Thursday’s Headlines As We Move Ahead

  • 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)


Gun Lobby’s New Target: The Bus

Letting people carry firearms on transit vehicles is a new priority for the gun lobby in several states where legislation to expand concealed carry rules to buses and trains is gaining momentum. Proponents of these bills imagine armed transit riders protecting themselves from would-be assailants. Some states, like Texas, already allow guns on transit. But not everyone thinks crowded buses are a […]

How Long Will Dallas Take to Make a Better Bus Network?

A lot of cities and transit agencies have been inspired by Houston’s recent effort to overhaul its bus network with a grid of high-frequency routes. One of those cities is its neighbor to the north, Dallas. According to Brandon Formby at the Dallas Morning News’ Transportation Blog, DART is planning to redesign its bus network, with many of the same goals: transforming from […]

State Interference in Nashville BRT Could Have National Implications

Annie Weinstock is the regional director for the U.S. and Africa at the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy. Last week saw the quiet death of the misguided, Koch brothers-funded Tennessee Senate Bill 2243, which would have effectively banned real bus rapid transit in Tennessee. The Senate’s outrageous overreach, attempting to prohibit transit from using dedicated […]