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Mass Transit

Newly released research points to the need to both electrify the transportation sector and make cities less car dependent if there’s any hope of curtailing the worst effects of climate change.
The Transportation Commission hopes the new rules will encourage the state to not only get more EVs on the roads but also to improve other transportation options. The plan goes into effect on Feb. 14.
Partisan rancor has seeped into the once quiet, technical field of transportation policy. Conservatives increasingly oppose policies that support transit, while liberals push back against highway construction.
The governor’s office has requested that companies submit proposals for building and operating an all-electric, self-driving microtransit system in Trenton that could serve as many as 90,000 people.
More frequent service in low-income neighborhoods, fewer buses to affluent areas, even fare-free transit, are all on the table as transit agencies try to figure out the future, according to a new report from the Urban Institute.
The state’s transportation section is not on track to meet its aggressive climate goals of reducing emissions by 45 percent below 1990 levels by 2035. By the end of 2020, the state had just 32,000 registered zero-emission vehicles.
The transit agency normally employs about 2,300, but is currently down about 150 workers, forcing it to trim services for dozens of bus routes. It is offering $2,000 hiring bonuses and may consider rehiring retired operators.
The project will extend the Q line 1.6 miles from its current northern terminus, costing a rate of $3.9 billion per mile. Gov. Hochul has said the money would soon come from Biden’s infrastructure bill.
In 1918, with the Spanish flu raging, workers had little choice but to continue riding the trams and trains. Today, at least in America, they can work from home or ride alone in their car.
The nine-station light rail line will connect some of the region’s most popular areas with hopes of providing greater access to jobs, health care and educational opportunities. The 11-mile trolley line cost nearly $2.2 billion.
The city will alter routes across the city to reduce wait times and improve service as it continues to grapple with a bus driver shortage and low ridership numbers. Full service could resume next year.
Transportation experts say that much of the funds in Biden’s big bill just go towards highways and a carbon-intensive status quo.
With the passage of the federal infrastructure bill, transportation leaders in Illinois are gaining hope that the high-speed rail project that would connect Chicago to St. Louis can gain momentum.
The federal agency determined the state was ineligible for nearly $12 billion in federal grants for public transit. Officials fear that this loss of funding could be detrimental to transit agencies.
Richmond and other cities are looking to amend zoning codes for new housing and business developments, hoping that looser parking requirements will allow greater investment in housing, retail and greenspace.