The U.S. Postal Service announced a contract to replace aging mail trucks (CNN). Some of them will run on gas, violating President Biden’s pledge to electrify the federal fleet, although Postmaster General Louis DeJoy, a Trump holdover, was the one who made the decision (Bloomberg). The internet has been dunking all over the design, comparing it to everything from a duck to a Pixar character, but its low hood actually makes it much less likely to kill a pedestrian (Curbed).
Despite losing $1.5 billion and 70,000 jobs during the pandemic, private bus companies have been left out of Democrats’ latest coronavirus relief bill. (City Lab)
The L.A. Metro could go fare-free for low-income riders and K-12 students in 2022. About 70 percent of regular passengers make less than $35,000 a year. (Urbanize)
The Indiana Senate passed a bill that could scuttle transit agency IndyGo’s plans for two bus rapid transit lines. (Indianapolis Star)
Ridership on the Twin Cities’ Metro Transit has fallen by more than half during the pandemic. Commuter rail took the biggest hit, while bus rapid transit fared best. (Star Tribune)
The Dallas City Council tried to kill off a streetcar line to find money for repaving roads, but the city is too tied up in it. (D Magazine)
Startup Motional says it successfully tested the first autonomous car without a backup driver in Las Vegas. (The Hill)
A mobility-tracking project in Portland has been shelved because Google spinoff Replica would not share detailed enough data with the city. (BBC)
The feds have started reviewing Pittsburgh’s Oakland-downtown bus rapid transit line. (Post-Gazette)
Another reason to hate Chick-Fil-A, besides its track record on LGBTQ issues: The fast-food chain’s huge drive-through lines are causing traffic jams. (Business Insider)
Amtrak cut service during the pandemic, but restoring it has been difficult owing to labor shortages exacerbated by layoffs, retirements and Covid outbreaks among staff. As the city, state, and nation emerge from the pandemic, Amtrak must restore popular routes that remain suspended.
Sidewalk delivery robots struggle to get around U.S. cities for many of the same reasons as human pedestrians, a new study finds — but that's not the only reason why the emerging technology might struggle to deliver on its car-cutting promises without careful planning.