Today's post is the second installment of my series Taming The Lagos Traffic Monster which has received widespread readership and accolades. It has been a Thought Leadership discussion on a subject that disturbs every Lagosian or anyone in a growing city- Urban Commuting or Transportation and how innovation is or can help make life a lot easier and fun despite the challenges. Already we have discussed the term in general and its grave health impacts on our lives. Now we continue with the expose on Real Innovative products and service for a smoother Urban Transportation, after that we will show how you can take advantage of them and then try to offer other creative tips on effective and healthy commuting habits.
There are so many products and service out there but we have picked the best and the most effective for you. Some of the new commuting Innovations and tools we have recommended are for you the individual while some are for governments at all levels to adopt, there include:
- Cable Car
- Motorbikes or Scooters
- Bus Rapid Transportation
- PRT-Personal Rapid Transit
- Google Map
- Mobile Apps
- Ride Sharing
- Electric Vehicles(cars and bikes)
- Google Car
- Adopt Smart Mobile Lifestyle
Since these are just tools, lets us now discuss how they can help you enjoy a more effective daily movement.
Bikes are tough to beat in terms of the unique fit for urban transportation: They're reliable, emissions-free, small, healthy, and cheap to operate. Check out our best pick.
Fuel-efficient vehicles are great. Driving less is even better. We're big bicycle fans here. Bikes are tough to beat in terms of urban transportation: they're reliable, emissions-free, take up very little parking space, and cost almost nothing to operate. Depending on your commute or the length of your errand, it's possible that a bicycle will get you where you're going faster than an automobile. And they're great for your health. I enjoy seeing doctors in some movie drive bites to work instead of cars or even train.
As example of an innovative bike is The MINI Folding Bike
The MINI Folding bike was designed specifically to complement even the smallest car and will also be great for your car. Like its automobile cousin, the bike is small and highly maneuverable, in addition to being lightweight, and of course, the MINI folds up small enough to fit in the trunk of car.
The revolutionary Tango (very mini sport car) combines the speed and agility of a motorcycle with the security of a high-performance sports car.
Tango lets you trade your boredom for freedom with its ability to maneuver through traffic which is second to none. Being 5" narrower than many motorcycles, it can get through traffic like no other car in history. Where lane splitting is permitted (i.e., driving between lanes of stopped or slow-moving traffic), the advantage can be staggering. In extremely heavy traffic, a Tango or motorcycle can travel in 20 seconds the distance that cars travel in 20 minutes.
Help forge a congestion-free future
The Tango can fit in a 6-foot half-lane with more clearance than a truck has in a full 12-foot freeway lane. This virtual doubling of lane capacity can make the traffic jam a fading memory. It can also park perpendicularly to the curb like a motorcycle, allowing up to four Tangos in one parallel parking space.
The Futuristic Urban Gondolas-Cable Car
This An Efficient,Fast, And Safe Public Transitfor our government to adopt. In Lagos, they could be placed on both sides of the third mainland bridge to move people from one side to the other.
The urban gondolas project is an urban cable propelled transit (CPT) concept that can offer a fast, safe, clean, fun, inexpensive and reliable alternative for in-city traveling. The huge infrastructure eliminates the need of schedule by including enough vehicles to support less-than-one-minute wait time. The cable transit is equal or faster than subways, light rail, streetcars and buses, using less energy than those and is completely emission free. The installation process has been designed up to 25 – 75% cost-effectively and is safer than any other forms of urban commuting. The fully automated transit can carry twice the number of people that current cable transits are carrying with more fun and flexibility.
Smart Urban Commuting Tools
Most of us waste time and energy in frustration when looking for a new address within the city. A good mapping service combined with GPS navigation as available in some Smartphones and cars can make the journey alot easier and even fun. Google Maps is an urban commuter's delight especially business road warriors.
Global Positioning System. A satellite-based navigation system made up of a network of 24 satellites placed into orbit by the U.S. Department of Defense. GPS was originally intended for military applications, but in the 1980s, the government made the system available for civilian use.
GPS Navigation devices
Samsung GPS Support
The Samsung Galaxy Smartphones and all subsequently released models use GPS navigation -- or which in basic terms accesses an intermediary server when it is not possible to connect directly via satellite -- indoors, for example -- and this server provides the nearest satellite with additional information to make it possible to more accurately determine a users position.
As a new rash of mobile applications are making transportation easier (and quicker) for residents in big urban cities all over the world, these Mobile Apps, sophisticated softwares inside Smartphone allow users to access urban commuting intelligence such as bus and train schedules, real time traffic updates and emergency services from Internet-accessible phones. The apps, which are available on Samsung Smartphones and other wireless devices, also give real-time updates on when buses and trains will actually arrive.
An example of such application is MyCityWay android app
MyCityWay is a real time app designed to transform your hand held device into a mega-
utility tool for navigating the urban scene. By combining urban reference apps and platforms with vital urban information, MyCityWay helps you pilot and explore the world's cities like never before. Use MyCityWay to find a restaurant in your neighborhood, locate the nearest wireless hotspot, or buy tickets for the next showing of a blockbuster movie. Connect with other users to find the perfect lunch spot, keep tabs on apartments for rent, or check live traffic feeds before leaving your home or office.
Good urban commuting tips: 2 minutes
In the end, having an effective and smoother urban commute can sometimes be just like most other things in our lives, all we may just need to do is change our priorities, habits and lifestyle choices for a healthier life. But that’s easier said that done. Just like a dear friend who prefers to buy new clothes than learn to wash. For those who are interested, here are a few tips to make your daily commute easier, faster, less stressful and fun.
- Leave early for your destination
- Plan your trip well and know your destination; use map if possible.
- Stay up to minute with traffic and weather information
- Top up your petrol tank to avoid frequent stops
- Work closer to your spouse if you cannot work close to home
- Always take a known route especially at night
- Take public transport such as BRT in case of serious traffic jam; this way you can always alight and take a different mode of transport easily.
- Have a mini-bike in your booth for emergencies
- Play some nice music to relax
- and repair your AC if broken.
It is said, that there are over 2 million cars in Lagos alone, people love cars and will continue to do so. As a closing gift, we give you the 2012 Best Urban Commuting Cars as compiled by Forbes.
Remember that as a general rule, to be effective in urban movement, you must be honest about the particularities of your own transport needs and diligent enough to research which vehicle best fits that lifestyle. At the very least you'll need something spacious enough for comfort, efficient enough for decent petrol mileage and durable enough to withstand the inevitable fender-bender. Do these and you won't be alone.
Here are the nine cars (in no particular order):
1. Ford Fusion Hybrid
2. Toyota Highlander Hybrid
3. Lexus CT 200h
4. Scion xD
5. Chevrolet Volt
6. Honda Fit
7. Toyota Prius V
8. Subaru Forester
9. Toyota RAV4
Wow, Wow, Wow.