Wednesday’s Headlines From Both Sides of the Atlantic

  • Reports of cities’ death are greatly exaggerated. Data doesn’t back the media narrative that people are fleeing the pandemic for greener pastures. If anything, real estate prices are spiking everywhere because of low interest rates, lack of housing stock for sale and pent-up demand after lockdowns ended. (Curbed)
  • Congress has until the end of the month to pass new highway and coronavirus relief bills, or transit agencies will be forced to start slashing services. (Roll Call)
  • Uber and Lyft are marshaling right-wing news sites and online trolls to help them pass Prop 22, a California referendum that would allow the ride-hailing companies to continue classifying employees as contractors without benefits. (MSN Money)
  • Transit agencies are facing the same problem as the post office: It’s hard to succeed as a public service when the public expects the service to be run like a business. (City Lab)
  • The L.A. Metro will no longer send police to handle nonviolent crimes and appointed a committee to recommend other community safety reforms, like homeless outreach and disarming officers (Transit Center). Instead of relying on off-duty police, Austin’s Capital Metro is considering starting its own police force, with a mix of unarmed security guards and a smaller number of armed sworn officers with the power to make arrests (Community Impact).
  • The pandemic forced shelters to close and pushed homeless people onto transit. The Cleveland Regional Transit Authority is working with social services agencies to get them help. (Metro)
  • When demand for transit declined, one California agency shifted to delivering meals and medicine, and converted buses into mobile COVID-19 testing labs. (Governing)
  • Sidewalks have been a low priority for racing capital Indianapolis, but the city will have to build more if it expects people to get out of their cars and walk enough to meet climate-change goals. (Star)
  • Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley wants to keep charging fares for the once-free Bell Connector streetcar — and divert the revenue to police rather than spend it on transit. (Enquirer)
  • Drivers are allowed to park on the sidewalk in parts of London, but that practice could end to clear the way for parents with strollers and people with disabilities. (The Guardian)
  • Vienna is taking over the city’s bike-share system after the previous, private operator shut down half the docking stations. The Austrian capital plans to not only restore the docks, but expand the network. (Shift)

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AFL-CIO Flexing Its Muscle for Senate Transit Operating Aid Bill

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