autonomous-shuttle-bus-2

What do you do when you are the active transportation manager for one of the largest industrial parks in Great Britain? Milton Park  houses 7,500 workers and 250 businesses on a 250 acre site. It is located near Milton Oxfordshire and is known for leading work on science and technology. If you are Veronica Reynolds the “Behavioural Change Advisor” at Vectos, you build connected bikeways and walkways, and secure funding for  autonomous vehicle shuttles to move people around the industrial park.

The United Kingdom’s first trial of autonomous vehicles on public roads will be implemented here to reduce car usage in this industrial park by fifty per cent.Funded by Innovate UK, 2.5 million pounds has been awarded to trial self driving vehicles between the private roads within the industrial park and the public roads linking the site to the nearby bus and train network. Even though the industrial park is close to a transit station most travel to and from Milton Park is by private car. The new cycling paths and walkways  augment the autonomous vehicle buses, which will also network in with the expansion of the site planned in the coming years. Commuters will book and pay for their autonomous vehicle shuttle to the industrial park from the transportation hub in one easy process.

“Veronica Reynolds said: “A key aim of the Milton Park Travel Forum is to work closely with the Park’s business leaders to future-proof the park’s transport offer. This innovative new project builds on the work of that Forum and its vision to provide more and greener travel options. We would like to thank everyone at Milton Park for the support we have received to date which has undoubtedly contributed to the success in securing this project funding.”

And that is how one active transportation manager had an industrial park in Britain become one of the first offering  workers the opportunity of using an autonomous vehicle shuttle on their daily commute.
navyashuttle
 

Comments

  1. The interesting fact in this story is that active transportation includes transit (that is usually the normal in Europe)
    …at the great difference from Vancouver where active transportation is de facto reduced to cycling only.

    1. You read what you want to read Voony. I read “walking and cycling”. And it is also well understood at the city that transit involves an active component.

    2. Transit can sometimes be considered active transportation, but this story isn’t about active transportation, it is about sustainable transportation and multi modal mobility as a service (MaaS) offerings. Which include transit, walking, and cycling. The description of the role Ms Reynolds has is listed as “a Specialist Travel Advisor, assisting MEPC and their clients with encouraging more sustainable travel to and from the Park and reducing single occupancy vehicles”
      Doesn’t sound like active transportation, sounds like sustainable transportation. Which includes active transportation.
      Which, incidentally, is exactly the same as Vancouver. While active transportation here focuses on walking and cycling, sustainable transportation metrics (see T2040 and the Greenest City plan) focus on walk plus bike plus transit mode share.
      I suppose we could always ask the City of Vancouver to take on Transit. But then wouldn’t we be paying for Translink plus the added costs of the City work on transit? Sounds expensive and inefficient.

    3. Jeff, I don’t disagree but you should explain the subtleties between active and sustainable transportation to city Hall.
      At this time it doesn’t have a sustainable transportation committee , but an active transportation committee, which mandate includes transit.
      That said, I am glad you agree that the said active transportation committee has done absolutely nothing positive for transit. That was my point too!
      I think you will have the opportunity to share your last remark (I suppose we could always ask the City of Vancouver to take on Transit. But then wouldn’t we be paying for Translink plus the added costs of the City work on transit? Sounds expensive and inefficient.) at the city only hosted open house on the broadway subway…. Beside it, streets design is essentially a city responsibility, and as we can see be in Toronto (King street) or Seattle…proper street design can go a very loooong way to improve both transit efficiency and attractiveness….
      what is the achievement of Transport 2040 so far on that last aspect?

      1. Voony, you are referring to committees but referencing the Active Transportation Policy Council (ATPC).
        In terms of policy recommendations, I think one of the biggest thing the ATPC did over the past few years was the work towards the recently adopted Complete Streets policy. Which, of course, includes transit. So I can’t agree with your claim that ATPC has done nothing for transit.
        I have attended all of the Broadway Subway planning meetings so far, so have had the opportunity to discuss with City staff and Translink. My concern would be if two taxpayer agencies started trying to do the same work. Cooperation is good. Duplication is bad, in simple terms.
        I think the progress towards T2040 goals can partly be measured by mode share. We hit the 2020 target years ahead of schedule.

      2. Sorry Voony, Jeff’s got a point – anything transit-related is TransLink’s jurisdiction. Everything else is left to the City, so they’re just going to say “walking and cycling” because they’re directly in charge of it.
        If you’re looking for cycling bias, try how they’re angling for using the streetcar ROW as a bike lane.

        1. No,not exactly
          Translink is responsible to manage the network (run the buses…etc..)
          but, to repeat myself
          streets design is essentially a city responsibility…
          As an example, the city of Vancouver shut down Robson square to the bus…which involves a costly detour (in fine paid by the metro taxpayer…): translink can just voice an opinion on it, but at the end can’t do anything…
          similar for all the other street redesign operated by the city…
          the city is also responsible for the bus shelters (installation and maintenance…),
          snowplowing the bus route…
          so there is lot the city can do….and don’t

      3. I am referring the Active Transportation Policy Council as a committee because it calls itself as such . but if you want call it a council populated by committee members and chair…why not?
        Oh, and about the “complete street policy”, are you talking about that:
        https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DAHnY70XsAAzawR.jpg
        In what aspect, the above benefits to transit and its users?
        Notice how it is exactly the opposite of what has been done on Toronto King street, remove the car to expedite transit, not put them in the way of the bus!
        Notice also that The transport 2040 metrics essentially show the gain in cycling has been done at the expense of Transit…not so much of car driving (considering the above picture which capture the city policy, should we be surprised?). The 2020 goal (50% trip on sustainable transportation) was roughly met at the time of the report was voted (so no much to glose about). While, the amount of car driving share has only marginally decreased, the amount of people driving continue to increase inexorably…
        It could be a lot to say about those metrics, but what is clear is that transit lose market share, preventing a significant trend inflexion (Surprisingly, Seattle do way better in that instance)

      4. Voony, I think your political ideology is colouring your view of the Complete Streets policy framework.
        You have shown above a graphic from the cover of a 25 page presentation on Complete Streets. If you want to take that graphic as the policy, you should ask why the trolley bus in the top left doesn’t have any trolley wires to attach to. Obviously it isn’t going anywhere. It seems ridiculous to use that graphic to try and make a point in and of itself.
        Now look at the wording of the policy framework itself.
        “Recommendation: that Council approve amendments to the Street & Traffic Bylaw to facilitate street modifications to support Transportation 2040 safety and mode share targets, and delivery of more Complete Streets”
        You know that T2040 has mode share targets. All modes. So the policy is about facilitating street modifications to achieve those mode share targets.
        If you did want to rely on a graphic, you could have just as easily picked the graphic on page 6, or 7, or 8, or 9, or 13, if you wanted to see dedicated transit lanes. Take a look. It isn’t a one size fits all solution. As the policy says.
        But the crux of it is in slides 16 through 19. You have regularly commented that the City isn’t making changes to streets to prioritize transit. Those slides explain the challenge. Until this policy was recently changed, the City Engineer had the power to change lane layouts for the benefit of motor vehicles, but not for transit (or people walking, or people on bikes, for that matter). The result that every discussion got politicized. A new bus stop became a Council debate. The new framework recommended giving the City Engineer the same power to make changes to improve functionality for modes other than motor vehicles (and specifically for transit improvements, see page 18). Here is the wording:
        “4. (1) The City Engineer is hereby authorized to: …
        (d) designate by order streets or portions of streets as transit routes….”
        Something that the City Engineer couldn’t do up to that point. Blame the 1944 bylaw.
        And we know what happened. One party, the NPA, voted in a bloc against this new Complete Streets policy framework. It passed anyway. But some seemed to want to politicize every transportation decision, and others wanted staff to be able to make needed changes.
        http://council.vancouver.ca/20170517/documents/cfsc6-Presentation.pdf

      5. It isn’t a one size fits all solution. As the policy says. Alsolutely Jeff.
        a probable reason why usually complete street policy framework hoover in the 150 pages, be in Edmonton, Calgary, Toronto, often more… like in Chicago or Boston (294 for pages!)…
        Some cities have an user hierarchy like Vancouver,, and the Complete street policy going thru typology of numerous streets, enable to override locally this hierarcyh ( like the transport 2040 policy allows) to better meet the global goal… The chicago CS policy identifying transit corridors (where Transit become first in the hierarchy) explains that very well.
        Below is an example from Boston where the preferred design becomes like below when the transit frequency is 10mn or better in peak hour:
        https://voony.files.wordpress.com/2018/02/bostoncs-buscorridor.jpg
        we could agree with that or not…but at least the public can have a clear view of what the complete street policy entails: What about Vancouver?
        It must be my ideologized colored glass, but for Vancouver, I see only a 25 pages slide deck, with a couple of bullet points per page, aligning empty and meaningless words in which everyone can read what they want…so we have to rely on the illustrations to better understand what the city means?
        I have posted the illustration for the cover, introduction and conclusion page (did you ever did a presentation in your life? don’t you know introduction and conclusion set the tone of the rest?), and my coloured glass assumes it represent the city will for Commercial drive (so no transit priority of any form proposed there in despite to be a very heavy corridor identified for a B line by the 10 year city mayor…or may be they have forgot it, like they forgot the trolley wire? …isn’it your analysis Jeff?)
        The other illustration you refer, my coloured glass identifis it even more strongly to Georgia street: so yes some transit lanes, but they are already existing, and the illustration just preserve the Statu quo when come transit (I should credit the painting in blue of the west bound transit lane…but not the east bound !!!!.): so I repeat my question what is positive for Transit in this policy frmework ?
        the one with The Arbutus streetcar?: I share the Justin remark…
        what design the complete street framework proposes to make existing transit more efficient and attractive?
        Then embroiled in this 25 misnamed “complete street framework”, are at least 4 pages discussing an obscure bylaw amendment to finally give authority to unelected, unaccountable civil servants to implement what my coloured eyes as a non defined Complete street policy.
        From major concern for Transit, is this bylaw amendment give power to unelected, unaccountable civil servants (not even belonging to Translink) to reroute Transit (p 17) !!!
        How come that is a good thing for Transit is beyond me?
        I see only uncontrolled risk, and yes implementation of bus lane has been heated issues in the past, not unlike bike lane…That is the price of democracy I am willing to pat…and still bus lanes has been implemented before the Vision reign (Vision alas destroyed many of them)…
        I think the most sensible answer was to say no to this underwhelming and very incomplete street framework policy …at least “no” as long as the city engineers are not binded by an effective, clear and legible complete street policy framework on the model of Chicago, Boston…
        A powerpoint saying that It isn’t one size fits all solution is simply not enough!

      6. You see only a slide deck because that is as far as you looked. Why don’t you read and refer to the staff report instead of just the slide deck?

        1. first Jeff explains it is normal that the active transportation committe doesn’t do anything for transit…
          oops it is in violation of its mandate, Let find a so called “complete street framework” the said committe would have contributed…surely good for transit…
          deleted as per editorial policy

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