local student there and she sums up why she uses a bike I'm from the Netherlands and I live in Konya which is a city completely in the north of the Netherlands and my experience of taking transport to get somewhere public transport is that I generally take the bike when it's about 20 minutes cycle to get from where I live to my University and I like taking the bike because it's easy it's always there you don't have to wait for it compared to the bus and it's it's it gets you literally everywhere there's places where the buses don't drive or can't drive and you can get that by bike and especially because the Netherlands or this coating is really made for a biking city so there's there's a lot of facilities you can always park your bike somewhere so how does Amsterdam differ from this it had the cycle lanes added after it was built and was not pre-planned this makes it a little more of a mess with bike lanes going in every direction it can seem very chaotic at times but does it work yes because everyone is used to it but when you're an outsider and not used to cycling with hundreds of others darting around you it can be a difficult situation yes there are accidents wait wait Karina but on the whole it is a better system but could London go bike crazy like the Netherlands London already has a many cyclists not quite the extent of the Netherlands but currently not enough cycle lanes to cope with that sort of demand there would need to be a complete rethink like Amsterdam had in the 1970s oil crisis we had environmental crisis we had a lot of fatalities in traffic and then the whole society said safety would be the main concern as here in Britain we're all very much guided by health and safety rules Amsterdam also have trams are they a good idea they've run off electricity coming from power lines suspended above the ground to avoid having live rails that could potentially injure people this also keeps the city's air clean with not having large diesel buses going around so this is good however the power lines are a bit of an eyesore and the grooves in the ground that the trams are guided by happen to just be big enough for bike ties which is unfortunate considering that it is the cycling capital of the world so when trams do crossover roads and cycle lanes there can be incidents but they are a very good solution despite the issues with bikes as they are able to run alongside the roads and are able to pass by any traffic that happens to be about they've run much like buses that on a guided course with stations and stops around the city other cities in England do use trams like Sheffield and Manchester even London uses trams but not on an extensive city wide scale but why not possibly because of needing overhead cabling that would cover up the capital there was a plan to introduce trams into central London but that got canceled due to lack of funding in 2008 so it is unlikely they will be introduced anywhere in future moving on to concepts and current developments in urban transportation Masdar city in Abu Dhabi is home to a personal Rapid Transit System or PRT short to get there is the name of the company that designs and supplies these PRT systems they first appeared in October 2002 for a brief period of time in Florida to transport users to the top of a hill they were judged to be a huge success on this 700 meter track as the small battery operated pause were able to get four people up a hill on each four-minute journey for a couple of hours before needing to charge up this meant they had a potential to carry 600 passengers between the 25 pods in operation going up and down a hill is the most strenuous sort of task for a small electric vehicle as this will drain the battery and with these 25 pods being able to do that continuously for a couple of hours that proves them to be a great thing especially in 2002 moving 8 years down the line to Masdar PRT which opened in November 2010 was bound to be successful and is the system currently still only has two stations on a 1.4 kilometer track as most of the city is still being developed and built the network is operational for 18 hours a day every day the 10 vehicles operate an on-demand service for anyone one-to-one they charge up between journeys on their docking stations which allows them to run all day rather than needing one big charge every couple of hours another plus point for this is that all the power that's used to recharge these vehicles is all green energy as Mazda is a self-sufficient city it can power itself as well as sell off extra electricity that happens to generate from the massive arrays of solar panels it has massive our city is definitely a superb example of what the city should do in terms of power supply but what about the PRT yes yes the PRT is a great concept and realization and should be good to keep an eye on as it develops and grows but could it work for London I don't know I don't think many people would know until the mast our PRT is expanding as the type of system has only been seen going between a couple of stations and knocked through a whole city as for putting some self-driving PRT system in London it would be far more comfortable than current methods but as for quicker I'm not sure if it would cope with the sheer volume of people moving in out and around the city looking back at everything what can London do better a bit of everything really I think the main thing it can do is make the multiple systems work together more they sort of do already allowing travel card holders to hop between different services but sometimes they can still seem like they're separate businesses trying to get numbers through the door just look at what people are currently saying just these simple things can make the whole network a more attractive place to commute and making it a more attractive place to commute means that there'll be less cars making the system better it's an endless cycle it either goes one way downhill or the other way uphill I also reckon that London needs to trial some innovative tech like the sort seen in Mouse our city just to see if it could potentially be done and if it could work but we'll never know until it's tried as what happens on paper isn't always what happens in real life you