Wednesday’s Headlines as We Move to the End

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  • The $14 billion for transit in the new coronavirus relief package will be allocated within the next 30 days (Mass Transit Mag). Unfortunately, the package also includes $10 billion for highways (Transport Topics).
  • Sun Belt cities are known for being auto-centric, but expanding public transit is helping cities like Austin and Phoenix attract new residents and jobs (like it always does!). (Forbes)
  • Uber and Lyft are backing bills in states like New York and Illinois that would let drivers unionize, but still consider them contractors rather than employees under the law. (Wired)
  • Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty, the first Black woman to head the Portland Bureau of Transportation, supports fare-free transit and is committed to equity and social justice. (BikePortland)
  • Much of the opposition to Austin’s successful Project Connect transit referendum centered around gentrification and displacement. Now Austin faces the task of expanding transit in an equitable way, starting with $300 million for rent assistance along routes. (City Monitor)
  • Dallas Area Rapit Transit has started construction on the 50-mile Silver Line connecting Fort Worth and Plano. (Star-Telegram)
  • Virginia Beach and Newport News are considering an on-demand microtransit program. (Virginian-Pilot)
  • From a streetcar extension to bus rapid transit to autonomous shuttles, the Tampa Bay Times looks back on the year in transportation.
  • KIRO looks back at 2020’s top Seattle transportation stories, including progress on the Lynnwood light rail extension.
  • COVID may have finally finished off privatization in Great Britain’s railway system. (The Guardian)