Friday’s Headlines

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  • Ride-hailing is at least partly responsible for decline in transit systems’ ridership and revenue, but could also be their salvation. (Forbes)
  • Cities can create jobs and reap environmental benefits by rolling out fleets of electric buses (Governing). Sadly, Governing, which has provided many a headline for Streetsblog, will no longer be publishing as of this fall.
  • Locks on JUMP e-bikes are easily broken, which transforms them into a regular bike, but also allows them to be ridden for free. Apparently teens are doing this in Providence because the company quadrupled its prices last month (Providence Journal). The Journal also reports that Uber has now lowered its prices in Providence after public outcry.
  • Sixty years after Los Angeles’ Glendale-Burbank trolley stopped running, a new streetcar could replace it. (Curbed)
  • In response to two cyclists’ recent deaths, Denver is lowering speed limits on five streets to make them safer. (Streetsblog Denver)
  • Minneapolis is cracking down on “blocking the box” — drivers who run yellow lights and get caught in the intersection, blocking vehicles, especially buses, in the cross street from moving. (MinnPost)
  • Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms has banned riding e-scooters and e-bikes at night, effective today, following a rash of deaths after dark (11 Alive). Since it was drivers who killed them, why not ban driving at night instead?
  • Rochester, N.Y. officials are choosing between light rail or bus rapid and between two routes for a planned transit line between downtown and a planned transit hub. (Post Bulletin)
  • Is Richmond, Va. ready to be at the forefront of transit again? (Greater Greater Washington)
  • Car doors, delivery trucks, ice cream vendors … add utility poles to the list of things cyclists have to look out for in bike lanes — at least in Boston. (WHDH)

 

 

Thursday’s Headlines

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  • Cities can reduce transportation costs for schools by offering students free bus passes. (Education Dive)
  • Uber wants to be a one-stop shop for car, bike, scooter, bus and train trips, and Denver is the guinea pig. (New York Times)
  • Phoenix is the latest city where the Koch brothers are bankrolling a dark-money campaign to halt public transportation projects. (New Times)
  • Portland has seen a surge in older residents being killed by drivers while crossing the street. (Willamette Week)
  • Honolulu is trying to take over a troubled light-rail project from the Hawaii state government. (Civil Beat)
  • A Nashville union has endorsed challenger John Cooper in the Nashville mayor’s race, citing his support for complete streets, infrastructure and transit upgrades. (Tennessean)
  • Cincinnati city councilmembers are laying the groundwork on a referendum for a new sales tax to fund transit. (WCPO)
  • Birmingham voters smartly rejected a $57-million plan for a city-funded parking deck. (Hometown Life)
  • New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio’s woefully inadequate Vision Zero plan — as covered regularly by Streetsblog NYC — gets some national attention from Outside magazine.
  • Everything you ever wanted to know about Indianapolis’s bus rapid transit Red Line, but were afraid to ask. (Star)
  • Artist Quiang Huang makes furniture out of discarded bike-share bikes that would otherwise wind up in the landfill. (Curbed)

Wednesday’s Headlines

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  • Uber and Lyft released a joint analysis showing that they’re making traffic worse in major cities like Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, Seattle, Washington, D.C. and especially San Francisco. Even worse, almost half the time, ride-hail vehicles are driving around without passengers. (City Lab)
  • The Nation reports on the California bill that would grant Uber and Lyft drivers and other gig economy contractors labor protections.
  • Under Gov. Jared Polis, the fast-growing state of Colorado’s DOT is shifting its emphasis from widening freeways to expanding transit. (Denver Post)
  • The Hillsborough Area Regional Transit Agency will use new sales tax revenue to restore cuts, expand bus service and plan new transit lines in spite of a legal challenge to the tax. (Florida Politics)
  • Carl DeMaio, a San Diego Republican who led the failed effort to defeat California’s recent gas-tax hike, is running for Congress. (Politico)
  • The Los Angeles DOT is using stencils to remind e-scooter riders to stay off the sidewalk (LAist). In Milwaukee, Mayor Tom Barrett put an e-scooter pilot program on pause because riders aren’t following traffic laws (WTMJ)
  • A San Francisco resident tried out Bird’s new monthly e-scooter subscription program and thinks bikes are better. (The Verge)
  • The Scene takes a look at the history of public transportation in Nashville.
  • A Texas college president says she was only kidding when she urged local officials to get Elon Musk involved in a light-rail project, but they took her seriously. (Rio Grande Guardian)
  • Color us shocked, but Musk’s Las Vegas tunnel is running into problems. It could damage the city’s existing monorail’s support columns. (Jalopnik)

 

Tuesday’s Headlines

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  • Riffing off last weekend’s notorious New York Times article, Treehugger says that when self-driving vehicles arrive, cities will be forced to choose between banning cars and penning up pedestrians.
  • Here’s an innovative idea for funding transportation: Tax corporate stock buybacks (Inside EVs). Or, if you want to keep the gas tax, at least index it to inflation and stop charging electric vehicle owners more than those who drive gas-powered cars (Natural Resources Defense Council).
  • In Chicago, transit delays are down and ridership is up. In Washington, D.C., the opposite is true. What can the Metro learn from CTA? (Washington Post)
  • Bay Area Rapid Transit is installing what appear to be switchblades or inverted guillotines on fare gates to stop turnstile-jumpers, raising concerns that they could be dangerous to people in wheelchairs and hostile to minorities and the poor. (Salon)
  • The deaths of two cyclists this summer is spurring Denver to build out its bike and sidewalk network faster, but it could still take another 18 years to complete. (Denver Post)
  • Uber is suing Chicago over the city’s exclusive bike-share contract with Lyft. (Sun-Times)
  • Lyft e-bikes’ battery packs caught fire in San Jose and Berkeley before the company pulled its e-bikes from the Bay Area after two San Francisco fires. (Mercury News)
  • Sen. Ben Cardin is urging Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan to include a protected bike and pedestrian lane on the new Rt. 301 bridge to Virginia. Hogan had promised to include one, but then quietly backed off. (Maryland Matters)
  • The commissioner of Georgia’s department of transportation thinks freeway express lanes are the future of transportation, and no, he did not time-travel here from the 1950s. (Curbed)
  • It’s the mother of all bike clutter: Beijing has removed almost 400,000 rental bikes and shut down four companies in the first half of 2019. (Nikkei Asian Review)

Monday’s Headlines

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  • The auto industry frets that, if self-driving cars never run people over, fearless jaywalkers will grind traffic to a halt (New York Times). And the problem is? (Actually, in case you missed it, Streetsblog explored that question.)
  • Democratic presidential candidates didn’t talk much about cities or infrastructure during last week’s debates. (Crain’s Detroit Business)
  • With the rise of e-commerce, cities should be adopting delivery policies to avoid clogged streets (Governing). New York City started doing just that (Streetsblog), but all the local news outlets only griped about the lost parking.
  • Months after the Trump Administration pulled federal funding for Central Valley high speed rail, California is poised to pull the plug on the rest of the project by reallocating remaining funds to projects in Los Angeles and the Bay Area (L.A. Times). That might be a wiser use of the money, but the bait-and-switch reveals that the whole thing was a pipe dream all along, opines the San Jose Mercury News.
  • Downtown and Algiers will be the first neighborhoods to get protected bike lanes under New Orleans’s new bike master plan. (Advocate)
  • Phoenix’s Valley Metro is posting “ambassadors” at light rail stations to improve riders’ experiences (KJZZ). Maybe it’s a coincidence, but voters just so happen to go to the polls this month for a referendum on light rail.
  • Seattle’s streetcar ridership rose 31 percent last year. (Capitol Hill Seattle)
  • Baltimore has awarded e-scooter permits to four companies — but not Bird, the first to introduce e-scooters to the city. (Sun)
  • San Francisco has opened up e-scooter permitting after a successful pilot project. (Tech Crunch)
  • Dallas ride-share Alto hires its own drivers and is marketing itself as a safer alternative to Uber and Lyft. (WBAP)
  • Austin now has two bus-only lanes downtown. (American-Statesman)
  • PETA is protesting in North Carolina after the Greensboro Transit Agency refused to run its anti-circus ads. (News & Record)

 

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