Monday’s Headlines from Around Our Nation

  • Transit systems that were already strapped for cash are now facing devastating deficits (Bloomberg). The Utah Transit Authority, for example, says it could take three years to recover financially from the coronavirus pandemic — or revenue might never come all the way back (Salt Lake Tribune).
  • As the 2009 stimulus taught us, Congress should focus on public transit and road repair if it wants a new coronavirus stimulus package to have the biggest impact (Transportation for America). Yet Lobbyists are using coronavirus as an excuse to lock in more spending on highway boondoggles like the I-5 expansion in Portland. (Frontier Group)
  • Alon Levy of Pedestrian Observations debunks an MIT study claiming the subway is responsible for New York City’s COVID-19 pandemic. (Streetsblog)
  • More than 2,000 California ride-hailing drivers have filed claims against Uber and Lyft alleging the companies owe them $630 million in back pay (Yahoo Finance). Meanwhile, taxpayers are footing the bill for drivers’ unemployment because Uber and Lyft haven’t paid into the system (KQED, following Streetsblog).
  • The West Seattle Bridge will be closed for two years for extensive repairs. Separately, light rail is scheduled to come to West Seattle in 2030. Why not build a new bridge that can accomodate light rail? (The Urbanist)
  • The Twin Cities’ Metro Transit is again cutting back light-rail hours in response to coronavirus. (Pioneer Press)
  • A plan to close off some streets in a Dallas neighborhood to cars devolved into Facebook chaos, as some residents feared that the plan could draw stir-crazy crowds from all over the city and make walking through the neighborhood more dangerous. (D Magazine)
  • Helsinki recently concluded successful pilot programs for on-demand boat rides, rental cargo bikes and carpools to soccer practice. Next up: robot buses. (Intelligent Transport)
  • The Globe and Mail pushes Canadian cities to open up their streets to cyclists and pedestrians so people can stay six feet apart.

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New Stimulus Data: Road Funds 77% Under Contract, Transit at 74%

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As of the end of February, nearly $5.4 billion of transit stimulus money, or 74 percent, was under contract for projects in the 50 states and D.C., according to a Streetsblog Capitol Hill analysis of data released today by the House transportation committee. (Photo: DMI Blog) The success rate of transit stimulus spending was slightly […]

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Smart Growth America, the Center for Neighborhood Technology, and the U.S. Public Interest Research Group today reported that transit stimulus spending created nearly twice as many jobs per dollar as highway stimulus  projects — a conclusion that Streetsblog Capitol Hill first previewed a few weeks ago. But as the groups snag some big-media attention today, […]

Killing the Myth of the ‘More Shovel-Ready’ Road Stimulus

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During debate over the White House’s $787 billion economic stimulus law, transit advocates watched as their projects were shortchanged and more "shovel-ready" road projects got the lion’s share of the transport pot — about $8.4 billion, compared with $27.5 billion for highways and bridges. (Photo: DMI Blog) But transit money is getting put to use […]