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Transportation

Project summary

Transportation and ease of access to it are critical elements to emergency management, especially as it relates to reducing accidents and carbon emissions. Given the preventability of both of these issues, the Blue Empress mindset is to reduce overall transportation costs by improving and investing in public infrastructure, incentivizing use of public transit, and encouraging multi-pronged solutions - especially as it relates to fuel options and their emissions.

One of the biggest concerns to Blue Empress is the over reliance on personal vehicles for day-to-day transportation, especially for urban centers where public transit investments are critical but do not get made effectively enough. While a public transit system is ideal for all areas, the more remote a community is the more challenging it may be to implement for various reasons.

In addition to the emissions and environmental impacts of more personal vehicles on the road, the mere upkeep and maintenance of frequently utilized roads can be quite costly and put governments and communities in a financial bind if they have other critical infrastructure that needs to be maintained.

Personal vehicle costs also put a large financial burden on anyone who owns one, whether they be individuals or businesses. In additional to fuel and maintenance, there are also government fees, insurance costs, and other requirements that may require a family from deciding between covering the costs of their vehicle vs. healthcare, food, etc. 

Regardless of how the vehicle is fueled, there are still significant costs associated with individual vehicle ownership for the purposes of commuter traffic. Realistically, if communities can find ways to reduce vehicle traffic and maintenance costs then dollars may open up that can be invested in improvements to public transit and other critical infrastructure, based on the 6:1 Return on Investment (ROI) for Mitigation measures. More evidence would be required to know the exact benefit thresholds for individual communities.

Creating more walkable and bike-friendly communities may also improve health outcomes for citizens and create a friendlier and happier populous. Finding cleaner and greener options for individuals to utilize may help communities save across the board, and finding the solutions is critical to the Blue Empress mission.

 

Project status

This project is still in the beginning stages of development. 

Goals
Some of the biggest goals of this research is to identify and determine best strategy and methodology to reduce road traffic due to the impact that it has on the environment and overall health and well-being of people. Top goals include:

  • Reducing frequent and regular individual vehicle traffic in order to save on maintenance costs and give more governments flexibility with their budgets to invest in public transit and other critical infrastructure.

  • Reduce the numbers of individual vehicle accidents, especially those that are related to poor road maintenance and congestion, while improving driving standards.

  • Consider the benefits of semi-only routes to reduce congestion between commercial and commuter traffic. This may also reduce accidents between semi-trucks and personal vehicles.

  • Work with communities to encourage utilization of vehicles with various fuel sources. True sustainability relies on a multi-pronged approach, and consumers should be presented with all options, which includes relying on walking, biking, roller skating, and other methods of transit when available.

  • Working with businesses to find ways to reduce their transportation costs, which may include better route planning, improved coordination across their fleets, better collaboration with partners, and other critical analysis.
     

Expected Roadblocks

Some of the biggest roadblocks are likely to come from resistance to changing how many jobs are reliant on the transportation industry. Regardless of whether it is from auto manufacturers, employees, road repair and maintenance, or individual consumers, moving from an individualistic system to a collective system may prove challenging.

That being said, it is generally the Blue Empress mindset that continuing to build industries on individual consumption that results in larger risks beyond, such as health impacts and more vehicle accidents, is unsustainable for the community as a whole.

It is also of the Blue Empress mindset that any type of change to this level would simply change the "type" of job, not necessarily eliminate it. For example, rather than road repair the job may instead shift to either preventative road maintenance or maintenance of a stronger public transit system. Additionally, the private sector may benefit from additional market changes, such as needs for more buses, rail lines/cars, and other needs.

Additional roadblocks to consider may include:

  • Knowing how many people would need to shift to public transit vs. individual vehicles in order to see the maximum gains.

  • Determining what projects and routes would need to take priority when it comes to maintenance and repair, while understanding that some roads may be best to grow over or convert to other transit options, i.e., trail and waterways.

  • Other risks that may be impacting road deterioration beyond just consumer habits. For example, how much is caused by weatherization, material deficiencies, age, and other factors. In order to ensure that decisions are made most effectively, understanding these factors and others would be critical.

  • Other factors that deter individuals from utilizing public/lower-risk transportation, such as duration of trips, inefficient routes that require multiple transfers or modes of transit, safety concerns especially as it relates to other people in the vicinity, and other factors that would need to be addressed in order to get maximum buy-in.

Despite these various roadblocks, it is the Blue Empress mindset that these factors are all resolvable if a community is willing to address them.

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