Streetfilms: Parisian Bus Rapid Transit

For the third installment in her series of Paris, France Streetfilms, Elizabeth Press checks out Le Mobilien, the Parisian version of Bus Rapid Transit. Le Mobilien features curbside and onboard bus arrival info, mid-street boarding kiosks, a MetroCard-esque payment system, and — perhaps most crucial to its success — lanes that are physically separated from car traffic.

All that dedicated space means Le Mobilien faces remarkably few impediments compared to New York’s fledgling Select Bus Service, which, while a marked improvement by local standards, is struggling to establish itself atop the street-level vehicular hierarchy. Remarkable what a little curbing can do.

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European Vacation

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DOT Commissioner Iris Weinshall’s two week European vacation has gotten off to a lousy start. NPR is reporting that Weinshall, her husband, Senator Chuck Schumer, and their two daughters were stuck in Heathrow Airport for hours after yesterday’s terrorism arrests. The Commissioner and her family were planning on visiting Amsterdam and Paris but have decided to stay […]

How Paris is Beating Traffic Without Congestion Pricing

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Biking by the Seine during car-free hours on the Georges Pompidou Expressway. The mayor of a global metropolis, elected to his first term in 2001, set out to reduce driving and promote greener modes of transportation in his city. Congestion pricing turned out to be unfeasible, because influential political forces in the suburbs believed, rightly […]

Paris Wins the ITDP Sustainable Transport Award

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The Institute for Transportation and Development Policy has chosen Paris for its 2008 Sustainable Transportation Award. In a letter from the ITDP Board of Directors to Paris Mayor Bertrand Delanoë, the Institute praises the French capitol’s recent transportation policies, most notably the Vélib project: Under your leadership, Paris has implemented a range of innovative mobility […]

Traffic Continues to Disappear in Paris

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In 2001, shortly after being elected the Mayor of Paris on a platform promising to "fight, with all the means at my disposal, against the harmful, ever-increasing and unacceptable hegemony of the automobile," Bertrand Delanoë began implementing a series of far-reaching transportation reforms throughout the City of Light. With New York City Department of Transportation Commissioner […]

French Revolution

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Two lanes in the middle of this Parisian avenue have been set aside for the exclusive use of buses, bikes and taxis. Private automobiles have been squeezed into the margins. Serge Schemman has a great little essay on Parisian transportation and public space policy on the editorial page of today’s New York Times. I was […]

Does New York BRT Need Cops and Cameras, or Just Concrete?

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Not to stoke the center vs. curbside lane debate, but here are a couple of shots of the Paris Mobilien Bus Rapid Transit system. As pointed out by Streetsbloggers, the Mobilien uses both types of lanes. And unlike New York’s Select Bus Service, Paris BRT relies on preventative physical separation between buses and auto traffic, […]