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Transportation 2.0 what’s possible, what’s desirable, what’s next an online course for the Sustainability Leadership Program of the University of Oregon August 26 – September 6, 2013. Instructor: Joshua Skov. Welcome!. Ground rules ask me when you need/want help

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instructor joshua skov
Transportation 2.0what’s possible, what’s desirable, what’s nextan online course for the Sustainability Leadership Program of the University of OregonAugust26 – September 6, 2013

Instructor: Joshua Skov

  • Ground rules
    • ask me when you need/want help
    • participate! (and expect me to give feedback)
  • Format
    • self-guided reading and reflection in three major sections
    • online discussion
    • introduction and “roadmap” today (webinar #1)
    • re-cap, feedback on discussions, comments on projects (webinar #2)
    • everything is in the public domain (including this PowerPoint)
  • Evaluation
    • participation in each major theme with web comments/questions
    • final project (more on that in a bit)
  • My job: provide material and structure, ask questions, facilitate discussion (and occasionally provide answers)


  • You are:
    • Andy
    • Arthur
    • Brenton
    • Carissa
    • Edem
    • John
    • Lila
    • Natalia
    • Ron
  • Notes on logistics
    • Please mute (until later) to address sound quality concerns.
    • Near the end of the session, I will stop for a couple of minutes and open it up to clarifying questions.
    • Send messages via the chat window (at the end, or throughout)


course content overview
course content overview
  • Five big questions
    • cost
    • environment
    • culture and society
    • chance for change
    • private vs. public (markets vs. policy)
  • Three major themes
  • Many individual readings, most of them short and sweet
  • Topics we won’t talk about (at least not much, or very directly)
    • freight (modes, technological change)
    • climate change vulnerability of the transportation system
    • what car you should (or shouldn’t) buy next
    • …and so much more


why this matters to me
why this matters (to me)
  • Transportation is a major source of greenhouse gas emissions. Transforming our transportation systems is essential to solving the climate crisis.
  • Our current transportation infrastructure, systems and habits represent an enormous economic commitment – a big investment and a big on-going expense. We could do better.
  • Differences in transportation opportunity and need reinforce social and economic inequality for many people in this country and elsewhere.
  • Reshaping transportation can be part of changing the way people interact with the built environment, experience community, take care of their health, and conduct daily life.
  • Transportation is linked to other major issues (e.g., land use).


five questions
five questions
  • Cost: What are we really paying for transportation?
  • Environmental impact: What is the environmental impact? What is the related environmental imperative? To what extent are public health and wellbeing at stake as well?
  • Culture and society: To what extent is our transportation system the result of simply arbitrary choices, historical accident and our current frame of reference? How does it reinforce existing inequities?
  • Chance for change: What opportunity for change is out there? How feasible are the options? What are the barriers?
  • Private solutions vs. public solutions: To what extent will private-sector forces and markets solve these problems? On the other hand, to what extent must policy, planning and public investment facilitate or even implement solutions?


three major content themes
three major (Content) themes
  • Changing systems, big challenges, big solutions
  • Technology
  • Changing habits, shifting norms, new models

(more detail on each one shortly)

  • How to think about these big “buckets” of content:
    • They are distinct: deep, complicated, idiosyncratic.
    • They are also related: points of connection and interaction.
    • For thinking clearly about complicated things, tunnel vision is both necessary (so you can go deep enough) and not enough by itself (if you never take off the blinders and look for the connections).


final project
Final project
  • Format: short research paper, 1200-1500 words, must fit on eight (8) pages including bibliography and pictures/graphs
  • Due date (please submit by e-mail):
    • idea or outline: Saturday, August 31
    • completed paper: September 6 (but ask for feedback along the way)
  • Avenues for exploration (four options)
    • technology appropriateness assessment: deep dive into one technology, with commentary on feasibility
    • planning check: a look at the state of multi-modal and/or active transportation planning in your community (or another one)
    • focus on connections: consider a technology or planning initiative through the lens of social norms, lifestyle expectations, culture, etc.
    • company profile: assess a particular firm and its business model from the standpoint of multiple perspectives explored in the course


status quo major trends
status quo,major trends

setting the stage

opening thoughts
opening thoughts
  • How (much) we drive
  • How (much) we pay
  • A new day dawns
how much we drive
how (much) we drive
  • Per-person vehicle-miles traveled (VMT per capita) in the United States is in gradual decline.
  • Trend or short-term disruption? Fundamental change or not?

Opening thoughts

how much we pay
how (Much) we pay
  • Fuel tax is the main way to fund infrastructure. We now use less fuel and pay less tax. But we still need infrastructure.
  • The global price of petroleum is the primary determinant of the price of gasoline and diesel. It is high and will stay there.*

Key point: The price of oil is now a burden and opportunity in a way it wasn’t before.

Opening thoughts

a new day dawns
a new day dawns
  • New thinking about what local transportation should look like
  • New(ly understood) scientific and political imperatives for environmental change
  • New financial fundamentals
  • New technologies
  • New business models
  • New preferences/culture/priorities/openness

Opening thoughts

systems challenges solutions
  • Frameworks for change
    • Oregon Sustainable Transportation Initiative (OSTI)
    • Portland Metro’s Climate Smart Communities Scenarios
    • California’s SB 375 and Sustainable Communities Strategies (SCS)
  • Bicycle planning
    • Los Angeles
    • Colorado Springs
  • The research agenda (NCHRP)

Key word: “framework”

1. Systems/Challenges/Solutions


Theme #2

technology topics
technology topics
  • Vehicles
    • electric vehicles; the Tesla Model S as a case study
    • bikes and feet
  • Fuels (energy sources generally)
    • California’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS)
    • Biofuels
  • Transit systems – vehicles, energy, ideas/formats
    • Bus rapid transit
    • Hyperloop
  • Technical possibilities, social limits, forces of innovation
    • autonomous driving
    • the Pentagon’s push

2. Technology

assessing technology
assessing technology
  • Desirability?
    • environmental impact (carbon; other things)
    • public health benefit
    • and of course, cost/feasibility
  • Determinants of feasibility?
    • first costs
    • life-cycle costs
    • infrastructure needs
    • network effects – how feasibility in an individual instance depends on overall adoption (e.g., EV charging infrastructure)
    • perception, openness, weird/scary/different factor

2. Technology

habits norms models
  • Demographic shifts
    • boomers: new preferences for housing
    • millennials: new preferences for housing and transportation
    • everyone: new feelings about ownership
  • Defining “normal” for people and planners
    • bike/ped infrastructure and expectations
    • parking requirements
  • New forms of ownership and participation
    • ZipCar
    • Capital Bikeshare
    • MetroMile (our sponsor)

3. Habits/


  • And now, two minutes of radio silence.
  • Please review your notes and/or thoughts.
  • When I bring you back from the radio silence, please ask questions by chat, or unmute and ask questions by voice.

We will go as long as time permits, but we’ll respect the hour limit on today’s webinar. I’ll be available by Skype afterward if you have more questions.

let s get started
Let’s get started
  • Read the material, make comments on the web site, and look for discussion threads as they develop.
  • Send me content questions by e-mail if you prefer ([email protected]).
  • Send me course logistics questions at any time.
  • I’m available for one-on-one Skype calls if you want an in-person discussion (subject to scheduling)