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Op-Ed: What America Gets Wrong about Fare Evasion

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This post originally appeared on the website pedestrianobservations.com. It is reprinted here with permission. There’s a moralistic discourse in the United States about fare evasion on public transport that makes it about every issue other than public transport or fares. It’s a proxy for lawlessness, for police racism, for public safety, for poverty. In lieu […]

Tuesday’s Headlines

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  • London authorities told Uber it can no longer operate in the city because it hasn’t done enough to stop unlicensed and uninsured drivers from carrying passengers. The ride-hailing giant plans to appeal. (New York Post)
  • Apps that combine all modes of transportation into one could convince young people to ditch their cars. (Wall Street Journal)
  • Seattle has had the largest drop in percentage of solo commuters of any city in the country since 2010. Less than half of employed residents drive to work alone, and more are walking or taking transit. But because the population grew so much, in raw numbers, more people are commuting in cars by themselves (Seattle Times). Streetsblog compiled all the lessons other cities could learn.
  • A task force of Pennsylvania lawmakers is recommending major changes to the way the state funds transportation. About $150 million for transit will be shifted from turnpike tolls to motor vehicle taxes. The turnpike authority has been borrowing to make transit payments since truckers sued, arguing the money could only be spent on roads and bridges. (Post-Gazette)
  • Curbed joins the chorus calling for New York City to end free curbside parking.
  • Denver transit riders would rather see RTD cut service while it’s dealing with a shortage of operators as long as the trains that are running run on time. (Westword)
  • Six D.C. council members want to force Mayor Muriel Bowser’s hand on the stalled Shaw bikeway with an emergency vote next week. (Greater Greater Washington).
  • Detroit should fix the QLINE streetcar to make it functional or admit that it’s just a novelty. (Free Press)
  • Advocacy groups and transit users are lobbying the Alabama legislature to fund public transportation for the first time. (WHNT)
  • Hawaii is looking at alternatives to fuel taxes, including charging drivers by the mile. (Tribune Herald)
  • The Minneapolis Star Tribune’s Bike Guy, Tony Brown, is calling it quits.
  • Toronto is closing part of Fleet Street to vehicle traffic because, the city says, the intersection is dangerous for cyclists and pedestrians, confusing to drivers and delays streetcars. (Narcity)

Monday’s Headlines

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  • Vision Zero doesn’t seem to be working. Even though dozens of American cities have pledged to eliminate traffic deaths, they continue to rise nationwide. City Lab looks into why Vision Zero hasn’t lived up to its surname in New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago and Washington, D.C.
  • A bill introduced by Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) would allow Amtrak to sue freight haulers that don’t give preference to passenger trains on freight company-owned tracks, as required by federal law. Almost a fifth of Amtrak trains are delayed by freight interference, according to Amtrak’s inspector general. (The Southern)
  • Uber is going to allow both drivers and passengers to secretly record their rides as a safety measure. (Washington Post)
  • Sound Transit’s lawyer says the Seattle area agency can continue collecting higher car tab fees until its bonds are paid off, in spite of a recent referendum limiting the fees to $30 per car (Tacoma News-Tribune). Meanwhile the anti-fee initiative sponsor Tim Eyeman says he’s running against Washington Gov. Jay Inslee (KIRO).
  • Maybe Atlanta will have better luck than other cities. Under Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, it’s finally getting serious about pedestrian safety. (Saporta Report)
  • A Washington, D.C. bill would require reckless drivers to take remedial driving courses, and let the city impound drivers’ cars after multiple tickets for speeding or running red lights. (Curbed)
  • Denver is ending its B-Cycle dockless bike and scooter program and putting out a request for proposals from companies that can overhaul it. (Streetsblog)
  • Fed-up Minneapolis cyclists formed a human barrier Friday along the painted bike lane where a truck driver killed a man on a bike last week. (WCCO)
  • San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg wrote an Express-News column arguing that devoting a sales tax currently earmarked for aquifer protection to transit is the only feasible way to fund transit and won’t endanger the aquifer.
  • Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn’s “radical manifesto” includes taxing oil and gas companies 11 billion pounds, assessed by past contributions to the climate crisis, to help shift the U.K. toward a green economy. (Guardian)
  • Elon Musk lost a quarter of a billion dollars (Forbes) after the botched unveiling of Tesla’s widely mocked Cybertruck (Electrek), which looks like what would happen if John DeLorean designed a tank.
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