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Even in Oil-Rich Iran, Green Transit Ideas Are Catching On

Finding lessons in how green transit can survive and thrive in an unlikely place.

Tehran is not an obvious place for sustainable transportation ideas to thrive. Gas used to cost next to nothing—about 38 cents per gallon—until December, when the government quadrupled the price to about $1.50 per gallon for a monthly ration of about 16 gallons per car, and closer to $3.00 for any amount past that. With gas so cheap, it's no wonder people choose to drive rather than take the train or the bus. In Tehran, in 2008, just over a quarter of all trips were in private and shared taxis, and another 27 percent were in private cars, according to data from the city. Tehran has been designed for cars, too: freeways slice through the city, cutting off neighborhoods from each other.

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Hangzhou's Massive Bike-Share System Dwarfs All Others

China has, in a few short years, built a 50,000-bike system for a city of nearly 7 million people.

Bike-sharing isn't just for affluent, progressive Western cities anymore. A couple weeks ago, Dani Simons from the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy wrote about Mexico City's impressive pilot program, which is succeeding in the face of typical Third-World urban challenges. And now, as this video from Streetfilms and ITDP shows, a Chinese city is taking the bike-share concept and utterly dominating it.

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How Speedy Buses Totally Changed China's Third Largest City

What can American transportation experts learn from China's cities? A heck of a lot, actually.

This is a guest post from Dani Simons, Director of Communications for the Institute for Transportation & Development Policy. Before joining ITDP, Simons worked for the New York City Department of Transportation and Transportation Alternatives, NYC's best advocate for bicycling, walking, and public transit.

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