Wednesday’s Headlines

  • Democrats will be pushing to include transit and green energy—not just roads and bridges—in an infrastructure package, but Republicans may not go along. (The Hill)
  • Uber is outsourcing its efforts to create a self-driving taxi—once thought to be the path to profitability by eliminating labor costs, but which turned into a money pit. (New York Times)
  • Transit improvements raise the value of nearby property by more than it costs to make those improvements, and capturing that value through a “land gain tax” on real estate profits could provide better transit and more affordable housing. (Common Ground California)
  • Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan—who regulated ride-hailing and expanded transit but also made frustrating decisions like dragging her feet on bike-lane projects—won’t run for re-election. (Crosscut)
  • Pushback from Boston Mayor Marty Walsh and others led the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority to delay a vote on service cuts. (NBC 10)
  • While the situation isn’t quite as urgent as in cities like New York or Washington, D.C., Michigan transit officials are worried about what happens when their federal coronavirus funding runs out next year. (Spartan Newsroom)
  • Virginia officials say they will continue to prioritize transit and are optimistic Congress will pass a relief package. (WTOP)
  • The Orlando City Council will vote next week on extending its e-scooter pilot program. (Sentinel)
  • Texas is welcoming Tesla by slapping a $200 annual fee on electric vehicles. (Austin American-Statesman)
  • Hong Kong authorities are looking for relatives of Benjamin Restrepo, a Colombian-born American who was killed by a swerving fire-truck driver earlier this week. (Transit Jam)
  • Out of Australia, but you could apply it to anywhere: Reclaiming streets for people, not free parking, is what will help retailers recover from the pandemic. (The Conversation)
  • Even Monopoly players should have to pay for parking, according to author and UCLA urban planning professor Donald Shoup. (ITS International)

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America Already Has a Stratified Transportation System

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The emergence of app-based taxis and private city bus services has prompted a lot of handwringing about the emergence of a “two-tiered” or “stratified” transportation system. Network blog Cap’n Transit doesn’t have much patience for that argument. America’s transportation system is already highly stratified, and it’s hard to see how the new services will make that situation worse: If you go to […]