Ozzie Zehner

Author of Green Illusions

Category: Transit

World’s Most Ornate Subways

Komsomolskaya station on the central circle line of Moscow was built in 1952 as a “palace for the people.”

This entrance to Porte Dauphine station (Paris, c. 1900) is one of the 88 remaining Art Nouveau enclosures designed by Hector Guimard.

Platform of Avtovo station in Saint Petersburg (c. 1955).

Platform of the T-Centralen station on Stockholm’s Blue Line, designed by Per Olof Ultvedt (c. 1975).

Berlin’s Wittenbergplatz station (c. 1913) with its understated elegance is one of seventy stations designed by Alfred Grenander.

Hungary’s  Millennium Underground was the first subway on the European continent (c. 1896) and is now a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Jellyfish chandeliers hang from above in Dubai’s Khalid Bin Al Waleed station.

Gare Lille Europe station in is a stop on France’s VAL driverless metro system (c. 1983).

Discover the secret to successful mass transit in Green Illusions.

Green Illusions

DIY Bike Lane for $1000

Photo from thisbigcity.net

Five years ago, Mexico City pledged to paint 300km of bike lanes on existing streets throughout the city by 2012 but the government has been slow to respond.  Only 22 km have been painted so far. So, Mexico City bikers raised $1000 to buy some paint.

Political science student Jimena Veloz reported on the one-day event at thisbigcity.net:

“We bought paint, brushes and rollers. We built wood signs. We cut stencils. We borrowed a tricycle to carry everything. We invited everyone we knew and told them to come help…We worked for 8 hours. We painted 5 kms. We spent less than 1000 dollars. How much would it cost to actually build the bicycle infrastructure the city needs?”

See more about the book John Perkins is endorsing here.

Green Illusions

Why the IRS Awards Driving Over Transit for 2012

Glorious Parking (photo by Faris Ali)

Why the IRS Awards Driving Over Transit for 2012

By Ozzie Zehner

Starting on January 1, 2012, the IRS will reduce the allowable pre-tax contributions to transit riders while increasing benefits for drivers – an economic tax subsidy that will end up supporting car culture with twice the gusto of transit.

The IRS announced the following limits for pre-tax contributions and reimbursements on 2012 Commuter Benefits Accounts:

  • Transit pre-tax contributions: Decreased from $230 to $125 per month
  • Parking pre-tax contributions: Increased from $230 to $240 per month

History: The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) increased the monthly pre-tax reimbursement limit for Commuter Benefit Transit accounts temporarily from $120 to $230. That limit expires on December 31, 2011.

Status: Congress has not acted to extend the current deadline.  Unless they take action by January 1, 2012, the monthly pre-tax contribution and reimbursement limits for transit accounts will drop to $125, roughly half the limit for drivers.


Shameless Plug: Read about hidden car culture subsidies in my upcoming book: GreenIllusions.org

Eco Porn: Revenge of the Electric Car

“Environmentalists generally object to battery-powered devices and for good reason: batteries require mined minerals, employ manufacturing processes that leak toxins into local ecosystems and leave behind an even-worse trail of side effects upon disposal. Though when it comes to the largest mass-produced batterypowered gadget ever created—the electric car—environmentalists cannot jump from their seats fast enough to applaud it.”

–Ozzie Zehner (as quoted in The Economist)

See images from my upcoming book at GreenIllusions.org

New: Dutch Cycling Embassy Video

The Dutch Cycling Embassy, a coalition of bike ambassadors from, private companies, non-profits, bike manufacturers and government entities, released this new video on the perhaps surprising history of Dutch cycling. (Well, surprising for those who did not read my recent post on the history of Dutch bicycle infrastructure.) The video is by Marc van Woudenberg.