Thursday’s Headlines

The Transportation Research Board’s 99th Annual Meeting will be held in Washington, D.C. from Jan. 12-16, 2020. Click here for more information.

  • Transit ridership rose 2.2 percent, or 54 million rides, in the third quarter of 2019 compared to a year earlier, according to the American Public Transportation Association. Systems in New York, D.C., Charlotte, Denver, Minneapolis, Florida, California and Utah had particularly large increases. (RT&S)
  • Even the car enthusiasts at Jalopnik recognize that “commuter culture” needs to die, and most Americans are better off using transit as their everyday mode of transportation instead of spending so much time stuck in traffic.
  • A new app launching on Saturday will make it easier to report bad drivers to the authorities. (Fast Company)
  • Uber quietly redesigned its app in California to bolster its case that — in defiance of a recently passed state law — that its drivers are independent contractors, not employees with labor rights. (Washington Post)
  • Drivers killed at least 236 people in Los Angeles County last year, more than half of them pedestrians. Car crashes caused more premature deaths than murder, strokes or lung cancer. (Curbed)
  • The Baltimore Sun disapproves of the Hogan administration’s proposed $345-million cut to future transit projects and wants the state to stop favoring the Washington, D.C. suburbs when it comes to transportation.
  • A new development in Tempe will ban cars from being driven or parked inside it. Which is great, but it won’t solve the Phoenix area’s bigger problem: People are still forced to drive long distances to go to work, school, stores and hospitals. (Brookings)
  • Shelby County’s new plan to fund Memphis bus service is a $20 motor vehicle tax hike, which would raise approximately $9 million a year (Commercial Appeal). By the way, Memphis has added 270 miles of bike lanes and paths since being named the worst city for cyclists in 2010 (Local Memphis).
  • The data is mixed on this, but police in the college town of Baton Rouge credit Uber and Lyft for dramatically reducing DUIs. (The Advocate)
  • Annapolis — the Maryland capital — is almost impossible to get to by transit. (Greater Greater Washington)
  • Tampa Bay has a new program that creates colorful crosswalks near schools to make them more visible to drivers. (Patch)
  • Hyundai is building an electric air taxi for Uber. We were promised jetpacks, but it looks like we’re getting manned quadcopter drones instead. (CBS News)