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  •  With an August deadline looming, the House voted Tuesday to temporarily patch over a multibillion-dollar pothole in federal highway and transit programs while ducking the issue of how to put them on a sound financial footing for the long term. The action cobbles together $10.8 billion by using pension tax changes, customs fees and money from a fund to repair leaking underground fuel storage tanks to keep the federal Highway Trust Fund, which pays for transportation programs nationwide, solvent through May 2015. 

    AP/SF Chronicle
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    The Municipal Transportation Agency on Tuesday approved a $1.2 billion contract withSiemens Corp. to replace and expand the 155-car fleet of light-rail vehicles that ply the Muni Metro lines - the backbone of San Francisco's transit system. The deal, which also needs approval from theBoard of Supervisors, will bring more elbow room and reliability to long-suffering Muni Metro passengers, accustomed to cramming onto crowded trains that often creep through the subways and show up late.

    SF Chronicle
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    For all the monorail enthusiasts out there just now learning that New York once had its own single-track wonder, put your excitement on hold. For on this date in 1910, during its inaugural journey, the monorail lurched over, sending scores of people to the hospital.

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    n 1975, largely in response to OPEC's oil embargo against the United States, Congress enacted a new energy law that included provisions to increase "Corporate Average Fuel Economy." These CAFE standards, as they're known, led to a remarkable jump in the fuel efficiency for the U.S. auto fleet, with a near doubling of fuel economy and a 50 percent jump for light trucks in just a decade. But federal policymakers coddled the auto industry in the 1970s, and by the 1980s the fuel-efficiency curve had plateaued.

  • Jeffrey Gettleman rides on the unregulated minibuses that are fighting a move toward electronic payments.

    New York Times
  • Under the new Bay Area Commuter Benefits Program (the “Program”), employers with at least 50 full-time employees in the San Francisco Bay Area now are required to provide commuter benefits to employees at all Bay Area locations...Under the Program, all public, private, and non-profit employers with 50 or more full-time employees in the covered counties are required to do the following by September 30, 2014

  • ...Dubbed the A330neo, the update to the A330 is aimed at helping Airbus compete for sales against rival Boeing — mainly against Boeing's 787 Dreamliner — in the market for long-haul passenger aircraft...n officially moving forward with the update, Airbus says its new A330-800neo and A330-900neo models will cut fuel consumption by 14% per seat compared with current models while also boosting the aircraft's range by 400 nautical miles. The new model's efficiency will be boosted by aerodynamic tweaks and new engines — "neo" is short for new-engine option.

    USA Today
  • The 787-9 made the performance at the bi-annual airshow on Monday. Captured on video and narrated by Boeing, the footage shows a series of dramatic banks and other maneuvers that highlight the jet's performance capabilities. Boeing's 787-9 is its latest – and so far biggest – variant of its new-age Dreamliner. The 787-9 flew for the first time last year, and – just last week – Boeing made its first-ever delivery of the model to launch customer Air New Zealand.

    USA Today
  • An alliance that includes farm groups and environmental advocates painted the situation with farmland conversion as dire in a report last week. The Golden State grows about half of the nation's fruits and vegetables, it said, and the crops help power California's economy. They also create an ecosystem that's home to birds and other fauna and flora.

  • ...The nearly $1.2 billion deal the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency will consider with Siemens Industry would replace the 151 light-rail vehicles acquired from manufacturer AnsaldoBreda since 1996. Under the proposed contract, the transit agency would first get 24 cars for near-term expansion and also have the option of 85 additional vehicles for a total of 260, a figure that is needed with the impending Central Subway and transport to Mission Bay, said John Haley, transit director for the SFMTA.

    SF Examiner