Monday’s Headlines

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  • Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.), chairman of the House Transportation of Infrastructure Committee, says Uber and Lyft have to clean up their acts — find a sustainable business model, conduct background checks and pay drivers a living wage — if they want business from federal employees. (Roll Call)
  • President Trump conned voters about his interest in infrastructure spending, and that’s an issue Democrats should focus on headed into 2020. (American Prospect)
  • As electric vehicles get more popular, how are cities and power companies preparing? (Utility Dive)
  • NASA climate scientist Peter Kalmus tells you how can reduce your carbon footprint in your everyday life. It’s pretty simple: Consume less, drive less, fly less, stop eating meat and start composting. Easy!
  • From Streetsblog Chicago: Mayor Lori Lightfoot is proposing a fee structure on ride-hailing that would raise money for transit, reduce congestion in the city core and encourage ride-sharing in the suburbs.
  • St. Louis Magazine asks readers how they’d reimagine the Loop Trolley, which could go out of business as soon as next month without an infusion of cash from local governments.
  • Pinellas County, Florida officials are still trying to build a bus rapid transit line from St. Petersburg to the beach, but two nearby cities still oppose it. (Tampa Bay Times)
  • When Los Angeles’s Blue Line reopens Nov. 2 after a 10-month, $350-million renovation, it will be rechristened the A-Line. (L.A. Times)
  • North Dallas residents want the new Silver Line, currently under construction, put underground. (NBC DFW)
  • Atlanta’s regional transit board is seeking feedback this week and next on potential DeKalb County transit projects. (AJC)
  • A recent count in Pittsburgh found 123 drivers blocking bike lanes. (City Paper)
  • A Nottingham, England tax on employers’ parking spaces has created jobs, raised money for transit and road diets, and reduced car use and carbon dioxide emissions since it was implemented in 2012. Soon Glasgow and Edinburgh could follow suit. (Forbes)
Rep. Peter DeFazio criticized Uber and Lyft for not coming to Capitol Hill Wednesday to answer questions at a Transportation Committee hearing. Image: Oregon Department of Transportation

House Transport Chair Rips Uber, Lyft

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House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Peter DeFazio had invited representatives from Uber and Lyft to sit on a panel discussing the future of transportation network companies. On Monday, he learned ride hail officials declined to participate, so DeFazio used his opening remarks to lambast both companies for contributing to longer traffic delays and higher […]

Friday’s Headlines

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  • The Guardian takes a deep dive into why pedestrian deaths are rising — not just in the U.S., but around the world.
  • Tim Dunn and Charlotte Charles’ 19-year-old son Harry was killed in the U.K. by the wife of an American diplomat driving on the wrong side of the road. President Trump surprised the Dunns with an invitation to the White House, but he had another surprise in store. Trump thought it would be good idea to have the woman who killed their son on hand for the Dunns to meet, “This Is Your Life”-style, with photographers present. A family spokesman described the meeting as an “ambush” organized by “nincompoops.” (Daily Beast)
  • A new American Public Transportation Association study tells us what we already know: Properties near transit are worth more than those farther away, and people who live near transit spend less money on transportation.
  • Due to electric vehicles, expanded transit options and a shift in population to urban areas, an estimated 80 percent of gas stations will close within the next 15 years. Architects are already starting to mull over what to do with them. (Arch Daily)
  • House Democrats are dangling federal employees’ ridership over the heads of Uber and Lyft in an effort to get the companies to come to the table on safety issues. (Politico)
  • A company called Wheels has introduced a “pedal-less e-bike” — think an e-scooter with slightly larger wheels and a seat — in San Diego, Los Angeles, Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas and Scottsdale, and recently announced it’s raised $50 million to expand to more cities. (Tech Crunch)
  • San Francisco supervisors recently approved a $600 million plan to kick cars off Market Street and make it a place for people, with wider sidewalks and a continuous protected bike lane. It was contentious when first proposed 10 years ago, but eventually won nearly unanimous support — even from Uber and Lyft, whose drivers will be banished to side streets. (City Lab, Streetsblog)
  • Can e-bikes help Portland finally break its car habit? (Willamette Week)
  • North Kansas City spent several years and several hundred thousand dollars on protected bike lanes, but barely a month after unveiling them, is considering bowing to bikelash and ripping them out. (The Pitch)
  • A Cincinnati city councilman is concerned that downtown construction is forcing pedestrians off the sidewalk. (WCPO)
  • Less than two months after Indianapolis’ bus rapid transit Red Line opened, city officials are starting to plan the Blue Line, which is three years away. (WRTV)
  • Volunteers in Pittsburgh ventured out looking for blocked bike lanes. (KDKA)
  • Last week we told you about SpotOn, the Uber for pets, but it turns out Uber is actually now allowing pets. (Gizmodo)

Thursday’s Headlines

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  • Reason number 4,812 why AOC is awesome: New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez wants to force municipalities to reduce parking and encourage going carless by withholding federal transportation money from anyplace that requires on-site parking at housing developments. (Sightline)
  • The return on investment for creating a walking and biking transportation network could be as high as $138 billion nationwide, according to a Rails-to-Trails Conservancy study. Shifting modes would result in less congestion, reduce congestion and improve health.
  • Uber and Lyft skipped a hearing before a House of Representatives committee investigating issues in the ride-hailing industry. (Reuters)
  • After years of predictions that car-sharing and ride-hailing companies would end the need for privately owned cars, car ownership is up over the past decade, probably because the recession is over and gas prices are low (Wired). In Denver, car-share company Car2Go is pulling out, which Denverite expects to increase congestion as users either buy personal vehicles or turn to Uber and Lyft.
  • File under: Oh really? Scooter riders who ride on the sidewalk do it because they’re afraid of cars (Salt Lake Tribune). In related news, bike riders are eschewing pavement altogether, instead migrating to dirt trails (Outside)
  • A solution to sidewalk clutter? San Francisco startup Tortoise is developing a scooter that can drive itself to an appropriate parking location (Axios). As longtime Georgia bike advocate Jason Perry says on Twitter, they can’t possibly drive themselves any worse than humans do.
  • Washington, D.C. is creating more separated bike lanes and installing speed bumps to slow down drivers. (WTOP)
  • Austin’s Capital Metro is considering creating five new bus rapid transit lines. Ridership on existing BRT is up 14 percent. (Monitor)
  • Lack of trust in local government could endanger a transit tax in the metro Atlanta county of DeKalb. (Saporta Report)
  • The mother of a Cincinnati girl who was killed by a hit-and-run driver says she won’t rest until the city achieves Vision Zero. (WCPO)
  • For the first time in decades, more University of Arkansas students, faculty and staff are walking, biking or taking transit to campus instead of driving.
  • New Jersey is getting four nice new transit stations where, as Bloomberg cheekily notes, riders can wait out long and frequent delays.
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