Thursday’s Headlines

  • Uber and Lyft have been offering free or discounted rides to people seeking services like medical treatment, which is nice of them (and good PR), but GeekWire suggests (correctly) that it’s really the government’s job to fill in transportation gaps. At the end of the day, private companies exist to make as much profit as they can, while government’s mandate is to serve the entire community.
  • Boston Mayor Marty Walsh wants to tax privately owned parking garages and solo trips on Uber and Lyft. The measures would help fund road maintenance and bike and pedestrian infrastructure, and discourage people from driving, he said. (WCVB, WBUR) New York’s version of a congestion surcharge on taxis driving into the central business district is on hold, pending a judge’s ruling.
  • Seattle’s double-decker Alaskan Way Viaduct is shutting down Friday to make way for new waterfront paths and parks. (AP) Before a replacement tunnel opens, trains will be crowded, because Sound Transit doesn’t have any extra cars to add. But it is putting more buses on the road. (Q13)
  • Uber — recently criticized for charging riders who leave JUMP bikes outside Seattle’s affluent city core $25 — is adding 2,000 bikes and expanding into seven new neighborhoods. (KING)
  • Detroit will see an “overwhelming” number of bike and trail projects in 2019, and WXYZ has a list.
  • Betteridge’s Law states that when a headline asks a question, the answer is always no. But when WSMV asks whether downtown Nashville has too much free parking, the answer is yes.
  • The Indianapolis city council extended the hours during which drivers have to pay for parking, and will spend the money on street-sweeping and the homeless. (Fox 59)
  • Minnesota Public Radio interviewed new St. Paul city council member Mitra Jalani Nelson, who recently rode public transit all night to speak to some of the 200 homeless who take shelter on trains.
  • A San Francisco cyclist who broke her arm in a fall left the hospital with more than $20,000 in medical bills — even though she’s insured. (Vox)
  • Oh, good, Hyundai is building a real-life Imperial Walker. (BBC)
  • And finally, Doug Gordon is one guy on Twitter who gets it.