Headline News

Join our mailing list to receive a weekly transportation news round-up, plus Berkeley Transportation Quarterly, our research news publication.
  • zzmercedeselectric.jpg

    The race to build the world’s first production electric supercar is over. And Audi blinked....Mercedes-Benz pressed full steam ahead with their 740-horsepower, battery-powered SLS – astronomic development costs be damned. The line between vaporware and honest-to-goodness technology can indeed be crossed with persistence and piles of euros, even if those future-friendly technologies are hidden beneath the current SLS’s achingly attractive – if aging – silhouette.

    Wired
  •  Later this spring, Bostonians eager to flee to Cape Cod for the weekend will have an option other than sitting in bumper-to-bumper traffic for 70 miles and fuming along with everyone else. Starting May 24, they can hop a train to Hyannis, where regional buses, ferries and rental cars will await to whisk them out to the beaches, islands and wind-swept dunes. The train, the first passenger service to the cape since 1995, is one small piece of a major $13 billion transportation overhaul envisioned by Gov. Deval Patrick. That overhaul is aimed chiefly at repairing and upgrading worn-out bridges, roads and commuter lines in Massachusetts, but about 20 percent of it would go toward reviving train service to the cape and elsewhere in the state.

    New York Times
  • zzciclistpolkstreet.jpeg

    ...To urban planners and bicycle enthusiasts, Polk Street is a key to San Francisco's 4-decade-old "transit-first" policy, designed to reduce the reliance on private cars in the second-most-densely populated city in the U.S. But to the more than 300 vocal denizens of Polk Gulch, who packed a standing-room-only neighborhood meeting last week, the proposal is a commerce killer, one that would create "a freeway for bikes," with little benefit to shops along the route... Audience members jeered when Edward D. Reiskin, the city's transportation director, couldn't say how many of the 320 curbside parking spots along Polk could be taken out under the plan.

    LA Times
  •  Is your car spying on you? If it's a recent model, has a fancy infotainment system or is equipped with toll-booth transponders or other units you brought into the car that can monitor your driving, your driving habits or destination could be open to the scrutiny of others. If your car is electric, it's almost surely capable of ratting you out. You may have given your permission, or you may be the last to know.

    USA Today
  • Equipped with artificial intelligence, Professor Baher Abdulhai’s traffic lights know how to learn. A project by the University of Toronto professor of civil engineering marries cameras with computers to create traffic lights that can measure vehicle flow, understand what it means, and adapt signal patterns to reduce gridlock. “We want the traffic light to learn from experience,” explained Prof. Abdulhai, who is principal investigator on the University of Toronto project, dubbed MARLIN, and an expert in intelligent transportation systems (ITS).

    Globe and Mail
  • ...“When there’s excess road space that cars don’t need, it’s given over to bikes, peds, and transit,” said Livable City Executive Director Tom Radulovich, “but where there’s a real shortage of road space, in the most congested parts of the city, the car is still the priority.”

    SF.Streetsblog.org
  • zztruckcycling.jpg

    ... Though trucks make up only five percent of Greater London's vehicles, they are responsible for 50 percent of the city's cyclist fatalities. The London Cycling Campaign-designed truck has a lower cab and larger windows in front and to the sides, to help drivers have a better view of their immediate surroundings. It also has lower bumper clearance, so that in the event of a collision, a cyclist is more likely to be pushed forward than thrown beneath the wheels.

    Atlantic Cities
  • zzflorida.png

     Today intercity passenger service is handled by Amtrak, and while ridership has been growing for years, Amtrak loses money largely because it has a mandate to run unprofitable lines in remote areas. As a result, fiscal conservatives have recently called for Amtrak to privatize some of its services. So all eyes turned to Florida last spring when a private company called Florida East Coast Industries announced it would make a go at passenger rail travel.

    Atlantic Cities
  •  China imposed long-debated stringent fuel economy standards on Wednesday, making life tougher for cash-strapped small domestic brands that are already struggling amid a slowdown of the world's biggest auto market.

    Reuters
  • ...The clean technology business is at a crossroads. Never have so many green products been as close to ready for prime time as they are now, technically finished and increasingly cost-competitive. As this USA TODAY series will explain, green innovation is changing everything from vacations to war-making.

    USA Today