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Victoria Transport Policy Institute

"Efficiency - Equity - Clarity"

Summer 2021    Vol. 21, No. 3

The Victoria Transport Policy Institute is an independent research organization dedicated to developing innovative solutions to transportation problems. The VTPI website has many resources addressing a wide range of transport planning and policy issues. VTPI also provides consulting services.

New Mobilities: Smart Planning for Emerging Transportation Technologies,
by Todd Litman (Island Press 2021)
Discount code LITMAN provides 20% savings off the $35 standard price.

In this book, transportation expert Todd Litman critically evaluates new technologies and services, and provides practical guidance for optimizing them. He systematically examines how each of the twelve New Mobility is likely to affect travel activity (how and how much people travel); consumer costs and affordability; roadway infrastructure design and costs; parking demand; land use development patterns; public safety and health; energy and pollution emissions; and economic opportunity and fairness.


Book Publicity

Planning for the New Mobilities. As we consider incorporating transportation innovations into our communities, there are good reasons to be cautious. New technologies and services can provide benefits, but often impose large and unfair costs. It is important to use comprehensive analysis when planning for new mobilities.
Talking Headways Podcast: How We’ve Subsidized Driving (and What We Can Do About It), Streetsblog USA podcast. Jeff Wood interviews Todd Litman about his book, New Mobilities: Smart Planning for Emerging Transportation Technologies. We reframe the transportation investments, talk about sharing information, and discuss why air taxis might not be the future.

Pneumatic Tube Trains and AVs to the Rescue? Smarter Planning for New Mobility, The City Fix blog. New modes and mobility services have tantalizing potential, but also impose significant costs and risks. We need objective and comprehensive analysis to determine how – and how not – to incorporate these new technologies.
Todd Litman: Five Predictions on New Mobility, Viewpoint Vancouver. This “chatbox” with Gordon Price explores information from the book, New Mobilities, including predictions about emerging transportation technologies and services (e-bikes and -scooters, autonomous cars, delivery drones, pneumatic tube transport), and the Litman-Glamour/Benefits-Inverse-Relationship.

The New Mobilities: Smart Planning for Emerging Transportation Technologies, Eno Foundation Webinar, 11 August. Free video and slideshow. Todd Litman, author of the book, New Mobilities, discussed twelve emerging transportation modes and services that will likely significantly affect our lives as they become more commonplace. Litman will explain how these modes and services are likely to affect travel activity, costs and affordability, infrastructure design and cost, and other elements.
Smart Planning for Emerging Transportation Technologies, Between the Lines, by Commutifi. This interview by Andy Keeton explores how smart planning for emerging transportation technologies can help save the planet, and the best commuting song.
An Interview with Todd Litman and a Conversation about New Mobilities, Parking Podcast. This interview with Isaiah Mouw discusses the new book: New Mobilities. Available free at Parking Podcast, Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcast and Soundcloud.

New Mobilities: Smart Planning for Emerging Transportation Technologies, SPUR Digital Discourse. Free video. As we accelerate towards a new mobility revolution, come learn how to make informed decisions about advocating and planning for these innovative ways to move.

New Mobilities: Smart Planning for Emerging Transportation, National Shared Mobility Summit book club event: author presentation, followed by group discussion and informal networking. Free video.

New Mobilities: Smart Planning for Emerging Transportation Technologies, Smart Growth Network webinar. Free video.

New Mobility Must Focus on Maximising Societal Benefits, Automotive World. This article by Megan Lampinen explores how to determine whether a transportation innovation should be mandated, encouraged, restricted or even forbidden.

AI (artificial intelligence) and You, episodes 61 and 62. Peter Scott interviews Todd Litman about his report Autonomous Vehicle Implementation Predictions: Implications for Transport Planning. These two free podcast discuss the development and impacts of autonomous vehicles.


Comprehensive Transport Emission Reduction Planning. Guidelines for Evaluating Transportation Emission Reduction Strategies. Submitted for presentation at the 2022 TRB Annual Meeting.
This study critically evaluates the methods used to develop transportation emission reduction plans. It finds that the process is often biased in ways that exaggerate the benefits of clean vehicles such as hybrid and electric automobiles, and undervalue vehicle travel reduction strategies such as transportation demand management programs and Smart Growth policies. As a result of these biases, most current emission reduction plans overemphasize clean vehicles and underemphasize vehicle travel reductions compared with what is optimal. This study suggests that to be efficient and equitable, transportation emission reduction plans should rely at least as much on vehicle travel reductions as on clean vehicle strategies, with particular emphasis on “quick win” strategies. It provides recommendations for better analysis.  
Evaluating Transportation Equity. Guidance for Incorporating Distributional Impacts in Transport Planning, submitted for publication in the ITE Journal.
Transportation planning decisions often have significant equity impacts; they affect the distribution of benefits and costs. Transport equity analysis is challenging because there are several types of equity to consider, many potential impacts, and various ways to measure impacts. This article provides guidance for evaluating transportation equity. It defines various types of equity, equity impacts and objectives, and describes practical ways to incorporate equity evaluation into transportation planning.
The Business Case for Post-Covid Public Transit
Many people wonder how communities should plan for post-pandemic public transit. On one hand, the pandemic demonstrated the important roles that transit plays in providing basic mobility. On the other hand, reduced ridership and fare revenues are likely to continue for several years. This report investigates these issues. It examines the roles that public transit plays in an efficient and equitable transportation system, how the Covid pandemic affects these roles, transit travel health risks, and factors affecting future transit demands. This analysis indicates that well-planned transit improvements can continue to provide large benefits. This is a technical report for the debate, What Is the Future for Transit After COVID? - A Debate between transit critic Randal O'Toole and Todd Litman concerning the future of public transit in the U.S.

Recent Planetizen columns

Clean Vehicles Versus Vehicle Travel Reductions: Better Transportation Emission Reduction Planning. There are many possible ways to reduce transportation emissions, some of which provide large co-benefits. Unfortunately, current evaluation practices tend to overlook some of the best. Let’s examine why.

Take the A Train: A Musical Inspiration for Planners. Take the A Train is a beautiful celebration of rail transit, urban sophistication, and the Harlem Renaissance all packed into the most danceable 2:54 minutes of musical teamwork ever recorded on a 78 disk. It’s my inspiration for great planning!
Planning for New Mobilities: Preparing for Innovative Transportation Technologies and Services. New mobilities—emerging transportation technologies and services—have tantalizing potential. They allow people to scoot, ride, and fly like never before. However, they can also impose surprising problems. How should communities prepare?

Not So Fast! Slower Is Often Better
To create more affordable, healthy, equitable, accessible, and resource-efficient communities, planners must reform the way we value speed relative to other community goals.


Not So Fast: Why Slower Is Often Better, Streetsblog USA. To create more affordable, healthy, equitable, accessible, and resource-efficient communities, planners must reform the way we value speed relative to other community goals.       
How Traffic Studies Perpetuate a Traffic Congestion Obsession, by Peter Simek. This newspaper article cites my recent critique of the Urban Mobility Report.


The New Mobilities: Smart planning for emerging transportation technologies at Move Asia Conference. September 9, 11:30 am (Singapore).
New transportation technologies are coming online faster than ever. While many of these emerging technologies are helping to expand our world, they need to be evaluated critically. Todd Litman, author of the book New Mobilities: Smart Planning for Emerging Transportation Technologies will discuss emerging transportation modes and services that will likely significantly affect our lives as they become more commonplace. 

TRB Conference on Advancing Transportation Equity, September 9-14. Program. Todd Litman presents two papers:
Evaluating Transportation Equity: Principles and Practices (4977), Equity in Policy Development, Thursday, September 9, 1:45 PM - 3:15 PM EST. Transportation equity analysis is important but challenging because there are various types of equity, impacts, ways to measure impacts, and categories of people to consider. As a result, there is no single method for evaluating transportation equity. It is generally best to consider a variety of perspectives and objectives. Summarizes the new Evaluating Transportation Equity article.
Speed Versus Affordability: Social Equity Implications of Current Transportation Planning Practices (5098), Measuring Equity for Biking and Walking, Monday, September 13, 2:15 PM - 3:45 PM EST. This paper critically examines how and why planning practices favor speed over affordability, the broader implications of these biases, and ways to correct them. Based on the report, Not So Fast: Better Speed Valuation for Transport Planning.

A New Traffic Safety Paradigm. Better Risk Analysis Identifies New Traffic Safety Strategies, to be presented at the OTC Transportation Planning Symposium, 13 September 2021. This presentation is based on the report, A New Traffic Safety Paradigm. This report examines our emerging understanding of traffic risks and new safety strategies. Applying this knowledge requires a paradigm shift, a change in the way problems are defined and solutions evaluated. The new paradigm recognizes exposure (total vehicle travel) as a risk factor, and therefore the safety benefits of vehicle travel reduction strategies.


Commute Duration Dashboard, Mineta Transportation Institute. These dynamic heatmaps compare commute duration for most U.S. communities. One dashboard presents Census tract data and another shows county level data. This information helps identify areas with greater accessibility and therefore shorter duration commutes.

This complements other local scale heat-mapping systems:
These mapping systems indicate that in most urban regions, more central neighborhoods have shorter commutes, lower transportation costs, lower emission rates, and better travel options than more sprawled areas.
Catalogue of Policy Measures Toward Sustainable Mobility, by the Sustainable Mobility for All Partnership. Based on the Global Roadmap of Action Toward Sustainable Mobility. This catalogue describes more than 180 policy instruments to achieve sustainable mobility.
SLOCAT Transport and Climate Change Global Status Report, by the Sustainable Low Carbon Transportation Partnership. This major report tells the global and regional stories of where we are and what is needed for transport climate action. It is a one-stop shop for the latest available data, targets and developments on transport demand, emissions, policies and sustainable transport strategies.
ITF Transport Outlook, by the International Transport Forum. This report evaluates future transport demands, and identifies ways to transition to more sustainable and equitable mobility.
Net Zero by 2050: A Roadmap for the Global Energy Sector, by the International Energy Agency. This report sets out  milestones for transitioning to renewable energy, including transport policy reforms.
Elements of Access: Transport Planning for Engineers, Transport Engineering for Planners by David M. Levinson, Wes Marshall and Kay Axhausen. This comprehensive guide for accessibility-based planning is now available on YouTube.
Measuring Accessibility: A Guide for Transportation and Land Use Practitioners, by the State Smart Transportation Initiative. This report provides practical guidance for applying accessibility-based planning.
The Width and Value of Residential StreetsJournal of the American Planning Association, by Adam Millard-Ball. This study developed an economic framework for optimizing street widths. It concludes that reducing street width requirements could increase the portion of urban land available for housing and other uses. Also see, Narrower Streets in New Developments Could Help Amid Housing Crisis, which identifies the schools, parks and other infrastructure that are unbuilt due to excessively wide streets.
El Costo de la Expansión Urbana en México (The Cost of Urban Expansion in Mexico), by the Coalition for Urban Transitions. This major study found that sprawl imposed large costs in Mexico which are particularly unfair to lower-income workers. It concludes that Mexico’s current development model is not sustainable and recommends reforms to achieve economic and social equity goals.
Practitioner Briefing: Social Impact Assessment: Tools, Methods and Approaches, by Sustainable Urban Mobility Planning. This report describes practical ways to incorporate social equity analysis and community goals into transport planning.
Our Driving Habits Must Be Part of the Climate Conversation, by the Rocky Mountain Institute. Describes why vehicle travel reductions are important for reducing emissions and achieving other community goals.
Victoria Transport Policy Institute
Phone: 250-508-5150
1250 Rudlin Street, Victoria, BC, V8V 3R7, CANADA
     Efficiency - Equity - Clarity 

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