transportation 2050

i was asked for thoughts on what transport would look like in 2050. this as part of a query to our transport planers/designers… so here is what i think….

It is really not quite as much about what i think 2050 will bring, as what the next generations think. They are the ones who have the vision which will go over, around or underneath any of ours.  My son assumes that he will not be required to drive his vehicle. He assumes that it will take him where he needs to go with his friends. He does not equate personal car ownership with freedom like most northern hemisphere boomers. he knows that his vehicle will not be driving on fossil fuel. he also assumes that he will be taking some sort of public transportation, even from where we live – which is not ‘in the city’.

I grew up in a suburb of Cincinnati, Ohio which is in the mid-west of the USA. I did not take a bus regularly anywhere. I think my younger brother might have periodically, but public transportation was not in our ‘normal’ vocabulary.  I car pooled to high school, then drove everywhere once i was of age.  An automobile was the same a ‘freedom’. but, that was the ’70s and our world has fundamentally changed. there are more than twice as many people trying to get around…

I assume that there will continue to be a mix of public private – there always has been and there always will be. The best way for me to get my head into it is to do the slingshot to the early 1900′s. what was the mix then? Who had private ‘vehicles’? There were more options then, then now to get around. I believe that we will have more options over the next 30 years in ‘degrees’ of ‘publicness” in our modes. everything will be ‘smart’. the internet of things will be real and efficiencies which we cannot even imagine will become the norm. these efficiencies will be both in motive power as well as in the way we get from place to place. i am not so sure the hub and spoke method which is so much the norm will be the preferred network. i rather think we will see more ‘maps’ like that of the London Underground. there is little systemic logic if it was to be created anew, but fundamental logic given the historical way that it has been built up. the beauty of it is in the pathway redundancy. if there is a blockage somewhere, then you simply find aoother pathwayt to follow around it.
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