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Fiscal and ridership changes are impacting transportation policies at the state and local levels. These articles focus on innovative and successful transit planning, funding and upkeep for intercity and commuter rail, electric vehicles, mass transit and more.

From cars to school buses to battery manufacturing, no state can match Georgia's corporate investments. They’re making a real impact in communities across the state, creating thousands of permanent jobs.
The $935.4 million system upgrade will launch on Aug. 1, allowing riders on the Green Line and Mattapan Line trolleys to tap their credit/debit card, phone or watch to pay for fares.
Urban interstate highways displaced hundreds of thousands of households, destroyed neighborhoods and enforced racial segregation, and they continue to harm low-income communities. We need to ameliorate this tragic history.
It’s not just the decline in fuel tax revenues and its impact on highway construction and maintenance. Real estate will also be affected, and sales taxes are likely to take a hit. States need to begin developing strategies.
The current transportation budget falls short of the state’s litany of needs. As lawmakers prepare to craft a major transit package next session, they will need to figure out how to increase revenue streams despite logistical and political challenges.
Future in Context
As ridership continues to lag amid a stubbornly slow recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, cities experiment with free rides and micromobility to prove public transit’s worth in worsening financial conditions.
Sixteen states and D.C. have signed on to California’s latest unworkable mandate for zero-emission vehicles. Virginia is the first of those to abandon California’s regulations. That’s a win for the state, its workers and its businesses.
A state House committee voted 8-3 to pass a cluster of bills that would devote billions over 10 years to Michigan’s economic development and transit. But Democrats will need at least one Republican to vote to pass the package.
Four in 10 school buses in New Jersey failed initial inspections, according to an analysis of 22 months of New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission records. Nearly 6,000 inspections led to buses being taken off the road.
A new report tracked pedestrian fatality rates in the largest metropolitan areas in the U.S. Almost all of them are becoming more dangerous.
The U.S. Dept. of Transportation awarded Safe Streets for All grants to 99 communities this month. The grants help fund planning and demonstration projects to reduce dangerous conflicts between road users.
Transit agencies are facing overlapping crises, including a shortage of maintenance workers. They’ll need new recruiting and training regimens to hire more workers and transition to zero-emission fleets, per a new report.
Many industry analysts are confident that the electric vehicle revolution will continue even if Biden is ousted in November. But some — including automakers themselves — are worried about how politics could endanger the EV future.
Other local governments and regions can learn from a range of strategies such as zoning changes, encouraging EVs and making freight systems more efficient.
The state’s TEXpress lanes aim to keep traffic moving at least 50 miles per hour using the tollway’s managed lanes’ dynamic pricing. Fees will change frequently depending on the amount of congestion in the free lanes.
Chicago and San Francisco are looking to consolidate the transit agencies in their respective cities, proposals backed by state lawmakers. Advocates say such reforms could improve service for riders and make it easier for politicians to address funding issues.
The South Florida company has announced plans to buy Lilium electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) jets, and to begin flying in Miami in 2026. It’s believed to be the first U.S. airline to integrate eVTOL craft into its fleet.
Over nearly two centuries, the tracks linked rival port cities to create the Northeast Corridor. It’s a bond that will only strengthen with new federal investments in passenger service.
They'll need a lot more federal help to stay afloat.
Indiana is finishing its portion of Interstate 69, a highway planned to run from Canada to Mexico. It’s been in the works for decades.
Under an expected measure, Chicago Transit Authority, Metra and Pace would combine into a single system in hopes of resolving funding issues, as well as providing more reliable and safer services.
Nashville Mayor Freddie O'Connell wants voters to approve a half-cent sales tax to fund transit-service improvements and upgrades to the city’s sidewalks and roads.
For politicians, there are lots of incentives in favor of new construction projects but not much for maintenance. That can lead to deadly results, as the bridge collapse in Baltimore demonstrated.
City and state leaders in the Milwaukee area are addressing a spike in reckless driving in a variety of ways, from increasing penalties to redesigning streets. The city has a goal of eliminating traffic deaths by 2037.
Street safety is increasingly a source of conflict between state and local governments. Houston’s new mayor has paused a series of redesigns.
The Key Bridge collapse in Baltimore has closed the port and a key access road indefinitely. But many shippers and other companies were already more attuned to supply chain disruptions due to the pandemic.
The Sunshine Skyway Bridge collision in Florida, back in 1980, changed the way bridges are built. A civil engineer explains what might change after Baltimore.
New federal regulations would force a shift to fuel-efficient hybrids and electric vehicles in the coming years. States such as New Jersey are already raising gas taxes and adopting EV fees.
The data on traffic fatalities and injuries doesn’t account for their needs or even count them. Better data would enable better solutions.
The Reconnecting Communities program is giving $3.3 billion to help cities address problems caused by highways. But in most cases, the projects stop short of removing highways altogether.
GOP state lawmakers have often opposed new spending and infrastructure for public transit. The reasons have as much to do with the urban-rural divide as partisan ideology.