Headline News

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  • If you're an employer in a major metro area, it's in your best interest to offer a commuter benefits plan for every worker, regardless of their preferred travel mode. That typically means free parking for drivers, subway or bus pass programs for transit riders, and secure bike storage as well as maybe showers for cyclists. This seems only fair, like a bit of a win for everyone involved. Thing is, commuter benefits for everyone can end up being a loss for the city itself. That's because the lure of free office parking is so great that it not only neutralizes the other benefits, it actually entices some commuters into their cars and out of the alternative mode they might otherwise prefer. 

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    The agency will award a cumulative total of $15,000 to individuals whose ideas help the agency tweak the way it handles its security lines. The agency guarantees that at least one recipient will receive $5,000 and that other payouts of at least $2,500 could be awarded up to a total of $15,000.

    USA Today
  • ...In a letter to shareholders Thursday, the company announced it has broken ground in Reno, Nevada, on a site that could "potentially be" the location for the massive battery factory it plans to build in partnership with Panasonic. However, Tesla said it is still evaluating several locations in four other states, leaving hope that California is still a contender, along with Arizona, New Mexico and Texas.

    Mercury News
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    ...Eight engineers who either worked for Caltrans or had contracts with the state agency had to leave their posts, as did a ninth who worked for the bridge's builder, according to the report released Thursday by the Senate Transportation and Housing Committee.

    SF Chronicle
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    When the First World War began in June 1914, the automobile was in the middle of its awkward teen years. The vehicles had popped up in the hands of the wealthy and early adopters, and Henry Ford had just started mass production of the Model T. But getting around on horseback was still the go-to mode of transportation. The war helped change that. 

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    The same technology that helped Audi’s amazing R8 e-tron Quattro race car win the grueling 24 Hours of Le Mans will make buses throughout England a lot more fuel efficient.

  • Plans to create what would be metro Atlanta's second commercial airport have prompted concerns including noise at a national park and potential harm to rare fish in nearby streams.

    USA Today
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    ...Commuters haven’t taken high-speed rail from Georgetown, battled Interstate 95 traffic in the heart of the District or embarked on a 12-minute helicopter flight from Union Station to Dulles. Believe it or not, these projects were on the drawing boards at one point.

    Washington Post
  • Judging by the media coverage, Bridj looks like the biggest thing to happen in Boston public transit since Rosie Ruiz rode the Green Line to win the 1980 Marathon. The Cambridge-based startup, part of a new field of private buses popping up in major metros, promises to shake up city transit by relying on big data to plan routes and on luxury shuttles to move riders. That buzzword-filled elevator pitch seems tailored to get both investors and car-free Millennials excited about riding the bus. But much like Ruiz did, the hype seeks a shortcut to the finish line. 

  • Jessica Musicar was shocked when she got a letter from a collections agency telling her she owed $75 for failure to pay a toll evasion ticket on the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge. She was surprised in part because she didn't recall receiving the initial notice of violation, but also because she lives in Montana - and hadn't been to the Bay Area in more than six years.

    SF Chronicle