Wednesday’s Headlines From Around the Nation

  • The Senate coronavirus relief bill includes $1 billion for Amtrak and $20 billion for transit agencies, which would be required to recognize unions, maintain benefits and offer unemployment assistance to receive grants. (Bloomberg). Uber also wants its drivers, who are independent contractors in most states, to be eligible for benefits under the bill (Axios).
  • Cities should promote social distancing by taking streets away from cars and giving them to cyclists and pedestrians — and then make those changes permanent. (The Verge)
  • The novel coronavirus could permanently change traffic patterns in congested cities like New York, Los Angeles and Atlanta as more people work from home. (Curbed, Car and Driver)
  • For people living in cities under coronavirus lockdown, transportation options are limited. (Forbes)
  • Biking is OK during the coronavirus pandemic — just make sure you keep your distance. (San Francisco Chronicle)
  • Charlotte — where ridership has dropped 41 percent — is cutting back bus and light rail service but making it free (Observer). Pittsburgh is also cutting back service (Tribune-Review), and so is Minneapolis (Star Tribune). St. Louis has shifted to a weekend schedule (Post-Dispatch).
  • Bike shops in Washington state are doing fine as other businesses grind to a halt. (Spokane Tribune-Review)
  • Bus routes that serve low-income Boston residents remain busy, so ‘T’ service cuts could put them further at risk for COVID-19. (Streetsblog Mass)
  • John LaPlante, a longtime biking advocate and former Chicago DOT commissioner, died Saturday of COVID-19 at age 80. (WBEZ)
  • Manchester, England, has an ambitious plan to build 1,800 miles of biking and walking paths in the city and surrounding region. (City Metric)