Rubén M.Cenzano

Chartered Civil Engineer specialised in Transportation

Ingeniero de Caminos especialista en Transporte

report links active commuting to healthier body weight

Posted On Tuesday, 29 March 2016

A study of more than 150,000 UK adults aged 40 years and over has revealed that those who walk, cycle or use public transport for their journey to work tend to be slimmer than commuters who travel by car. The study shows ‘robust, independent associations’ between active commuting and healthier body weight.

The results concluded that “active commuting was significantly and independently associated with reduced BMI (body mass index) and percentage body fat for both sexes”.

The study identifies cycling as the best means of keeping in shape, followed by walking. The results also show that even using public transport, with the small amounts of exercise involved, has health benefits over using a car. An average height man would weigh around 5kg less if he were to cycle rather than drive to work each day (woman: 4.4kg).

yet another research shows how parking provision dictates commuters’ modal choice

Posted On Thursday, 24 March 2016

Researchers from two American Universities have found the provision of parking spaces can encourage private-car use and increase traffic congestion.

“We have provided compelling evidence that parking provision is a cause of citywide automobile use and calls into question the justification for basing minimum parking requirements on a predict-and-provide approach. If increased parking provision causes more driving, this effect should be taken into account and managed accordingly through mechanisms like maximum parking allowances and pricing"

A study in Edinburgh, Scotland, recorded considerably lower car use within a limited parking zone than outside, and estimated that a 2.5km (1.5mile) expansion of the zone could reduce commuting by car by 21%.

Surveys of travellers in Haifa, Israel, show that reductions in parking availability could prompt between 23% to 45% of workers (and 16% to 25% of non-workers) to change modes and were dependant on the increase in parking search times.

hyperloop to start expansion from Slovakia

Posted On Tuesday, 22 March 2016

Slovakian Government and Hyperloop Transportation Technologies (HTT) have recently started talking about building a local Hyperloop system, with the aim of creating future routes connecting Bratislava with Vienna, Austria and Budapest, Hungary.

According to HTT, a Bratislava to Vienna route could take about eight minutes at Hyperloop's full speed; a Bratislava to Budapest route just 10 minutes. A route between Bratislava and Kosice a distance of 400 kilometres (250 miles) could also be considered and would connect the eastern and western sides of Slovakia with a short trip of only 25 minutes, substantially reducing the typical 4.5 hour car ride.

drones and construction processes of bridges: Erques Viaduct (Spain)

Posted On Wednesday, 16 March 2016

Erques viaduct is located in a natural environment Southwest of the island of Tenerife (Canary Islands, Spain), on the new road Adeje - Santiago del Teide.

Transportation Engineer, Ruben M.Cenzano, Ingeniero de Transporte

lessons to learn from the failure of Helsinki's on-demand bus service

Posted On Tuesday, 15 March 2016

Finland's capital hoped a 'mobility on demand' system that integrated all forms of shared and public transport in a single payment network could essentially render private cars obsolete, however, the last ride was on 31st December 2015.

It was called Kutsuplus (Finnish for "call plus") and the service matched passengers who were headed roughly in the same direction with a minibus driver, allowing them to share a ride that cost more (€5) than a regular city bus (€3) but less than a taxi (€6+).

Operated by the Helsinki Regional Transport Authority, Kutsuplus was a relevant component of Helsinki's intelligent traffic system. The transit authority paid the drivers and operated the buses, which eventually grew to a fleet of 15 as ridership grew steadily.

However, two main reasons made Kutsuplus failing. First was the need for massive scale to make the economics of ride-sharing really work. Second was the significant public cost of doing that.

The transport authority had big expansion plans for Kutsuplus. From the original 15 buses, the fleet was to grow to 45 vehicles in 2016, 100 vehicles in 2017, and later into the thousands. Achieving scale with this model is crucial in order to optimize trips across an entire fleet. With a small number of buses and users, it’s more difficult to match up passengers who are going in the same direction around the same time.

Scale could not come without funding, and although the €3 million it cost to run Kutsuplus was less than 1% of the Transport Authority’s budget, the service was heavily subsidized. The €17 per-trip cost to taxpayers proved controversial. 

Today, the research company behind this experience runs a similar scheme in the USA. 

Ingeniero de Transporte, Ruben M.Cenzano, Transportation Engineer    

locating the best place for a bus stop

Posted On Thursday, 10 March 2016

A paper published recently in Transportation Research Record, evaluates the impact of bus stop location on bus stop time and stop time variation.

While there is not any safer side as there are pros and cons for the different locations of the bus stops (any suggestions to deny this statement? Feel free to drop a comment), there is a clear winner when talking about efficiency.

The study findings show that stop times occurring on the nearside of intersections are on average 4.2 to 5.0 s slower than stop times occurring on the far-side of intersections, with no impact on stop time variation.

Picture from the Transit Cooperative Research Program Volume 19

Transportation Engineer, Ruben M.Cenzano, Ingeniero de Transporte

Norway to build cycle highways

Posted On Wednesday, 9 March 2016

Norway is proposing to spend US$923 million and build ten dual-lane bicycle pathways that would link the country's nine largest cities and extend to their suburbs, allowing longer-distance cyclists to travel with a speed and safety hitherto impossible.

The effort is part of the country's National Transit Plan, which seeks to reduce emissions from vehicular traffic. Challenges, however, include dark winters, steep mountains and the small number of Norwegians who use cycles.

By 2030, the government is aiming to have zero car use, 75% of the country’s buses and 50% of its trucks must be low-emission, while 40% of its short-distance ships and ferries must be either low emission or use biofuels. In addition, rail and road infrastructure will be repaired nationwide, including an improved, expanded coastal highway with bridges to replace ferry crossings. For roads repairs alone, the government estimates that $4.15 billion will be required, while railway upgrades will cost $2.08 billion.

Ingeniero de Transporte, Rubén M.Cenzano, Transportation Engineer

paying drivers to stay away from roadworks to reduce congestion @BeterBenutten

Posted On Friday, 4 March 2016

Travel behaviour could be altered efficiently providing monetary incentives, rewarding car drivers who avoid driving in rush hour traffic or who arrange their working days differently. This could be achieved by leaving for work earlier or later, working full or part days at home, carpooling, using public transport or finding an alternative means of transport such as a bicycle or scooter.

The Dutch Government has recently developed an interesting study on how this could be achieved for roadworks. Their approach was to place automatic numberplate recognition (ANPR) cameras for a period of six to ten weeks to record license plates of motorists prior to the road works. Regular peak-period travellers (15,555) were then contacted to promote the financial benefits of reducing peak-period trips taken along this stretch of highway.

During the operation of the incentive scheme, ANPR cameras were placed on alternative routes to detect potential re-routing on to other roads.

The results were impressive. Traffic demand was decreased by a 5%, with a 15% less travel time lost by vehicles passing through the roadworks. Research demonstrated that expenditure on these incentives generates benefit-cost ratios of up to 5:1. It was found that 25-30% of those invited participated, averaging a reduction on their peak-period travel by 40-50% as well as earning €55.

While the Dutch Government is now progressing with plans to apply it on major roadworks through the "Better Benutten" (optimising use) programme, it is expected other Europeans to follow this approach.

Ingeniero de Transporte, Ruben M.Cenzano, Transportation Engineer

new charging network upgrades electric vehicle range for UK/Irish drivers thanks to @ecotricity & @ESBGroup

Posted On Thursday, 3 March 2016

The completion of a new charging network that stretches the length of Britain’s busiest roads makes long-distance journeys by electric vehicles a realistic prospect in the UK and Ireland, thanks ESB (Ireland) and Ecotricity (UK), the network operators.

Each installation includes at least two multi-standard charge points compatible with most EVs on sale today, being capable of powering a typical electric vehicle’s battery to 80% of its capacity in less than 30 minutes.

Before the electric highway (e-roads), people didn’t buy electric cars because of the lack of charging facilities. And people didn’t build charging facilities because not enough people bought electric cars. There was also the ‘range anxiety’ or the fear of running out of power when travelling long distances. So far, the average car in Britain travels less than 50km/day, a distance most modern electric cars can run without needing to charge; this is why the idea behind this operation was to create a supply of electricity pumps on the motorway network instead of urban areas.

Ingeniero de Transporte, Rubén M.Cenzano, Transportation Engineer

Copenhagen gives bicycles traffic-light priority

Posted On Tuesday, 1 March 2016

Copenhagen will replace 380 traffic signals with intelligent lights that will prioritize the flow of buses and bicycles over cars at intersections. The signalling is expected to cut travel times for public transport users by 5-20%, while it will be a 10% for cyclists.

It must be noted that Copenhagen traffic management is set to prioritize cycling by timing bicycle “green waves” at 20 km/h (traffic lights synchronized to allow cyclists finding green lights if they maintain a certain speed). Maybe this helps to keep consistent levels of bike-sharing through the year, regardless of the snowy winter.

There are some American cities experimenting with green waves for bikes such as San Francisco (15mph - 25km/h) and Chicago (12mph - 20km/h).

Transportation Engineer, Ruben M.Cenzano, Ingeniero de Transporte
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