Wednesday’s Headlines from All Over

  • The top story: The Minneapolis police officer who killed George Floyd last year was found guilty on all counts (with the top count being second-degree murder) — an all-too-rare jury finding that held a cop accountable. (NY Times)
  • In a case reminiscent of the police killing of Floyd, San Diego’s transit agency apologized and will pay $5.5 million to the family of a man who died in 2019 after a security officer knelt on his neck for six minutes. (Associated Press)
  • Some people make the argument that intercity rail will never take off in most of this sprawling country unless it’s not only faster than driving and cheaper than flying, but competitive timewise with taking a plane. But Vice makes the argument that the U.S. is better off incrementally upgrading service, as Amtrak is proposing, rather than spending decades trying to build out a hugely expensive high-speed rail network.
  • A modest annual $20-billion investment in transit operating costs would dramatically improve service in cities nationwide. (Transit Center)
  • Contrary to those who are writing off transit due to plunging ridership, the pandemic showed how essential transit really is. (Rice Kinder Institute)
  • Urban subways are better at getting people to jobs than suburban commuter rail. (Pedestrian Observations)
  • With traffic deaths up during the pandemic, states are starting to prioritize safety over speed. (California Healthline)
  • California is falling short of its climate goals, but that doesn’t mean progress isn’t being made on the transportation front. (San Francisco Chronicle)
  • Oakland’s “flex streets” program that allows businesses to use public street space previously reserved for cars will expire in June unless the city renews it. (Berkleyside)
  • Once a radical idea, Boston mayoral candidates are mow embracing the idea of fare-free transit. (Globe)
  • Honolulu is lobbying Congress for another $800 million to finish a light rail line that’s already $7 billion over budget and 10 years behind schedule. (Railway Age)
  • Tampa isn’t ready yet, but it’s starting to prepare for a future where electric vehicles are prevalent. (WFLA)
  • E-scooters have finally come to New York years after other cities (as Streetsblog reported), but now The New Yorker is sitting up and taking notice.

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Larry Hanley: Part-Time Labor Won’t Save American Transit

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Streetsblog sat down last week with Larry Hanley, the president of the Amalgamated Transit Union and member of the AFL-CIO executive council. Yesterday, we published the first part of our interview, focusing on movement-building around transit. Here, we had a vigorous discussion about union rules and Buy America provisions that are the subject of some […]