Wednesday’s Headlines Wonder How to Fund Transit

Photo: King County
Photo: King County
  • Big-city transit agencies that are struggling the most with lost revenue from the drop in ridership during the pandemic are now looking to states for help as federal dollars run out. (Route Fifty)
  • Barring a revolution in transit funding, low-cost, high-quality service would better serve riders than trying to go fare-free. (The Conversation)
  • At odds with efforts to get drivers to switch to electric vehicles elsewhere within the Biden administration, the Treasury Department decided that only 14 of 91 available EV models qualify for a $7,500 tax credit. (Politico)
  • Turns out that cities promising not to subsidize bikeshares was not a very bright idea. (Fast Company)
  • The debate over whether transit is a “public good” is pedantic and counterproductive. (Commonwealth)
  • A California startup is planning an overnight train between San Francisco and Los Angeles, allowing passengers to sleep through the 10-hour trip in private rooms. (SFGate)
  • A new plan to renovate New York’s Penn Station might be a compromise that all of the zillion parties involved can agree on. (Curbed)
  • ATL’s Beltline streetcar extension has gotten the most attention, but the Metro Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority is also seeking public input on eight other projects. (AJC)
  • Seattle is looking at impact fees on new development to fund transportation, but some are worried about the effect on housing costs. (The Urbanist)
  • A new Idaho law restricts highway districts from spending property tax revenue on bike and pedestrian projects. (Statesman)
  • Munich and Barcelona are testing a system that uses satellites to toll drivers in low-emissions zones on a per-mile basis. (Traffic Technology Today)
  • The world’s longest purpose-built biking and walking tunnel, at a little over a mile long, opened in Norway. (Euronews)
  • The French don’t even have a word for jaywalking, but Montreal police are handing out tickets anyway. (Gazette)


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Budget shortfalls exacerbated by the lingering recession have forced 84 percent of local transit agencies to hike fares, cut service, or begin considering one or both of those options since the beginning of 2009, according to a report released today by the American Public Transportation Association (APTA). (Chart: APTA) APTA’s bleak survey reflects data from […]

Transit Stimulus Bill Needs Co-Sponsors in Senate

Two weeks ago, Hillary Clinton introduced a bill in the Senate to provide emergency funds for local transit agencies. Since then, the rest of the delegation from New York and New Jersey appears to have lined up behind the legislation. "We believe that Senators Schumer, Lautenberg, and Menendez support it," says Larry Hanley of the […]

Eight Senate Dems Offer $2B Plan for Emergency Transit Operating Aid

Transit agencies forced to raise fares or cut service to close budget gaps would be eligible for $2 billion in emergency operating funds under legislation unveiled today by Senate Banking Committee Chairman Chris Dodd (D-CT) and seven other Democratic senators, including two members of the party’s leadership. Sens. Chris Dodd (D-CT), left, Charles Schumer (D-NY), […]

At Grand Central, Sen. Clinton Calls for Funding Mass Transit

Clinton was joined by (l-r) Larry Hanley, of the Amalgamated Transit Union, NYC DOT Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan, Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney and MTA chief Elliot Sander Surrounded by a throng of curious commuters under the clock at Grand Central Terminal last Friday, Sen. Hillary Clinton held a press conference calling for increased federal funding for mass […]