Friday’s Headlines

  • Like many new technologies, e-scooters are polarizing and characterized by opponents as unsafe — although the jury’s still out on that. The courts have yet to sort out who’s to blame when a scooter rider is injured. (City Lab)
  • With a top speed of around 12 miles per hour, e-scooters are too slow for streets and too fast for sidewalks. One solution might be sit-down scooters that can reach 20 mph. California-based Ojo is bringing about 100 to Austin next month. (KXAN)
  • Opponents of congestion pricing often play the equity card, claiming it hurts the poor. But there are many other ways our transportation system subsidizes the wealthy at the expense of the poor that usually go unmentioned. (City Observatory; H/T to Friend of Streetsblog Mike Lydon)
  • Private bus company Chariot — which operates in San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York, Seattle and Austin — will go out of business in March. (Examiner; and Streetsblog Denver)
  • North Carolina leaders believe the future of transportation is autonomous vehicles for short trips and light rail for longer ones. (WRAL)
  • St. Paul is the latest city to consider building a streetcar line. But is it driven by transportation needs or nostalgia? (WCCO)
  • The shutdown means federal highway and transit funding is slowing to a trickle just as state agencies are preparing to put projects out for bid. (Washington Post)
  • There were no gripes about expanding transit into the historically anti-transit but rapidly changing Atlanta suburb of Gwinnett County during a recent town meeting, which bodes well for a March vote to join MARTA. (AJC)
  • Traffic deaths in North Dakota declined to 104 in 2018, the lowest number in a decade. To put that in perspective, North Dakotans are dying on the roads at a rate five times higher than New York City. (Herald Courier)
  • A Boston company could bring light rail to New Hampshire by 2023. (NH Public Radio)
  • Uber is expanding service to include all of Ohio (WKYC) and Michigan (WXYZ).
  • A truck driver describes how horrible he feels about killing a Portland cyclist. It’s a touching story that reveals the other side without letting the driver off the hook. (Bike Portland)
  • Consider yourself warned: Seattle’s annual No Pants Light Rail Weekend is this Sunday. (Patch)