Archives for posts with tag: bus

The problem of the traveling salesman is a useful approach to determine the most efficient [shortest length] routes to take within a given transportation network.  In this exploration, I used the streets of downtown Rochester as the network and all the intersections as start and end points of a desired route.

Giulio Piacentino with McNeel Europe created a Grasshopper component that attempts to solve this problem.  Here is the aerial image of downtown Rochester:

Below are all the intersections:

…and from the intersections is the network of street.  This network includes all the possible routes one could take  from any intersection to another.

The simple grasshopper definition below allows testing of almost an endless number of paths.

This animation demonstrates a selection of random start and end points [connected by a yellow line], and draws the shortest route from one to the next by following the streets [red lines].

Rochester | shortest street routes from 2 points from Jie Huang on Vimeo.

While Curitiba‘s rapid bus transit system is more familiar to the world, Bogotá also has an exciting and successful one of its own [TransMilenio] where the city’s original plans to build elevated highways were eliminated in lieu of a more robust bus system.  Their buses are somewhat like subways in that they have their own lanes and passengers pay at stations [instead at the entry of each bus].  There are also free feeder buses that transport people in the outer areas to the stations as well as free bicycle parking at the stations to encourage people to bike to and from the stations.  Take a look at the video below to learn more about the system.

For Spanish readers, you can visit the TransMilenio website.

The public bus system, in many cases across the US, tend to have a stigma associated with it.  How can we begin to transform this perception in a city dominated by suburban commuters?  Could we change the current social standing of riding the bus to one that is efficient and enjoyable?

I came across a new generation of design for a series of bus stops developed by MIT’s SENSEable Cities Lab called EyeStop.  It’s solar powered and runs interactive programs such as live updates on the status of the bus.

I’ve started to take a quick survey of various transportation projects, both realized and not, in an effort to get a feel of what type of physical and social intersections they possess.  They range from strict transportation interchanges to integrated shopping centers.

OMA-Barcelona Airport Terminal, 1992 competition entry

Transbay Terminal by Richard Rogers, 2007


Kamppi Center, Helsinki, Finland by Juhani Pallasmaa, 2001-5

This transportation center includes a central bus terminal for both local and long distance buses, metro station, freight train, parking, shopping center, and residential housing.

While these projects are too ambitious in scale for a city like Rochester, it is interesting to see what is out there and the types of formal, experiential, and social conditions they might bring to a place.

There is news of a proposal for a new train and inter-city bus station.  This is the result of a $1.5 million federal stimulus grant to New York state to replace the current Amtrak station located  on Central Avenue.  As seen in the google image below, it’s not the most inviting place.

I think this is a great opportunity to rethink the idea of public transportation systems and how various systems might intersect.