Transportation

Politics

What we stand to lose (or gain!) in a compromise transportation bill

As the clock ticks down on compromise legislation, here are the things in the Senate version of the transportation bill that we'd most hate to lose.

Transportation

Sidecar lets drivers rent out their empty backseat

In theory, Sidecar is about sharing. Here’s how it’s supposed to work: You’re headed downtown in your car, but before you leave you check your Sidecar app. A user a few blocks down is looking for a ride in the same direction. You swing by, pick her up, and drop her off. Everyone wins by sharing — she gets to her destination, and you get to feel good that the gas you just burned went towards transporting more than one human being. (Plus, Sidecar suggests that she “donate” a little cash to you for your trouble.) In practice, Sidecar seems …

Cities

Visualize a shorter commute — or a better job

Seeing how our cities facilitate the commute to work reveals a lot about the benefit of investing in infrastructure.

Animals

Flock of 5,000 ducks stops traffic in city of 6 million people

Taizhou lies 190 miles south of Shanghai and has 6 million people, putting its size at “somewhere in between Los Angeles and New York City” on a U.S. scale and “just some town” on a Chinese one. One day recently, though, the streets were filled not with cars, scooters, or pedestrians, but with ducks. Thousands upon thousands of ducks:

Cities

These elderly fatality statistics may spoil your affection for big-box stores

Obviously, everyone loves a nice strip mall. The parking lot, the low-slung, cheap-looking buildings, the pedestrian walkways that no drivers pay attention to. And big-box stores! The lots! The long walks down busy parking lanes! The Brutalism-meets-Brady-Bunch aesthetic! What’s not to like? So it pains me, truly,  to be the bearer of this bad news. There’s a slight (actually, not-so-slight) correlation between strip malls and big-box stores and increased deaths among the elderly. A recently released report [PDF] from the Texas Transportation Institute at Texas A&M is the bearer of this bad news. Anticipating that some 10 percent of the population …

Diesel exhaust causes cancer, WHO says

The unexpected-but-still-important finding puts diesel exhaust on par with second-hand smoke.

Transportation

2,500-mph train could get you from New York to London in an hour

Nature abhors a vacuum, but transit nerds and people eager to see a science fiction future LOVE IT. That’s because a vacuum is the secret ingredient for this (theoretical, but plausible) superfast train, which could speed under the ocean to get you from New York to London in one hour, or New York to Beijing in two.

Cities

Why the rumors about the iPhone ditching walking, public transit are wrong

We got our hands on a developer version of the new iPhone operating system. What we found may be even better than you would expect.

Transportation

Transit workers stop train to save toy bunny

Casey Carey-Brown, a Boston woman who blogs about her daughter “Roozle,” has chronicled a harrowing story about childhood trauma narrowly averted by big-hearted transit workers. It concerns Roozle’s toy bunny Nummy, pictured above. (Roozle is the human child, Nummy is the bunny. I just don’t want you getting confused and thinking this was almost way worse than it almost was.) Here’s the setup: Today, Nummy had a great day at school and just before the train arrived to pick us up at Stony Brook, Roozle told us that Nummy was a little scared of the train and she needed to …

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