A FASTEST LIFT
Designed by the Mitsubishi Electric Corporation [JRN], the high-speed lift NexWay travels at a speed of 73.8 km/h (45.85 mph).
That makes it approximately as fast as a gazelle. NexWay was installed in unit OB-3 of the 632-m-tall (2,073-ft) Shanghai Tower in China on 7 Jul 2016.
Between D01 and 2010,
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now teem with
TOP 10 LONGEST ROAD NETWORKS
Per capita (1,000 people)
Saint Pierre and Miquelon
‘ 6 Japan
Wallis and Futuna
Saint Kitts and Nevis
10 South Africa
Source: CIA World Factbook
“• • •
of the London Underground
US inventor Jesse W Reno created an escalator as a temporary amusement ride for the Old Iron Pier on Coney Island in New York, USA, in Sep 1895. Reno’s “inclined elevator” had a vertical rise of 6 ft 10 in (2.1 m) and an inclination of 25°, with riders sitting astride cast-iron slats atop a belt moving at 74 ft 9 in (22.8 m) per min. Approximately 75,000 visitors rode it during its fortnight-long installation.
The first fully operational spiral escalator was installed by the Mitsubishi Electric Corporation at a trade fair site in Osaka, Japan, in 1985. It was far more complex and expensive than a straight escalator, owing to multiple centre points and additional guide rollers.
The metro subway system of Washington, DC, USA, has 618 escalators. They are maintained by the costliest in-house escalator service contract in North America, with 90 technicians.
The first moving walkway was also the longest ever. It appeared at the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago, Illinois, USA. Operated by the Columbian Movable Sidewalk Company, the walkway ferried visitors arriving by steamboats, and ran 1 km (0.6 mi) along a pier and onwards to the Exposition entrance. It transported up to 31,680 people per hr. Passengers could either stand while moving at 2 mph (3.2 km/h) or sit on benches and travel at 4 mph (6.4 km/h). It was destroyed by fire in 1894.
The longest moving walkway (current) in a city is 207 m (679 ft) long, and is located below the parks and gardens of The Domain in Sydney, Australia. Officially opened on 9 Jun 1961, and constructed by the Sydney Botanic Gardens Trust as a futuristic novelty, it was rebuilt in 1994. The walkway is gently inclined and moves at 2.4 km/h (1.5 mph), taking slightly more than 5 min to complete one length.
Each elevator car in the Umeda Hankyu Building in Osaka, Japan, can carry 80 passengers, or a total weight of
5.25 tonnes (11,574 lb). Built by Mitsubishi in 2009, each cabin is 3.4 m (11 ft 1 in) wide,
2.8 m (9 ft 2 in) long and 2.59 m (8 ft 6 in) tall.
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At 578.5 m (1,898 ft) high, the high-speed elevator NexWay at the Shanghai Tower Unit FR/FLH 1 and 2 (see left) is even taller than the elevator at the Burj Khalifa skyscraper – the world’s tallest building, in Dubai, UAE.
The elevator at AngloGold Ashanti’s Mponeng Gold Mine in South Africa’s Gauteng province drops 7,490 ft (2,283 m) in a single 3-min descent, making it the tallest elevator shaft.
A second lift then takes miners even lower, to
11,800 ft (3,597 m). Each day, 4,000 workers are ferried down to the mine in three-level steel cages, at speeds of up to 40 mph (64.3 km/h).
Innovations in mobile technology have led to a huge growth in car-sharing networks around the world. As of Oct 2014, Europe was the world’s largest car-sharing market, accounting for 46% of global membership (or 2,206,884 users) and 56% of the world’s car fleet.
Hong Kong is one of the world’s most densely populated cities, with up to 57,120 persons per km2 (more than twice as dense as Manhattan’s
26,000 persons per km2). An efficient and advanced transit system keeps everyone moving. Some 80% of all transport trips are made by public transit in the city, where there are 11.3 million public transit passenger boardings daily.
The term “modal split” refers to the percentage of travellers using specific modes of transport, such as cars or bicycles. Some 50% of all trips in Groningen, Netherlands, are by bike, rising to 60% in the city centre. The town is known as the “World’s Cycling City”. In the 1970s, city planners encouraged non-automotive trips in the city centre by limiting vehicle movement there, leading residents to opt for cycling or walking instead.
In terms of promoting bike use via targetted development of infrastructure, however, the most bicycle-friendly city is Copenhagen in Denmark. The Danish capital has seen heavy investment in cycling facilities (such as new bicycle bridges and ramps), resulting in a 70% increase in cyclists since 1990, while car trips in the city centre have decreased by 25%. The Copenhagenize Index 2015 analysed cycling data from 122 cities to reach this conclusion.
According to the 2015 UBS Prices & Earnings report, the Norwegian capital of Oslo has the priciest cab journeys. A 5-km (3-mi) trip costs an average of $32.10 (£21.65). The same distance taxi ride in New Delhi, India, would cost just $1.54 (£1.03) – a 20th of the price.
ALONGESTCOMMUTE FOR A CITY
After evaluating 50 million users and 167 metropolitan areas, a 2015 study by Google-owned traffic app Waze discovered that commuters in Manila, Philippines, faced average one-way journeys of 45.5 min. Even car-clogged urban sprawls such as Los Angeles and New York were less congested than the Filipino capital: average journey times in those two US cities came to only 35.9 min and 38.7 min respectively.
A BUSIEST PEDESTRIAN CROSSING
With an estimated 1 million pedestrians each day, the Shibuya Crossing – located outside Shibuya subway station in Tokyo, Japan – is the world’s busiest. Five streets converge at the intersection, and an estimated 100,000 people pass through here each hour at peak periods. In approximately 30 min, enough people would have walked across it to fill the Yankee Stadium in New York City, USA.
A LARGEST CONTINUOUS PEDESTRIAN SKYWAY NETWORK
Harsh winters combined with the need to improve access to downtown Minneapolis in Minnesota, USA, has led to the design of a series of elevated pedestrian walkways across the city. Officially known as the Minneapolis Skyway System, this 13-km-long (8-mi) climate-controlled network of aerial passages links 69 city blocks. An estimated 260,000 users walk through the Skyway each day.
A LARGEST PUBLIC TRANSIT CABLE-CAR NETWORK
The Mi Teleferico system in La Paz, Bolivia, features 10 km (6.2 mi) of aerial ropeways on three separate lines. Owing to the city’s rugged and mountainous topography, traditional transit systems such as subways and light rail systems are not feasible here. The cable cars carry more than 60,000 riders daily, saving commuters 652 million min in 2015 alone and preventing the release of 8,000 tons (7,257 tonnes) of emissions annually.
■< LARGEST BICYCLE-SHARE PROGRAMME
The Hangzhou Public Bicycle programme in Hangzhou, China, is the world’s largest bicycle-sharing system. Inaugurated in 2008 with just 2,800 bicycles and 60 stations, it has expanded prodigiously since then. In Sep 2016, it boasted a total of 84,100 bikes and 3,572 stations. China is home to nine of the world’s 10 largest cycle-share networks.
A MOST CROWDED ROAD NETWORK (COUNTRY)
According to the latest available figures published by The Economist, as of 2014 car-crazy Japan had 628.4 vehicles for every kilometre (0.62 mi) of road. The United Arab Emirates trailed in a distant second, with 479 vehicles per km. Asian and Middle Eastern countries dominated the upper reaches of the list, making up nine of the top 10 most crowded road networks.
On 25 Aug 2016, self-driving taxis began serving the public. Starting with a fleet of six vehicles, riders in Singapore are able to hire “robo-cars” and travel within a 6.5-km2 (2.5-sq-mi) district called “one-north”. The software firm behind this service, nuTonomy (SGP), believes that self-driving taxis could reduce the number of cars in Singapore from 900,000 to 300,000. The taxis are fitted with cameras (see right) that read traffic lights.