Monday’s Headlines from Around the Nation

  • Travel data from before and during the coronavirus pandemic reveal deep inequalities. Bloomberg‘s interactive feature shows how streets cleared in a dozen cities and how the governments’ responses to the pandemic, as well as underlying demographics, affected when and how people have been able to start moving again. Transit has been the slowest to come back. In the future, cities will likely lean more heavily on non-motorized transportation modes while also becoming more dependent on cars.
  • A group of transit advocates and public health experts is recommending increased federal funding, suspended fares, low-emissions/electric vehicles, prioritizing equity in planning future projects and increased safety measures as ways to rebuild confidence in transit (Smart Cities Dive). We may have already mentioned this, but The City Fix also has a blueprint for transit’s comeback.
  • “I’m not a racist, I was just programmed that way.” The algorithms that determine Uber and Lyft’s rates charge more per mile if the pickup or dropoff point is in a predominately minority neighborhood than a white one. (New Scientist)
  • Democrats’ new $1.5-trillion infrastructure bill incorporates their $500-billion transportation bill that had drawn Republican opposition because of its “green” elements. (The Hill)
  • More experts confirm what Streetsblog’s been saying all along: The CARES Act wasn’t enough, and transit agencies need additional funding from the federal government. (Transport Topics)
  • New York is the city that never sleeps — but the subway system is taking a nightly nap. Transit advocates worry that closing the system for nightly cleanings might be a stalking horse for permanently reducing service or clearing out the homeless. (Politico, Streetsblog)
  • The bike boom sweeping the world during the pandemic has yet to hit Miami, where officials are not building new bike infrastructure, in contrast to others around the globe, leaving would-be cyclists with just fragments of a bike network to ride on. (Herald)
  • Colorado Gov. Jared Polis ordered the Regional Transportation District to build a rail line between Denver and Boulder that had been on the chopping block due to a coronavirus-related budget shortfall. (Colorado Politics)
  • In response to police brutality, Portland’s TriMet is shifting funds from police to mental health crisis response teams. (Mass Transit Mag)
  • A Georgia bill taxing Uber and Lyft rides to fund transit passed the state legislature and now goes to Gov. Brian Kemp for his signature. (AJC)
  • Better planning by Sound Transit could save Seattle taxpayers millions of dollars in cost overruns for unforeseen problems, according to a recent audit. (Seattle Times)
  • Detroit is the latest city to expedite the process of turning largely empty streets and parking lots into outdoor dining areas (Eater) and Richmond could soon follow suit (Greater Greater Washington).
  • Want to start biking? The New York Times tells you how.

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