Thursday’s Headlines on a Downward Spiral

Photo: Antonio Lowry Edward, CC
Photo: Antonio Lowry Edward, CC
  • To avoid a death spiral, transit agencies must convince the public and policymakers that they deserve subsidies because they are indispensable for reducing car trips, congestion and pollution, and don’t just serve people who can’t afford to drive. (Vox)
  • Governing agrees with Vox that business as usual won’t bring pre-pandemic riders back, but disagrees on fares, arguing that going fare-free is the future, along with finding new revenue sources and adjusting routes to new travel patterns.
  • Academics who’ve been pushing for 15-minute cities are being targeted with death threats by conspiracy theorists. (New York Times)
  • Women must be involved in designing infrastructure like protected bike lanes if more women are going to ride bikes. (The Conversation)
  • Gov. Maura Healey tapped former Long Island Railroad president Phillip Eng to head the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority. (Boston Globe)
  • The Wisconsin DOT and the city and county of Milwaukee are moving forward with a plan to turn part of an urban freeway into a boulevard, despite not winning a federal grant. (Urban Milwaukee)
  • Bay Area transit officials are considering a pilot project making transfers between various agencies discounted or free. (CBS News)
  • A bill requested by the Metro Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority on automated enforcement for bus lanes is on hold until next year. (Saporta Report)
  • A previous regime at the Charlotte Area Transit System delayed critical maintenance, resulting in a light-rail derailment last year. (Axios)
  • Disability rights groups in St. Louis filed a federal complaint about paratransit cuts. (Post-Dispatch)
  • A Florida state senator carved transit workers out of an anti-union bill to avoid jeopardizing federal funds. (Orlando Weekly)
  • The North Carolina DOT has not set targets for reducing vehicle miles driven as required by a lawsuit settlement over a toll road. (IndyWeek)
  • Spin launched in Richmond, becoming the city’s third bikeshare. (Axios)
  • Seattle artists turned a vacant gas station into a community center, an example of how such buildings can be repurposed in the EV era. (Fast Company)


Will D.C. Metro Fall Into a Transit Death Spiral?

The situation unfolding for transit riders in Washington, DC, is scary. Few American cities rely on transit more than DC, but the system seems to be caught in a spiral of deteriorating service and declining ridership. With fewer people paying fares, WMATA has less revenue to pay for service, and the cycle continues. WMATA is now planning for […]