Friday’s Headlines From Around the Nation

  • Transit ridership is down dramatically, and may never come all the way back. If transit agencies want to avoid a death spiral, they need to stop thinking about ridership stats and fare recovery, and start thinking of themselves as an essential service. (City Lab)
  • About 60 percent of workers have jobs that can’t be done from home, but those who do are probably going to be working from home at least some of the time from now on. (The Atlantic)
  • The University of Tennessee and Portland State are launching a study on how people are getting around during the coronavirus pandemic. (Smart Cities Dive)
  • Lyft’s ride-hailing business is down 70 percent during the pandemic. But it still reported more revenue and smaller losses for the first quarter of 2020 than in 2019. (The Verge)
  • Uber is in talks to fold struggling scooter company Lime into its Jump scooter subsidiary. Uber already owns a minority stake in Lime and would pay $170 million for majority control. (The Information)
  • CBC videographer Uytae Lee has made a concise and passionate video about the coming carpocalypse that every politician should watch.
  • Forever? Forever ever? Forever ever? Seattle is one of several cities that has shut down streets to traffic so residents can keep enough space between them while they walk, bike and jog. Now, Mayor Jenny Durkan has announced that 20 miles of those streets will be closed to through traffic permanently (Seattle Times). Meanwhile, Boulder won’t close streets to cars, so now residents are taking matters into their own hands (Daily Camera).
  • The New York City subway shut down overnight for the first time since it opened 115 years ago as workers sanitized trains and stations. (NY Times)
  • Los Angeles residents craving a double-double are doubling down on driving through drive-throughs. (L.A. Times)
  • Austin’s Capital Metro is adding another light rail line to its Project Connect expansion plan. In several instances, the agency has found that bus rapid transit won’t have enough capacity to meet demand. (Monitor)
  • Northern Virginia is putting off a decision on new transit projects because the Beltway tolls that would fund them have dropped. (Inside NoVa)
  • Take heart: Lisbon emerged from economic hardship with one of Europe’s best mobility systems. (Eltis)


Transit Investments and the Failure of Randal O’Toole’s Short-Term Thinking

The Los Angeles Times recently ran a big story to the effect that the region’s major investments in transit are not paying off, since ridership has recently declined. But there are a lot of problems with the paper’s analysis, which Streetsblog LA looked at last week. Jarrett Walker at Human Transit has also taken issue with how the LA Times published sweeping conclusions about long-term […]