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Transportation

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.

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.
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.
Minnesota state Rep. Frank Hornstein, a 22-year veteran of the state House, will not run for re-election this year. Colleagues say he’s left an imprint on transportation policy and the culture of the Legislature.
It's been seven years since the New Jersey city has seen a traffic fatality, with injuries down significantly as well. Many of its improvements could be replicated elsewhere.
Just 23 cities across the nation had ridership last year that was equal to or higher than pre-pandemic levels, and 14 of those had free rides at least part of the year. As COVID-19 funds end, cities must weigh the value of free rides.
Chicago’s main metro transit system will purchase eight of the two-car trains for $154 million, and may spend up to $181.4 million extra for more. The trains will run during off-peak times.
Intercity bus ridership is up and should return to pre-pandemic levels by 2026. Other trends, including the closure of Greyhound stations in big cities such as Philadelphia, are less positive.
The state will increase its toll rates on March 1, with the highest toll rate being $15 on I-405 and Highway 167. Dynamic pricing will change the toll rate to a minimum of $1 as often as every five minutes.
A few states are proposing massive cash infusions to help struggling transit systems. But most aren’t — at least not yet.
The Georgia county school district didn’t apply for the EPA’s Clean School Bus Grant Program and hasn’t signaled any interest in applying in the future. Officials say the limited mileage range and charging requirements would cause significant route delays.
The Water Emergency Transportation Authority wants to change the San Francisco Bay Ferry’s reputation from luxury transit to go-to commuter service by lowering fares, providing more direct routes and adopting off-peak travel schedules.
California state Sen. Aisha Wahab has proposed legislation that would combine all of the transit agencies that oversee public transit in the nine-county Bay Area into one in hopes of more seamless service. Would it work?
Massachusetts voters approved an additional tax on incomes of more than a million dollars. At least a billion extra dollars will support transportation and education projects this year.
Freddie O’Connell, the new mayor, is a longtime transit advocate and civic leader. Nashville voters have rejected transit referendums in the past, but he's convinced the city needs to try again
During the trial period, which began in August 2021 and ran for 18 months, city residents have taken 1.45 million scooter rides over 2 million miles. The program will undergo a few changes to appease some concerns.
Maryland Gov. Wes Moore promised to revive long-neglected transit projects when he took office earlier this year. Instead, he’s now proposing broad-based transportation cuts.
Florida was the only state to decline millions in federal funding that could have been put toward reducing tailpipe emissions and the effects of climate change. The state will build roads and bridges instead.
Metro Transit in Minneapolis-St. Paul is using new methods of fare enforcement, as well as partnering with social service nonprofits, in an effort to combat open drug use and generally make trains feel safer.