Tuesday’s Headlines

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  • It’s election day! Yes, it sounds strange, but in this case, a vote to cut transit funding will actually mean more money for buses. Cincinnati voters will decide today on Issue 22, which would roll back an income tax for transit. But it will only take effect if voters approve an even larger sales tax hike for transit next year (WCPO). In Seattle, voters go to the polls today to vote on Initiative 976, which would drastically reduce car-tab fees and gut funding for Sound Transit. The Seattle Times has a primer. In addition, a $3.5-billion bond issue for transit is on the ballot in Houston, and a Houston Chronicle column argues that it will help improve air quality in a city that’s still smog-ridden 29 days a year.
  • Tampa Bay Mayor Jane Castor says transit woes are the city’s most important problem — and wants more light rail and bus lines, bike lanes and walking paths. It’s contingent on a 1-percent sales tax that’s currently in legal limbo, but even if it’s struck down, she plans to move forward on reducing parking and increasing housing density to make it easier to get around without a car (TB Times). And the larger Hillsborough County released its plan to spend $663 million over the next 25 years on transportation improvements that include lowering speeds near congested areas and increasing service on 38 bus routes including seven new bus rapid transit routes (Action News).
  • Is this how you make America great? The Trump administration is considering major changes to the nation’s national parks (which are only our country’s crown jewel as long as we, you know, keep them that way). (LA Times)
  • Meanwhile, so depressing: Democrats aren’t talking enough about car emissions (wonder why). (Huff Post)
  • Pacific Northwest officials are meeting at Microsoft’s headquarters this week to discuss potential high-speed rail connecting Portland, Seattle and Vancouver. No funding has been identified for the estimated $40-billion project. (Willamette Week)
  • Twin Cities officials are seeking public input to help win federal funding for the $461 million Gold Line serving eastern St. Paul. (Star Tribune)
  • San Antonio’s Zarzamora Street — one of the city’s “hot spots” for pedestrian deaths — will be a testing ground for transit and pedestrian improvements, such as shared bike and bus lanes. Revamping the street is challenging because the right-of-way varies between narrow and wide. (Rivard Report)
  • According to the University of California Berkeley, Uber and Lyft’s ballot initiative seeking to overturn California’s new “gig economy” labor law would only guarantee drivers $5.46 an hour.
  • MoGo has announced locations for 31 new bike docks in the Detroit suburbs. (Curbed)
  • Construction on Omaha bus rapid transit stations is proceeding apace. (World-Herald)
  • Greater Greater Washington confirms reports that D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser is blocking plans for several bike lanes. 
  • Ever wanted to get married on a streetcar? Now’s your chance. (Oklahoman)
  • And, finally, India is restricting private cars entering Delhi to try to reduce air pollution choking 19 million people. (India Today)

Monday’s Headlines

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  • Lyft lost nearly half a billion dollars in the third quarter, but revenue rose 63 percent, and the company says profitability is within reach. (The Verge)
  • In a few years, new battery technology could allow electric cars to absorb a 200-mile charge in just 10 minutes (The Guardian), but City Journal will likely have a problem with that, too!
  • The Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce released a plan to improve roads and public transit with congestion pricing, higher gas taxes and fees on Uber and Lyft rides (Globe). But Massachusetts’s transportation problems extend beyond Boston — 15 regional transit systems can’t afford to provide night service, and many don’t run on weekends, either (Daily Hampshire Gazette).
  • Baltimore business leaders are urging Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan to boost funding for transit, saying that Hogan’s plan to defer new projects for six years will hinder workers’ ability to get to their jobs. The system is already facing a $2-billion maintenance shortfall. (Sun)
  • A Miami-Dade transportation board voted unanimously in favor of elevated tracks for a Metrorail extension north to Miami Gardens over other options like maglev or a monoral. The county wants the feds to pick up half of the $1.9-billion price tag. (Miami Herald)
  • A New York City judge has dismissed Uber’s lawsuit challenging the city’s cap on the number of ride-hailing drivers. (Reuters)
  • A proposed Omaha ordinance would fix a loophole in the city code and fine drivers for parking in bike lanes, even when there’s not a no-parking sign. (World-Herald)
  • Streetcar roundup: The Hop in Milwaukee carried 740,000 riders in its first year of operation (Journal-Sentinel). In its sixth year, the Tucson streetcar hit five million riders (KGUN). Kansas City is ready to extend its streetcar to the south, offering access to some popular Main Street destinations (KSHB).
  • Despite privacy concerns, Sidewalk Labs, a subsidiary of Google parent company Alphabet, is moving forward with its “smart city” in Toronto. (Tech Crunch)
  • Graphic designer Jake Berman’s latest historical map shows what Cincinnati’s transit system looked like in 1912. (City Beat)

Friday’s Headlines

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  • In an excerpt from his book “The Future of Transportation,” Henry Grabar argues that the future isn’t new technology like self-driving cars, flying taxis or the hyperloop; it’s about reliable, existing technologies and giving people a choice other than driving. (Slate)
  • It’s not just Halloween — walking and biking after dark is getting more dangerous in general. (City Lab)
  • Parking garages are becoming obsolete, but they can be renovated into apartments, warehouses, shared commercial kitchens and even mushroom farms. (Axios)
  • Analytics can help bike-shares rebalance the bike supply more efficiently. (Scientific American)
  • Uber, Lyft and food delivery service DoorDash are banding together to spend up to $90 million on a referendum seeking to overturn California’s new law granting labor rights to the apps’ drivers. (The Verge)
  • The San Francisco Giants are encouraging fans to take transit to games next year by eliminating hundreds of parking spaces, raising parking rates for prime spaces and allowing season ticket holders to purchase parking game-by-game, rather than for the whole season. (Chronicle)
  • Portland has painted its first red bus-only lane to make it more visible and keep out drivers. (Willamette Week)
  • While Atlanta waits a few more decades for high-speed rail, longtime transportation reporter Maria Saporta just wants a bus stop at the Amtrak station.
  • Lyft is offering St. Louis residents $1 rides to busy transit stops. (KMOV)
  • Salt Lake City’s GREENbike is free this Saturday. (ABC 4)
  • The agency that once put a man on the moon now has a slightly less lofty goal: NASA is looking to fill the skies over cities with air taxis and unmanned drones carrying packages. (Cnet).
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