Public transport seats

Although I’m a great bike user, from time to time I have to use public transport. At those occasions it always pops my mind that when you want the majority of people leave their cars at the side, you need to do something on the quality and the looks of trains and train infrastructure. Why isn’t it for instance possible to combine the ergonomics and comfort of Scandinavian carseats with the design and quality of the top German or British cars in train wagons? What you get is a dirty, ugly and non-comfortable seat. Dirty because they are often used and often made out of the wrong fabric. Ugly because who on earth thinks the patterns found on train seats are beautiful. Non-comfortable because there are certain rules in ergonomics, presumably unknown to those who design train seats. And the same goes for the majority of train wagons, the perrons, the train stations. Please have respect for users of public transport. You’ll get respect in return. And maybe seduce (premium) car users to use public transport instead.

One great example I saw in Prague a few years ago. You might think it’s an uncomfortable one to sit on when you look at it, but I thought it was rather perfect…




Grow up. Drive

I just saw this quote on a Mercedes advertisement. My first thought was: are car manufacturers insane or desperate? Then I noticed the small letters and saw there is even a website around this ad campaign. The accompanying video contains quotes like ‘Work hard’, ‘Get a real job’, ‘Get married’ and the mind-blowing ‘Move to the suburbs’. They must be really out of their mind! For me the only good advice in the video was ‘Be a good role model’, but I guess my interpretation is somehow different to that of the Mercedes boys…

Mercedes_Grow up_Drive

‘Terzake’ on ‘Marginal External Costs’

The VRT programme Terzake did an episode on marginal external cost (a returning theme on this blog!). The numbers for the trip Leuven – Brussels (25 km one way) are (again) intriguing…

Total marginal external costs vs costs payed by the user on this 25 km:

Diesel car: 5,19 EUR / 2,20 EUR

Petrol car: 5,19 EUR / 4,15 EUR

Diesel company car: 5,19 EUR / 1,08 EUR

Petrol company car: 5,19 EUR / 3,45 EUR

Electric powered bike: -6,09 EUR / 0,41 EUR

Pedal powered bike: -10,74 EUR / – 0,14 EUR

The difference between the two figures is what we pay as a community for every travelled 25 km! And now the one and only possible conclusion is?






The Fietsbieb (Bike Library) is a new initiative in several Flemish cities where families can borrow bikes for children under 12 for one year. A yearly subscription costs 20 EUR, a warrant for every bike in loan is also 20 EUR. When your child outgrows a bike you trade it in for a bigger one. Loan administration and repairs are done by volunteers…