Posts Tagged ‘mobility’

Wind Powered Subways

February 21, 2009

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For the last week we have been working on a service design project to increase environmental awareness with regards to transport and mobility. Whilst scouting around to see what other people have been up to, i came across this post on GOOD/magazine.

New York City’s Mayor, Michael Bloomberg, recently announced a massive plan to dramatically increase the city’s level of sustainability by 2030. Here is an idea that might help the Big Apple reach its goal. It’s free for the taking.

The idea:

Each year, the New York subway system uses 1.8-billion kilowatt-hours of electricity, making it the city’s single largest consumer of electricity. What if the subway’s MetroCard machines offered the option of paying a small premium to purchase the rider’s share of electricity from non-polluting wind power instead of traditional hydroelectric, nuclear, and fossil fuel sources?

How it might work:

For its residential customers, ConEdison—the city’s only electricity company—charges an additional 2.5 cents per kilowatt-hour to use wind energy. The average subway ride uses 1.2 kilowatt-hours of power (based on 1.5 billion 2006 rides), which means the wind power surcharge would amount to 3 extra cents a ride—a 1.5 percent increase from the normal $2 charge.

What it means:

With a 1.5 percent surcharge, a seven-day unlimited pass would

cost $24.36 (up from $24), and a 30-day unlimited pass would cost $77.14 (up from $76). Say the surcharge was 5 percent—those prices would only increase to $25.20 and $79.80. A 5-percent per ride surcharge with a slim 10-percent participant rate could inject as much as $15 million into the wind-power market annually”

To me this sounds like an absolutly amazing idea, the increase in the cost of the tickets is tiny, but i guess the biggest challenge is convincing people of NYC and inspiring them that this is a good idea, and good decision to make! All which are issues we have been facing this week when doing research for our project!

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first draught blueprint…..

February 20, 2009

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After deciding we were going to focus on inspiring children about sustainable mobility we decided to head off to some schools. The first one we visited was a pre-elementary school, with children aged between 1-6. This was perfect for us as we want to target children aged 5 and 6 before they go to primary school. At this age the danish government have placed down laws that children will only be taught social skills, linked to themes like culture and nature, so we felt this was a perfect opportunity to also teach them about the environment.  The “learning” they receive at this age, is very informal and all done through play in a variety of mediums to keep them engaged for longer periods of time.  After the meeting we had with the head of the school we got some great feedback and ideas on how to approach our idea. After a another brainstorming session we came up with an idea that we felt really touched on a lot of points that we had learned form the school and also from what DSB want to provide in a service.

In short the service we are designing is a mix between an online learning and support site and a practical and fun toolkit that is given to teachers at a school to help them teach the children. We understand that children aged 5 and 6 might not fully understand why traveling by bike is better than a car but we believe that if the tools and service are designed in the correct way it will make them raise questions with their parents and hopefully change their attitudes towards traveling with their children. We also feel that if children have an introduction and small insight to this at an early age, that when they are of the age to decide how they travel hopefully they will think more about their actions and choose the best way!

After focusing on this idea we created an initial service blue print. We story boarded the user journy, pin pointed DSB’s role at each stage, identified the different stages onf the service, the touch points that need to be designed and the specific interactions that will happen.

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We then presented these to anders (live|work) and Mikael (DSB Innovation Lab) The feedback we got was super positive, but we needed to focus on the life of the service and how it was continue for a period of time after the toolkit is used in the school for the first time. After much discussion we think we have come up with solutions for these problems but are now building low fdility prototypes to test the experience!