Wednesday’s Headlines with Lots of Buttigieg News

  • The Senate voted overwhelmingly Tuesday to confirm Pete Buttigieg as transportation secretary. The first openly gay person confirmed to a Cabinet post (Guardian) has an unusually high profile for the position and brings legions of social-media fans with him (Politico). Complaints raised by the 13 Republicans who voted against him included his “radical” environmental policies and fears that the former mayor of South Bend, Indiana will favor urban areas (Fox News).
  • A Washington Post investigation found that the feds looked more favorably on transit projects that served primarily White users, even under President Obama.
  • Meanwhile, safe-streets advocates wrote an op-ed in the same esteemed paper urging President Biden, whose first wife and daughter were killed in a car crash, to pledge to end traffic deaths by 2050. 
  • Unions and trade groups are seeking a total of $112 billion in additional government coronavirus assistance, including $39 billion for transit agencies and $40 billion for bus and ferry companies. (Reuters)
  • As Streetsblog previously reported, a Senate bill would provide $10 billion for cities to knock down urban freeways. (City Lab)
  • Houston’s regional transportation board remains dominated by White men after a majority voted to keep two nominated women — one Black, the other a transit official — out of leadership positions. (Chronicle)
  • As part of a potential major expansion, Amtrak is considering routes for a new line through Cleveland that could connect it to Cincinnati and Columbus (which raises the question: such a line doesn’t exist yet?). (Plain Dealer)
  • New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy, who’s up for re-election this year, hasn’t fixed the state’s transit as promised, but he’s made progress. (North Jersey)
  • Ridership on Portland’s Westside Express commuter rail line has fallen so far that it costs TriMet $108 per ride. Transit advocates say the suburban line should be extended and run more frequently. (KGW)
  • A bill in the Washington legislature would require Uber and Lyft to reduce their emissions. (Crosscut)
  • New technology can help Nashville improve safety and reduce congestion by providing a way for delivery drivers to book and pay for curb space. (Smart Cities World)
  • Virginia Tech is using CARES Act funding to refund students’ transit fees. (Roanoke Times)
  • Inside a Dutch politician’s quest to convince Lego to add bike lanes to its plastic-brick cities. (The Verge)