Wednesday’s Headlines Are Done Negotiating

  • President Biden is done talking to Senate Republicans and will instead try to cut an infrastructure deal with a bipartisan group of 20 senators in hopes of getting 60 votes for a bill. (Politico)
  • An electric Hummer weighs 9,000 pounds — as much as three Honda Civics. The extra battery weight protects people inside, but makes the vehicle much deadlier to everyone else (CNN). Meanwhile, Ford announced it will start producing a small, cheap hybrid pickup that gets 40 miles per gallon (CNBC).
  • Amtrak is restoring daily service on 12 long-distance routes after receiving emergency funding from Congress. (Reuters)
  • Transportation for America likes House Democrats’ transportation bill. And a California bill eliminating parking requirements near transit gets a nod from the Natural Resources Defense Council.
  • The aforementioned U.S. House bill would put climate change at the center of nearly every federal transportation policy. (The Hill)
  • The pandemic taught planners not to be afraid to experiment with streets, despite past failures of pedestrian malls. (Public Square)
  • Get used to sky-high Uber and Lyft prices — it’s the only way their business model is sustainable. (Curbed)
  • Senators Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillebrand want $500 million for cybersecurity after someone hacked New York’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority. (NY Daily News)
  • The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority advisory board wants to create a new governing body to deal with budget issues and falling ridership. (Boston Globe)
  • The Arizona Daily Sun reminds Flagstaff drivers to be on the lookout for bikes.
  • This week in road rage: Two people were arrested and charged with shooting and killing a 6-year-old boy on a California freeway after his mother made “a perceived unsafe lane change,” according to police (CNN). In Canada, a driver plowed into a truck and killed four people because the family were Muslims (Chicago Sun-Times).
  • The world’s most expensive parking space was $387,000 in 2012, which seems like a bargain now. (Car and Driver)


Don’t Look Now, But the House Amtrak Bill Actually Has Some Good Ideas

Tomorrow, the House Transportation Committee will consider a bill that changes the nation’s policies on passenger rail. The proposal, while it includes some cuts, is a departure from the senseless vendetta many House Republicans have waged against Amtrak in the past. The National Association of Railroad Passengers, NARP, says the plan contains “commonsense regulatory and […]

GOP Appropriations Bill Would Turn TIGER Into a Roads Program

As the president’s transportation proposal fades from the news cycle and we eagerly await the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee’s six-year reauthorization bill, here comes the House Republicans’ proposed budget for transportation and housing for next year. Note: What the House GOP released yesterday wasn’t an authorization bill but an appropriations bill for 2015. […]

Bike Trail Funding Survives 583 Amendments

Bet you weren’t expecting to hear any good news from the floor of the House today, were you? Turns out not everyone in Congress is as axe-happy as some high-profile Republicans. For example, Amtrak survived one attempt to cut all its funding and another to cut $447 million. (Amtrak funding does stand to lose $224 […]

Final Stimulus Bill Slaps Transit Riders in the Face

The final tally is in, and we now have a breakdown for transportation funding in the stimulus bill that President Obama will sign, barring some unforeseen turn of the screw. Via Transportation for America: $29 billion for highways and bridges $8.4 billion for transit $8 billion for high-speed rail $1.3 billion for Amtrak To compare […]