Thursday’s Headlines From Around the Nation

  • The coronavirus pandemic is a chance to change the way people travel forever: less flying, more walking, more funding for transit, congestion pricing, and turning over streets from cars to pedestrians (Fast Company). It also shows that transit is essential to urban life, even — or because — not many people are riding it right now. (City Lab)
  • Despite being essential, many transit agencies may be stuck in a death spiral because ridership — and funding sources — are collapsing, and it’s unlikely to recover as quickly as other modes. (Axios)
  • In related news, a new report suggests that people will want to switch from flying to high-speed rail post-coronavirus, and recommends that governments expand their rail networks. (Railway Gazette)
  • Transit advocates are rallying to protect drivers and riders — the essential workers who need trains and buses to do their jobs (Transit Center). One example is in Minneapolis, where Metro Transit and its union are working to secure 6,000 face masks (WCCO).
  • A Columbia University study found that the use of ride-hailing apps is linked to an uptick in crashes involving both motorists and pedestrians at pick-up and drop-off points. (TNW, Daily Mail)
  • Yet with much of the world on lockdown, Uber’s delivery services are suddenly a necessity. (Quartz)
  • We at Streetsblog are generally pretty skeptical of self-driving cars, but the World Economic Forum believes the coronavirus crisis shows there’s a place for them.
  • Even after a racing motorcyclist killed a man on a bike in Tampa, Mayor Jane Castor is resisting calls to close largely empty street lanes to motorized traffic to give people more room to spread out. (WFLA)
  • Buffalo’s Reddy Bikeshare is offering annual passes for just $1. (WGRZ)
  • Albuquerque is running more buses on busy routes to help riders maintain social distancing. (KOB)
  • Indonesia has ordered transit riders to wear masks to slow the spread of coronavirus, which is soaring this month. (Bloomberg)