Monday’s Headlines to Start it All Off Again

  • The New York Times delves into the fiscal crisis transit agencies are facing after ridership plummeted during the pandemic. The $15 billion currently included for transit in a bipartisan coronavirus stimulus bill won’t be enough to avoid drastic service cuts, with potentially severe repercussions for local economies. Agencies have asked for $32 billion, while Mitch McConnell is countering with nothing (City Lab).
  • As gentrification displaces transit riders, transit agencies in Seattle and L.A. are leasing land to developers for affordable housing. (Transit Center)
  • Uber is selling its flying-taxi division to an aviation company (The Verge). Autonomous air taxis continue to be delusional, so let’s throw some cold water on the idea, but electric aircraft startup Joby has managed to raise $700 million nonetheless (The Drive).
  • Although oil companies and the Texas DOT often take land for pipelines and highways, a proposed bullet train between Houston and Dallas is sparking a new level of outrage among rural Texans. That’s why Gov. Greg Abbott is walking back his support. (Texas Monthly)
  • WBUR interviewed a transit expert who criticized Boston’s transit agency’s plan to buy hybrid diesel-electric buses as “greenwashing,” pointing out that they still burn fossil fuels and only switch to batteries in tunnels where ventilation is poor.
  • The Rose Lane bus rapid transit project lost its biggest supporter on the Portland Commission in the last election, and TriMet ridership is down, but the city is still pushing forward. (BikePortland)
  • Minneapolis has 25 new “mobility hubs” where various modes of transportation like buses, bike lanes and car-sharing come together. (Next City)
  • Denver’s Regional Transportation District says it’s the first transit agency in the world to sell tickets through the Lyft app. (Intelligent Transport)
  • Electric moped-sharing company Revel is pulling out of Austin, citing the city’s deep-rooted car culture and lack of density. (Yahoo Tech)
  • Nightmare fuel: A man fell through a broken Bronx sidewalk into a pile of rats. Now he’s suing the building owner who’s responsible for maintenance. (New York Daily News)



Congress Urged to Save Transit During Crisis

A $1 trillion draft economic stabilization plan from the U.S. Senate provides no financial assistance for the nation’s transit agencies, which have been bleeding red ink as the COVID-19 pandemic slashes fare collections and revenues from state sales and payroll taxes. Large transit agencies, whose budgets are generally more reliant on fare revenue, have taken […]