Wednesday’s Headlines

  • U.S. transit ridership rose for two consecutive quarters in 2019 after declining for the past five years. But just two cities — New York and Washington, D.C. —  are responsible for most of the gains. Other major cities, like Los Angeles, Boston, Chicago and Philadelphia, continued to lose riders. (City Lab)
  • Drivers killed almost as many cyclists in California, Texas and Florida as the rest of the country combined, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Those three states accounted for 41 percent of cyclist deaths from 2014 through 2017 and contain 13 of the 20 most dangerous cities. (Smart Cities Dive)
  • A footnote in a California rule allows Uber and Lyft to hide from scrutiny of their safety records. (San Francisco Public Press)
  • If you can’t beat ride-hailing apps, join ’em, L.A. cabbies say. (New York Times)
  • Support is dwindling for the Transportation Climate Initiative, a regional compact aimed at combating climate change among 13 New England and Atlantic Coast states. Connecticut, Vermont and Maine could follow New Hampshire in opting out. (Boston Herald)
  • Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said in a recent speech that Texas’s current round of road-building may be its last. While the change of heart on widening freeways is welcome, it’s too bad Abbott is putting his hopes in ride-sharing and flying cars rather than investing in transit. (D Magazine)
  • Users are expressing frustration with Denver’s Regional Transportation District canceling more light rail and bus rides, which may or may not be due to an ongoing driver shortage (Denver Post). In related news, Colorado Public Radio has the lowdown on candidates to lead RTD.
  • Transportation will be a hot-button issue in the Maryland legislature this year, with bills to increase funding for transit, transition to electric buses and provide oversight of Chesapeake Bay Bridge construction. (Greater Greater Washington)
  • Nashville Mayor John Cooper is holding a series of “listening sessions” on transit (News Channel 5). Meanwhile, a group called Moving Forward says that an obscure Tennessee law could let a regional transportation authority set up a special tax district to fund transit after voters rejected a transit plan in 2018 (WZTV).
  • A Kansas City councilwoman made an insensitive comment about a cyclist’s death, and the Kansas City Star editorial board is pressuring the council to get serious about making the city’s streets safer for biking and walking.
  • Philadelphia is getting its first modern roundabout at a crash-prone five-way intersection near a school in a pedestrian-heavy neighborhood, which should slow down traffic. (Inquirer)
  • Minneapolis is making a push to ensure property owners clear their sidewalks after it snows. (Star Tribune)
  • Uber is ending its ride-hailing service in Colombia after a judge ruled that the company doesn’t compete fairly. (Bloomberg)
  • Twitter is putting Sound Transit on blast for changing the automated announcer’s voice on Seattle trains from female to male. (KIRO)