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Monday’s Headlines Have Sticker Shock

12:00 AM EDT on April 10, 2023

    • A new car is now a luxury item by definition: The average price has risen more than $10,000 to $49,500 in just the past three years, with just five percent of sales clocking in at less than $25,000, an affordable price point for middle-class consumers (The Hill). With interest rates rising, the average monthly payment is now $730, up $74 over last year, and nearly 17 percent topped $1,000 (Edmunds).
    • Trucks, including SUVs and crossovers, now dominate American roads, thanks to abnormally low gas prices, lax regulations and lots of money automakers spent on lobbying and advertising. (Washington Post)
    • Buses are faster than streetcars, but the debate over which mode is better is more complicated than that. (Greater Greater Washington)
    • Lyft is expanding its "green mode" option to 14 new cities, offering customers the option of hybrid or electric cars (Smart Cities Dive). Of course, the real "green mode" would be to walk, bike or take transit, instead of riding in a car by yourself.
    • Crime in Chicago is up 62 percent since before the pandemic, and farebox revenue is down 51 percent. The head of the Chicago Transit Authority says "there's no question" those trends are related (City Lab). Newly elected Mayor Brandon Johnson faces the challenge of reducing crime without increasing police presence on transit by devoting more resources to services (Bolts).
    • Washington, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser's proposed budget includes hundreds of new traffic enforcement cameras, but the millions of dollars in revenue generated would go into the general fund rather than specifically to street safety. (DCist)
    • Houston's proposed University Corridor bus rapid transit line could go underground. (Chronicle)
    • A Fresno lawsuit contends that a $105 million Highway 99 construction project will lead to more pollution. (ABC 30)
    • Political gridlock in Seattle could cost the city a federal grant to connect two existing streetcar lines. (Axios)
    • Missoula is joining the ranks of cities that are eliminating parking mandates near transit stops. (KPAX)
    • Cincinnati transportation officials may want to duck when they see the response to their new ad campaign. (Fox 19)

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