Tuesday’s Headlines Are Ready for a Showdown

  • House Democrats hope to use the party-line reconciliation bill to add back some of what the Senate cut from the bipartisan infrastructure bill, including $10 billion for transit, $10 billion for high-speed rail, $4 billion to cut climate emissions and $4 billion to remove urban freeways. (Washington Post)
  • Safer streets for walking and biking, denser neighborhoods and charging drivers the true cost of parking are three relatively easy ways to reduce our over-reliance on cars. (Vox)
  • The oil and gas industry is fighting to preserve tax loopholes for drilling that Democrats want to close to help pay for the reconciliation bill. (E&E News)
  • While Oregon transportation officials recently approved an unpopular plan to widen and cap I-5 in Portland’s Rose Quarter, they might have laid the seeds for its demise by raising the estimated cost half a billion dollars. (Willamette Week)
  • Detroit announced plans to build 700 speed humps this fall to slow down drivers, in addition to 4,500 already planned. But that still doesn’t meet demand — the city has had 17,000 requests. (News)
  • Bay Area Rapid Transit hired a “homeless czar” to assist people who seek shelter on trains. (SFist)
  • Seattle’s Sound Transit is now using “fare ambassadors” to conduct fare checks, rather than fare enforcement officers, with a greater emphasis on education and customer service. (Metro Magazine)
  • Bird is bringing e-bikes and e-scooters to South Bend. (Tribune)
  • In the latest blow to Uber and Lyft’s anti-labor business model, Dutch court ruled that ride-hailing app drivers are employees, not contractors. (Reuters)
  • A continent-wide effort is underway in Europe to lower speed limits, saving lives and reducing emissions (Quartz). One such city is Glasgow, which set a Vision Zero goal for 2030 (Cities Today).
  • A Swedish company called Polestar is developing an electric scooter/sled thingy for deliveries that can carry up to 400 pounds and fits in a bike lane. (Fast Company)
  • Get ready to share the sidewalk with delivery robots. (Next City)

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Reps. Chuy Garcia, Ayanna Pressley and Henry "Hank" Johnson were the lead signatories of the letter. Images, from left: Rev Dills, CC, Elizabeth Warren, CC and John Ramspott, CC

Progressives Demand $30B for Transit

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Mass transit must be at the center of America's strategy to end climate change — and the next spending package needs to devote at least half our transportation dollars to getting people out of cars and onto public transportation, a coalition of lawmakers says. 
Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y. bikes in his city, but his budget reconciliation measure may not include anything for active modes. Image: Planet Gordon, CC

Reconciliation Bill Will Go Big on EVs

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The massive reconciliation bill under consideration in Congress would fall short of achieving our greenhouse gas reduction target — and the climate wins it does achieve would come disproportionately from consumer incentives for electric vehicles, rather than by shifting drivers out of cars.