Tuesday’s Headlines to Start Your Day

  • The 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act didn’t do enough to shore up city and state budgets, or invest enough in infrastructure to create jobs. Will the federal government make the same mistake again? (Slate)
  • Integrating passenger and freight transportation could make the system more resilient to crises like a pandemic. (World Economic Forum)
  • In the Cleveland area, as in the rest of the country, federal highways facilitated white flight, contributed to segregation and concentrated poverty. Recognizing this, a regional transportation planning agency will now consider equity when deciding whether to build new interchanges. (Plain Dealer)
  • Portland voters will decide in November on an $8-billion, 25-year transportation package that will create 37,000 jobs and includes funding for bike lanes, bus rapid transit, a new MAX light rail line and free bus passes for high school students. (Bike Portland)
  • The dispute between Maryland and contractors over Purple Line cost overruns is just the latest of problems that have been brewing since 2016. (Washington Post)
  • A proposal to use unarmed “ambassadors” rather than police to collect fares, connect the homeless with services and enforce drinking and smoking bans on Metro Transit is languishing in the Minnesota legislature. (Minneapolis Star Tribune)
  • After being criticized for scrapping thousands of JUMP e-bikes, Uber is donating 3,000 to the nonprofit Shared Mobility, which will deploy them for free at “transportation libraries.” (Buffalo News)
  • After a two-year delay, a new BRT line in Uptown Houston will start running next month. (Chronicle)
  • Baltimore’s next mayor has the opportunity to embrace urbanism by reforming the city’s bike-share program, demanding transit improvements from the state and embracing mixed-use development. (Sun)
  • A Chicago police officer in an unmarked department SUV drove onto a sidewalk and hit a person walking with a bike at a protest against police brutality. (Sun-Times)
  • UK Uber drivers want access to the company’s secret algorithm and want to know how the data the company collects is used. (The Guardian)

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LaHood: Gas Tax Increase in Congressional Hands

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As Congress maneuvers to end the political impasse over the next long-term national transportation bill, lawmakers are going to have to debate an increase in the federal gas tax, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said today. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood (Photo: Getty Images) In his remarks at a Fort Worth transportation meeting, first reported by the […]

Two Troubling Transportation Numbers for the Obama Administration

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Today brought news of two grim transportation numbers from the Obama administration: 2 and $53 million. Atlanta’s Metro won a share of the emissions-cutting transit grants that the White House proposes to cut next year. (Photo: Atlanta Metblogs) The first figure is the percentage of federal transport stimulus contracts that have gone to disadvantaged and […]
Photo: Bradlee9119 via Flickr

Needed: A Federal Program to Boost Transit Service

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Editor’s note: This article originally appeared on Transit Center and is republished with permission.  On March 13, 2020, at the onset of the pandemic, the Federal Transit Administration responded to the emergency by enabling transit agencies to spend federal funds to run buses and trains. It was a break with longstanding policy. Normally, federal grants are reserved […]