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Tuesday’s Headlines Fix It First

How voters incentivize politicians to ignore infrastructure upkeep. Plus, are hydrogen trains the future of rail or a shiny distraction?

Photo: Patorjk|

The Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore.

  • Politicians love to cut ribbons on new infrastructure projects, but maintenance isn't sexy. And as bridge collapses often show, neglecting upkeep can have deadly consequences. (Governing)
  • A Swiss company is testing hydrogen-powered trains in Colorado, and California has already bought 10 after finding they have better range than battery-electric models and are cheaper than electrifying lines. Others are more skeptical of the technology, though. (Government Technology)
  • California offers up to $9,500 for an electric vehicle, e-bike or transit expenses if people trade in an old gas-guzzling car. But the state seems to make it as hard as possible to take advantage of the program. (Jalopnik)
  • The Bay Area's many transit agencies could boost ridership simply by integrating their fares and schedules (San Jose Mercury News). Meanwhile, one agency, Muni, is set to raise fares because of a $12 million budget deficit (SFBay).
  • Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg was on hand to break ground on Brightline's high-speed rail line between Las Vegas and Southern California. (Fox 5)
  • Nashville Mayor Freddie O'Connell unveiled details about his $3.1 billion "Choose How You Move" transportation plan and a November sales tax referendum. More than half would go to toward doubling bus service. In addition, the plan includes 86 miles of sidewalks, 39 miles of complete streets and almost 600 improved intersections. (Tennessean)
  • Louisville Public Media took a deeper dive into the city transit agency's massive service cuts.
  • Among 10 bond initiatives on the May 4 ballot in Dallas is Prop A, a $521 million package or street repair and safety projects (CBS News). The Dallas Morning News editorial board urged voters to support it.
  • The first section of Seattle's East Link rail line is set to open on Saturday. (Seattle Times)
  • The Providence city council is trying to block the mayor from removing a bike lane by passing a law requiring council approval to do so. (Current)
  • Hanoi already has an extensive bus system and is now building 14 new rail lines. (Vietcetera)
  • Seoul is testing the world's first autonomous buses, with backup drivers. (BBC)
  • A Vancouver developer is offering tenants prepaid transit fare cards worth $150. (CTV News)

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