CPUC Regulates Network Transportation Companies

big Lyft

Yesterday the California Public Utilities Commission unanimously voted to regulate network transportation companies. This means that companies like Uber, Lyft, and Sidecar will still be able to operate in this state, while they are facing regulatory hurdles in other states (and class-action lawsuits). The San Francisco Cab Driver's Association has responded that the ruling is essentially de-regulation

On Marketplace, Juan Matute from ITS UCLA commented on the decision: “I think this is quite significant... It will be difficult for taxi cab drivers to continue doing exactly what they’ve been doing in the past.”

In the coming months and years, research on the issue will be published. An article in October's issues of the Journal of Transport Geography, "Puncturing automobility?," looks at the effects of carsharing on car ownership. Perhaps there will be similar discussions at the Shared Use Mobility Summit next month, which will cover carshare and bikeshare. Note these transportation network companies are not ridesharing, despite that being the most commonly used term. 

Friday Seminar: Quantifying the Effects of Excessive Fuel Loading at a Major Airline


Tomorrow's TRANSOC Friday Seminar is the third of the semester and features our third mode: aviation! This week, UC Berkeley Civil Engineering PhD students (and NEXTOR researchers) Michael Seelhorst and Lu Hao will present. "Quantifying the Effects of Excessive Fuel Loading at a Major Airline"

In the past 10 years, jet fuel prices have risen almost 500%. As a result, fuel now makes up the largest single expense at most airlines. For example, Delta Air Lines spends $12 billion on fuel each year. With more competition from no-frills carriers and less demand from a lagging economy, legacy air carriers have resorted to dramatic cost reduction strategies in recent years.

Airline fuel efficiency has been studied from a variety of perspectives, from increasing fuel efficient technologies to improving aircraft routing. We focus on an area that has been largely ignored: excessive fuel loading. Flight dispatchers often choose to load extra fuel, beyond the mission required amount, to account for flight contingencies, such as long taxi times, air traffic control re-routes, and poor weather conditions. The extra fuel burn required to carry the additional fuel is not trivial, and presents a huge opportunity for airlines to reduce costs. We investigated strategies for reducing fuel consumption at Delta Air Lines through on-site observations and interviews with flight dispatchers as well as statistical analysis of archival fuel loading data. We estimate that $150 million is being wasted every year through unnecessary fueling practices.

The seminar will be from 4:00-5:00 PM in 534 Davis. TRANSOC's Cookie Hour, as ever, will be in the library at 3:30. 

Friday Seminar: How the Eastern Span of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge Became a Megaproject

bay bridge

Today's TRANSOC Friday Seminar features UCTC Assistant Director Karen Trapenberg Frick will presenting about the evolution of the Eastern Span San Francisco-Oakland of the Bay Bridge from an ordinary bridge into a megaproject.

The new eastern span of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge, which was opened after the Labor Day weekend, is a classic instance of a megaproject, not just because of its huge complexity, protracted timeline and “mega” cost (some $6.5 billion). It is also a textbook embodiment of what I have identified as the “six C’s” of a typical megaproject: colossal, captivating, costly, controversial, complex, and subject to issues of control.

The seminar will take place a 4:00-5:00 PM September 13, 2013 in 534 Davis Hall. And of course Cookie Hour in the library at 3:30. See you there!

Library closed 9/12

Closed transporter bridge

The ITS Library will be closed today - Thursday September 12. We apologize for any inconvenience and will re-open on Friday. 

Visualizing Urban Data Lecture with Ian Johnson

tracing the bart tracks

The first Visualizing Urban Data (VUD) idealab lecture features Ian Johnson (@enjalot), creator of tributary.io, a live-coding environment for data visualization, and curator of the d3.bayArea() meetup group. Ian will tell the story of how he got involved in data visualization and tell us more about getting involved in the world capital of data visualization.

When: THIS Wednesday 9/11 from 530-630pm
Where: B100 (lower level) of the Blum Center
Bonus: Pizza and drinks will be provided!

10 Things You Should Know: Thing 3 - Electronic Journals!

The next thing on 10 Things You Should Know About the ITS Library follows off of Thing 1 and TRID: Thing 3 - Electronic Journals are here for you!

The campus libraries subscribe to a number of journals electronically. You can search by title using the E-Journals A-Z search page. Some of the most common titles in the field include:

Another useful resource for accessing journals online is Google Scholar, though it works best for finding articles than full journals. If you're using these resources off-campus, be sure to set up a proxy-server or VPN to access all of these resources!


Friday Seminar: Bike Share Planning and Implementation

bay area bike share

It's a new school year and a new semester, which means the TRANSOC Friday Seminars are back! Kicking things off this week is Brett Hondorp, AICP from Alta Planning + Design / Alta Bicycle Share. He will be talking about bikeshare implementation and lessons learned in "Bike Share Planning and Implementation – Lessons learned from DC, Boston, New York, and the Bay Area".

This presentation will focus on three elements of bicycle sharing: 1.) Planning for bikeshare, using the recent Bay Area launch as an example, 2.) Ongoing system operations, drawing from our recent experience operating eight bikeshare systems globally, and 3.) User characteristics, relying on data from our long running Capital Bikeshare and Hubway systems.

The seminar will take place a 4:00-5:00 PM September 6, 2013 in 534 Davis Hall. This week is also the return of Cookie Hour in the library at 3:30. See you then!

Book of the Week: Introduction to Air Transport Economics


We're starting a new series here highlighting different books from our collection. This week we're focusing on a new book about aviation. Introduction to Air Transport Economics: From Theory to Application (Second Edition) by Bijan Vasigh, Ken Fleming, and Thomas Tacker is published by Ashgate

The book presents the fundamentals of the aviation industry with a foundation of underlying economic concepts. It also touches upon policy, institutional structures, and market forces (such as anti-trust considerations) that affect the aviation industry.  New to aviation? This book can help you get started. It is waiting on our New Book Shelf to be checked out by you today! 

10 Things You Should Know: Thing 2 - Use OskiCat!

Thing 2 on our 10 Things You Should Know About The ITS Library is a classic in the libraries - Use OskiCat

What's an OskiCat? It's not really a cat, it's the catalog here at UC Berkeley.  Use it search for books, journals (not articles - those are in TRID!), course reserves, or other collections. It's the tool you want to use to see if a physical copy of it exists on campus. To find a physical copy beyond the campus use Melvyl. That's another catalog which includes holdings for all UC campuses and beyond. 


10 Things You Should Know: Thing 1 - Use TRID!

Welcome back to school! To kick of the semester, we'd like to remind everybody about 10 Things You Should Know About the ITS LibraryThing 1 is perhpas the most important advice we have for getting started with your research: Use TRID!

What's TRID? It's a transportation research database from TRB and ITRD, and the place to start your transportation research.  It contains journal articles, tech reports, conference proceedings, and research projects. Most of the records include links to online full-text versions. 

But what about the catalog? Well OskiCat is great for books and finding out if we physically have something (or have access to something), but for most new transportation research it is inadequate. OskiCat does not contain articles, so you'll miss out on much of the current literature. 

For example, if you search TRID for the keyword "parking pricing", you receive 1103 results.

Using the same search in OskiCat retrieves only 66 results

So if you're just getting started, use TRID. 


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