Robert Cervero

About Robert Cervero (Edit profile)

Robert Cervero is Professor and Chair of City and Regional Planning at the University of California Berkeley, the Carmel P. Friesen Chair in Urban Studies, and Director of the University of California Transportation Center (robertc@berkeley.edu).

THE ACCESS ALMANAC: Running to Work

Robert Cervero

As a transportation researcher, I sometimes get asked what falls into the Census’s “other” category of how people get to work—hoverboarding, rollerblading, kayaking? In Ottawa, three percent of commuters ice-skate to work in winter months. In other cities, notably big, dense ones with awful traffic and jam-packed subways, an increasingly popular way to commute is running. Lacing up running shoes and hoofing it to work is arguably the most active form of active transport and helps meet the Surgeon General’s recommended 30 or more minutes of physical activity per day. Combining two things we need to do—exercising and getting to work—can pay off. Research shows active commuters cut their odds of obesity by 50 percent.

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Passing the Baton

Michael Cassidy, Robert Cervero, and Donald Shoup

For over two decades ACCESS Magazine has published short, engaging summaries of transportation research conducted at the University of California. We ask our authors to write for lay readers rather than solely for professional peers, without overestimating the readers’ familiarity with the subject or underestimating their intelligence.

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2017-05-26T21:40:57+00:00Categories: ACCESS 45, Fall 2014|

Is a Half-Mile Circle the Right Standard for TODs?

Erick Guerra and Robert Cervero

Planners and researchers use transit catchment areas—the land around stations—as geographic units for predicting ridership, assessing the impacts of transit investments and, recently, for designing transit-oriented developments (TODs). In the US, a half-mile-radius circle has become the de facto standard for rail-transit catchment areas. Download the PDF.

Transit and the “D” Word

Erick Guerra and Robert Cervero

Without high patronage, new rail investments incur large deficits and fail to deliver promised environmental and social benefits. A system with few passengers and a high price tag is, by most accounting, a poor investment economically, environmentally, and socially. Comparing the costs and the number of passenger-miles traveled for 54 American rail transit investments since 1970, we found wide variation in cost-effectiveness. The worst-performing system costs nearly 50 times more per passenger-mile than the best-performing. What factors distinguish the most successful transit investments?

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Introduction

Robert Cervero

and Karen Trapenberg Frick

For over 20 years, researchers at the University of California Transportation Center have asked hard questions and used the answers to help guide public policy. From its beginning, UCTC’s core research theme has focused on tying together transportation systems analysis and policy. We do this by funding research, graduate and undergraduate education, and special studies for federal, state and local governments. We also support events that bring together professionals, researchers, and students to confront key issues and identify emerging areas of interest. Our activities are made possible through generous grants from the US Department of Transportation and Caltrans.

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2017-05-26T23:32:40+00:00Categories: ACCESS 36, Spring 2010|

TOD and Carsharing: A Natural Marriage

Robert Cervero

Transit oriented development (TOD) is arguably the most cogent and acceptable form of smart growth. Almost everyone "gets" TOD. Politicians, professionals, and lay citizens alike understand that if there is any logical place to promote compact, mixed-use development, it is around transit stations. The benefits of TOD are largely borne out by empirical evidence. People who live near rail transit stops in the US have much higher rates of transit use than the typical resident of a rail-served region. In California, surveys show that residents who live near a transit station use transit for their commutes at a rate four to five times higher than residents of the same region who don’t live near stations. This pattern has held steady over time. In the case of the Pleasant Hill BART station, for instance, 47 percent of station-area residents took transit to work in 1993. Ten years later, in 2003, the share was 44 percent.

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The Challenge of Urban Transportation in California

Elizabeth Deakin and Robert Cervero

As California grows, increased travel from more households, business activity, and goods movement will surely increase greenhouse gas emissions, lead to more congestion and air pollution, and damage ecosystems and neighborhoods—unless we change the basics of travel in California. We need to take action now to deliver a sustainable transportation system that provides the mobility and accessibility necessary for a prosperous economy, and to find ways of doing so that also assure a healthy environment, social equity, and a high quality of life. Here are some ideas for managing, improving, and reworking our urban transport systems that are proven best practices and, with legislative leadership, could be more widely utilized.

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Flexible Transit, the American City, and Mel Webber

Robert Cervero

Melvin Webber was one of the original “bus guys” in the transportation planning field. He was one of the few to show respect for that Rodney Dangerfield of public transportation, the one that gets very little respect: the rubber-tire bus. But Mel’s vision of public transit was not stodgy old buses lumbering along city streets. He had in mind a more nimble, versatile form of transit—one that could compete with, and sometimes even mimic, the private car.

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Progressive Transport And The Poor: Bogotá’s Bold Steps Forward

Robert Cervero

Bogotá, the Andean capital of Colombia and home to some seven million inhabitants, is widely recognized for having mounted one of the most sustainable urban transport programs anywhere. In 2000, the city began operating a high-speed, high-capacity bus system, called TransMilenio, building upon the experience of Curitiba, Brazil’s much-celebrated success with dedicated busways. Bogotá’s leaders went one step further, giving investment priority to pedestrians, followed by bicycle facilities, then public transit, and lastly cars (i.e., inversely to travel speeds).

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