Wednesday’s Headlines to Hit Midweek

  • House Democrats’ $1.9-trillion COVID-19 relief package includes $30 billion for transit agencies and $1.5 billion for Amtrak (it’s not enough!). (Reuters, The Hill)
  • The burning of fossil fuels killed 8.7 million worldwide in 2018 — a staggering one in five of all people who died that year and higher than previously thought, according to a new study. (The Guardian)
  • Axios interviewed Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg about transit equity and competition with China on HBO. (We were on a conference call with The Boot, but ours was off the record. Darn.)
  • The Texas DOT gave itself environmental approval to go ahead with rebuilding I-45 in Houston, which will destroy hundreds of homes and businesses. (Houston Chronicle)
  • The Washington Post breaks down the Gateway Program, a Hudson River tunnel that would double passenger rail capacity on the East Coast.
  • Charlotte is dusting off plans for the light-rail Red Line, but freight hauler Norfolk Southern still refuses to let the city use its tracks (WSOC). And there is still resistance to a tax to pay for expanding transit among small-town and state leaders (Observer)
  • Suburban Atlanta mayors want to continue a sales tax for transportation, but are at odds on whether to spend part on bus rapid transit. (AJC)
  • Portland is dissolving its Vision Zero task force as traffic deaths continue to trend upward. Um, isn’t that the time when the Vision Zero task force should do something? (KATU)
  • Transportation officials and advocates are growing impatient with San Francisco’s lackluster results in curbing traffic deaths. (Examiner)
  • Cyclist injuries are down in Minneapolis, in part because the city built more bike lanes, but also because more cyclists on the road means drivers are more aware of them. (Star Tribune)
  • COVID has thrown a monkey wrench into Shelby County Mayor Lee Harris’s plans to boost Memphis transit funding by $10 million. (Commercial Appeal)
  • A new Columbus-area transportation agency is recommending BRT connecting downtown and the Northwest side of the Ohio pizza Mecca. (Dispatch)
  • It’s been crisis after crisis over the past 15 years for Savannah’s transit agency, which has seen eight leaders come and go since 2005. (Morning News)
  • NPR highlights NUMTOTS, the 200,000-strong global Facebook group where transit fans exchange memes.


Obama Proposes Infra Bank, Livability Grants, Doubling Transit Funds

The White House has released a fact sheet on the transportation provisions in the President’s budget. [PDF] Here are the highlights, straight from the document: Provides $13.4 billion in discretionary resources in 2012, a $1.3 billion decrease from 2010 levels. (This figure excludes $109 billion in obligation limitations for the surface transportation plan. Including surface […]

5-Year, $300 Billion “FAST Act” Will Extend Transpo Policy Status Quo to 2020

They’ve done it. Representatives from the House and Senate have emerged from conference committee with a five-year transportation bill, which is expected to be quickly approved and become first “long-term” bill in more than a decade. The discouragingly-named “FAST Act” is 1,300 pages long, and everyone with a stake in the legislation is still having their policy wonks […]

The Auto Industry Wants Your Thanks

Feeling warmer and fuzzier about the auto industry bailout? With the help of the Obama reelection campaign, the industry is convincing more Americans that the $80 billion they forked over to save it were dollars well spent. In the latest Pew poll, the public responded more positively toward the bailout than ever before, with 56 […]