Thursday’s Headlines from Everywhere

  • Revel, the company with the electric mopeds, will return to New York City after a monthlong suspension that stemmed from three deaths. (Streetsblog)
  • Racism is embedded in public transit systems, which often favor “choice” (read: middle-class white) riders over those who depend on them. The result is a two-tiered system — one that’s more reliable, with better amenities, and the other for people who can’t afford to be picky. (Kinder Rice)
  • New data from Berlin deals a blow to hopes that the rush to build new bike infrastructure during the pandemic will make cities safer for cyclists. The German capital has already hit a four-year high for cyclist deaths. Reasons include: People are pedaling faster in new, wider protected bike lanes; changes didn’t address intersections, where most crashes occur; and new bike riders are mostly switching from transit, so vehicle traffic remains the same. (The Guardian)
  • The urban future is carless, and the pandemic is an opportunity for cities to prioritize micromobility. (Route Fifty)
  • This app that will guilt-trip you about your carbon footprint was funded by BP, one of the biggest polluters in the world. (The Grist)
  • Breaking news from the New York Times: Pedal-assist bikes are, um, easier to pedal. That’s kind of the whole point.
  • After equipment failures and an employee’s positive coronavirus test, San Francisco’s Muni shut down subway service just three days after reopening it. The subway lines will once again be replaced by shuttle buses. (Chronicle)
  • A bill in the California legislature that might have threatened e-scooters and bike-shares (Los Angeles Daily News) has been tweaked, thanks to Streetsblog’s coverage.
  • A group trying to throw a roadblock in front of Oregon’s plans to toll two freeways in Portland wasn’t able to gather enough signatures to get the issue on the November ballot. (Oregonian)
  • Wholesale cuts to New York City school buses will fall most heavily on low-income, Black and Hispanic students. Better solutions for saving money include increasing the “walk zone” around schools, letting older ride mass transit and ending busing to charter schools. (Gotham Gazette)
  • Under deadline pressure from the feds, Sacramento transit officials rejected a scaled-back plan for light rail downtown. (Bee)
  • Providence transit advocates are fighting a plan to break up the city’s central bus hub in favor of several smaller stations. (Boston Globe)
  • Since the pandemic, Chinese commuters are choosing private modes of transportation, like bike-shares and cars, over public transit (Eco-Business). Which may be why a Chinese internet giant is expanding robotaxi service to a major downtown area for the first time (The Driven).
  • Cycling and safe streets advocate Tamika Butler asks bike riders on Twitter how they define themselves.

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Free transit pilots are popping up around the world as the pandemic rages on — and so are heated debates about whether they'll stymie agencies' efforts to delivery the high-quality service that U.S. riders need. But what if those arguments are missing something fundamental about why we commodify basic mobility in the first place, and the many ways marginalized people are impacted when they can't afford a fare? 

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The American Public Transportation Association (APTA), the D.C. lobbying arm for much of the transit industry, today asked the House committee in charge of homeland security spending for $1.1 billion next year to beef up rail and bus security, a four-fold increase over the level that Congress approved for 2010. APTA president William Millar told […]