Friday’s Headlines to Close it Out

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  • More Pete Buttigieg takes: Roll Call highlights the transportation secretary nominee’s support for a vehicle-miles-driven tax in lieu of a gas tax. Curbed thinks Buttigieg can deliver on Amtrak Joe Biden’s vision.
  • Transit is essential. It makes urban civilization possible, and it’s too important to be run like a business. (Resilience)
  • In a series of videos, Transit Center talks to women about their experiences in the male-dominated transportation field.
  • Uber and Lyft want their drivers to be considered “essential employees” after denying that they’re employees at all. (L.A. Times)
  • An automakers group is asking for more federal support for electric vehicles. (NBC News)
  • The Nashville city council approved a $1.6-billion plan — scaled down from a failed 2018 effort — for bus rapid transit, bus stations and shelters, sidewalk repairs, bike paths and traffic calming. There’s no funding source yet, though. (Tennessean)
  • Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner unveiled a Vision Zero plan to eliminate traffic deaths by 2030 by redesigning dangerous intersections and building sidewalks and bikeways, and prioritizing people over cars. Drivers killed 251 people in Houston last year. (Houston Public Media)
  • Portland’s police chief is shifting all 20 of the department’s traffic cops to general patrols, though it’s unclear why. (Bike Portland)
  • At $2.7 billion, bids for a now-likely-dead Honolulu light rail line came in at double what the city had budgeted. (Civil Beat)
  • Even as the D.C. Metro ponders drastic service cuts, it’s asking for input on a long-range plan. (WTOP)
  • The Utah Transit Authority still has $101 million of $187 million in emergency federal aid left, enabling it to keep service at 91 percent of pre-pandemic levels next year. (Salt Lake Tribune)
  • Jacksonville’s fare-free transit was set to expire in two weeks, but the city council extended it through February. (WCTI)
  • Wichita is building a $20-million new transit center. (KWCH)
  • A truck driver was on meth and fell asleep when he killed five cyclists near Las Vegas, according to prosecutors. He’s been charged with multiple counts of felony DUI and reckless driving. (8 News Now)