Posts Tagged ‘trains

Field Research Innovation Project

28, نوفمبر 2010

Alternative Sustainable Transportation


Jason Leonard, Chris Sovchen, Kyle Jennings

Field Research

Each member of our team conducted various field activities. Jason investigated transportation via MARTA trains and busses. Kyle investigated transportation via walking and scooters. Chris investigated transportation via cars and bikes. We also asked some people using these methods for some extra opinions.


1. How often do you use these methods of transportation?

2. Is it efficient?

3. Does it affect you or others? (Bystanders, the environment, etc)

4. If you could improve this method what would you do?



  1. I use this everyday to get to and from classes.
  2. This method is efficient for getting to and from places that are close together. Far distances take much too long to get to and way too much effort.
  3. Besides when it is really hot outside or super cold, it’s nice to walk to and from class. It gives you a breath of fresh air and some time to relax.
  4. This method requires no improvement whatsoever.


1. I use this method one to two times a week to get across campus or to the CRC.

2. It is very efficient, I am able to get where I am going quickly and easily.

3. This method pollutes the environment as it uses a gas motor. It is also very loud and sometimes scares bystanders. It also annoys some people because you zoom around them.

4. If I could improve this method I would probably replace the gas motor with an electric motor. I would also put in designated paths for scooters.



1.  I use this method of transportation about 3 to 4 times a week.

2.  It is easy extremely easy and efficient to get to class. It also allows me to get some exercise.

3. People are walking are often annoyed by bikers “Hogging” the sidewalk and cars also get annoyed but other than that it doesn’t affect anyone.

4. I would want more bike racks around Atlanta. Also, the building of more bike paths on the roads and streets.


1.  I use a car about 4 times a week when picking up fraternity brothers or just having a long distance to travel.

2. I hate driving in Atlanta; the roads are extremely confusing as I am not from here. Also, the traffic is horrendous.

3. Besides just being another car on the road and making the city more crowded it doesn’t affect anyone.

4. I would want to somehow make a benefit for carpooling possible also maybe more parking.



1.  I use MARTA everyday to get to school.

2.  MARTA is extremely easy for me to use. I get to school on time everyday because of it. It’s cheap and I don’t have to drive.

3. No

4.  More trains running at the busier times in the day. I sometimes just miss my train and am stuck waiting for another.


1. I use the busses after I get off MARTA to get to school.

2.  The busses are also very easy to use. I simply get at the MARTA station and it takes me right where I need to go. It is a very efficient system that the city has in place.

3. No

4. Nothing I can think of.

Dijon- MARTA employee

1.  I walk to the MARTA station near my house and then get on MARTA to get to the station I am working at that day. It is usually the North Avenue Station.

2.  MARTA is very efficient we move thousands of people through Atlanta each day. This allows people to cut back on their transportation costs and is also an easy way for people to get through Atlanta without a car. It is also helping reduce some of the pollution in Atlanta as people use the MARTA instead of cars.

3. No, MARTA if anything makes life easier for residents as it is a way for them to travel around the city.

4. At the moment we really don’t have anything to improve upon. The system is about efficient as it can possibly be.


1.  I use my bike everyday to get to and from class.

2. It is very easy for me to walk out of my apartment and get on my bike and go to class. It saves me the time of having to go get my car and then trying to find a parking space.

3. People just get annoyed with bikers but they need to learn that we also have a spot on the road.

4. More bike paths!!


1. I originally used my scooter just for fun, but have found it to be one of the easiest ways to get to class.

2. It is very efficient as my scooter is small enough for me to fold up and take to class.

3. People sometimes get angry with me as I whizz by them but that’s about it.

4. Nothing really.

Jarred -Busses

1.  Not only do I use the MARTA busses to go throughout Atlanta, but I also use the Georgia Tech busses to get to class every day.

2. The bus system here is very efficient I can take a bus right to the building I have class in. I also save a lot of money on gas that I would normally have to use.

3. No.

4. Nope.


1. I use my car about once a week to get back to my house and see my family.

2.  Parking here stinks but other than that it’s a pretty efficient way of transportation. I am used to all of the traffic as I have lived here my entire life.

3. In the sense of pollution I guess I would be putting my fair share into the environment but that’s about it.

4. Just more parking and the widening of a couple streets.

When we compiled our experiences we found that MARTA is very efficient if you are near a station and where you are trying to go is near a station. The busses were also efficient but can get delayed in traffic, be crowded, and don’t always hold the friendliest people. Walking is very efficient if your destination is very close, but is a bit time consuming. Scooters are also very efficient in getting to where you need to go except they are loud, are stolen frequently, and require either gas or plugging in at night. Chris found that cars are also efficient except he found many problems. Traffic in Atlanta is terrible, he is also unfamiliar with the roads as he is not from here, and it can be very hard to find a parking spot. Bikes worked great. You can go anywhere on a bike, they provide a great source of exercise, and as long as they stay locked up they usually won’t get stolen. Bikes also do not require gas or a charging station; they are environmentally friendly which is what Atlanta needs. Also, you are able to bring the bikes on MARTA or place it on the rack on the front of the bus.

From our field research we found that bikes were the best method of transportation.

We thoroughly researched bike transportation. In Atlanta there are many public bike racks located across the city. All of the MARTA stations have bike racks. Also, many of the large office buildings have bike racks out in front of them. Most of Atlanta’s streets have bike lanes; there are also plenty of sidewalks to ride your bike on. Since 1974, Atlanta has been trying to make the city more bike friendly do the congestion of traffic and pollution. Through our research we have found that some places do community bike sharing or even more improved methods of this.

Furthermore, we discovered that in light of MARTA’s revenue issues they might in fact benefit from this program as well. Not to mention, they are already set up for this type of addition. They already have video surveillance, and a proxi-card that is linked to the owner. Therefore, setting up a bike rental at every Marta bus stop and station would be a sinch. It would also help alleviate passengers bringing their own bikes onto the trains and buses. The major flaw in the previous systems has been vandalization and theft, hence why the video monitoring is crucial. Not to mention, there is already a staff presence, making it a bit easier for bike rental transactions. Our ultimate goal is to incorporate this system on Tech campus, we also have a proxi-card system and a plethora of students without cars or bikes. Furthermore, it could be staffed entirely by students, with some of the proceeds being the main contributor of their pay. So, not only does this system provide green transportation on campus but it creates jobs as well.

Project Research

This idea developed in the Netherlands by Luud Schimmelpennick in the 1960’s. It was called the White Bicycle program it failed quickly as most of the bikes were stolen or thrown into canals. The idea was for the bike to be used for a trip somewhere and then left for someone else to use. This idea has been developed and improved over the last 50 years. It has spread to communities, cities, groups, and college campuses. There are many different categories in this type of sharing. There is unregulated where the bikes are just given out and left for people to be used. There is the deposit method where a deposit is made on the bike and then you get it back when you bring the bike back. The membership method is when you belong to an organization that lets you use the bikes. These are only a few of the methods.

Davidson University
On February 21st, 2001 Davidson released a fleet of 20 new bicycles for faculty and students to use across the campus. This provided transportation to students across the university for free. We chose this example because it relates to the idea of unregulated use. It is a great example because it was one of the first to branch out to college campuses.

>>>>We would like to try and bring a program like this to Tech. Our group believes we have a valid design that would work and be efficient. Who would we go to for something like this?

Velib in France
This program was implemented in 2007 in Paris. Over 20,000 bikes were placed across the city at 1,450 stations. People simply swipe their card and are charged for the bike if it is not returned in time. This is the largest and best example of community bike sharing in the world.

Mystic Community Bikes

This program was started in Mystic, Connecticut. This program provides bikes for the community and maintains them. This is another good example of unregulated use.

Community Bikes in Santa Rosa California
In 2003 this program was started and gave bikes to mentally disabled adults. This program has expanded and trained the adults to also help repair the bikes. This example is specific to a group of adults and without this they would have never had the opportunity to experience anything like this. It brings the community closer together and also reached out to people less fortunate than most of society.

Along with the original idea we already posted on the website we have a couple more.

Another idea would be unregulated use of the bikes but we fear that this would fail miserably as it has before in the past.

Similar to the other system we posted on RAND. This method of bike sharing would be one where everyone who wants to participate in the program would buy a bike and place it into the system. This would give members more incentive to take care of the bikes in the system as they own a piece of the system.