All Hail Friday’s Headlines

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  • In contrast to Uber and Lyft’s claims that they want to be partners of transit agencies rather than competitors, a recent study found that half of all ride-hailing trips replaced trips that could have been taken by transit, while only 2 percent were to or from transit stops. (Quartz)
  • Another study found that riding-hailing has a negative effect on greenhouse gas emissions because, while users drive their own cars less, that’s more than outweighed by the miles Uber and Lyft drivers travel. (Natural Resources Defense Council)
  • A true intercity passenger rail system in the Upper Midwest is a longshot. (Railway Age)
  • The infrastructure bill will boost funding for transit agencies by an average of 30 percent. (Railway Tracks & Structures)
  • The bill also provides funding for cleaner transportation alternatives like electric shuttles and e-scooters at national parks. (E&E News)
  • If state transportation agencies are smart, they’ll spend their federal infrastructure money on safety, which in addition to saving lives delivers the biggest bang for the taxpayer’s buck. (State Smart Transportation Initiative)
  • Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg will visit a future Phoenix light rail line today to promote the infrastructure bill. (Arizona Republic)
  • Washington, D.C. resident Nina Larson is now just a statistic, a Facebook photo, one of the thousands of pedestrians killed by drivers each year, thanks to reckless behavior and unsafe street design. (The Atlantic)
  • San Diego repealed parking minimums for businesses in dense areas or near transit, allowing them to utilize that space for outdoor dining or more retail. (Union-Tribune)
  • A north-south MetroLink line is back on the table in St. Louis because of the infrastructure bill. (Post-Dispatch)
  • Seattle isn’t enforcing a law requiring property owners to maintain sidewalks, nor does it spend enough on sidewalks to fix problems itself. (Crosscut)
  • Moscow’s new facial recognition system for transit fares raises concerns about privacy and surveillance. (New York Times)
  • A British company is turning empty parking lots into delivery hubs. (The Guardian)

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Does It Make Sense for Transit Agencies to Pay for “Last Mile” Uber Trips?

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Should transit agencies subsidize short “last-mile” Uber trips to expand transit access for people who live outside comfortable walking distance of a train station? Columbus, Ohio, has proposed something along these lines as part of its application for U.S. DOT’s Smart City Challenge. The city is one of seven finalists competing for a $50 million federal grant. New technologies associated with ride-hailing services […]