Headline News

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  • In the wake of a 17-year-old Lowell High School student's death after being struck and killed by an allegedly drunk driver on Sloat Boulevard this month, there's been a lot of talk about making San Francisco roadways safer, but actually implementing pedestrian safety projects is no walk in the park.

    SF Chronicle
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    Cash-strapped cities embracing private contractors as saviors of their public transportation systems may find a cautionary tale in Fairfield. The city was the headquarters of MV Transportation, a rising star in public transit outsourcing. But the company failed to deliver the bus service it promised its hometown: Between 2008 and 2010, the company was fined 295 times by local transit officials for poor performance, including too many accidents, missed bus runs and late buses.

    California Watch/SF Chronicle
  • Top congressional Republicans want the Obama administration to reject a $5.5 billion loan being sought by a private Nevada company to build a high-speed train from the edge of California's Mojave Desert to Las Vegas.

  • For almost as long as there's been an LAX, there have been raging controversies over how big the airport would eventually grow and how many homes and businesses would be sacrificed for that progress. Back in the late 1960s, some 800 residences just west of Los Angeles International Airport were razed because of jet noise and safety concerns.

    Sacramento Bee
  • The nation's top airlines continued to get passengers and their bags to their destinations on time at a decent clip in January, thanks in part to mild weather...."The airlines are getting a lot more proactive about pre-canceling flights even with the threat of any kind of weather events, said Kevin Schorr, vice president of Campbell-Hill Aviation Group. "Sometimes it's justified. Sometimes after the fact, it's not. They don't want to leave planes in places they won't be able to get them out."

    USA Today
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    They have thwarted the poisons. They have evaded the traps. And on Monday, the rats of the New York City subway system received another shot across the bow from theMetropolitan Transportation Authority...“This technology, if successful, could complement our current strategies of poisoning and exclusion for rodent management,” Thomas Lamb, the chief of innovation and technology for New York City Transit, told the committee.

    New York Times
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    Japan said Tuesday that it had extracted gas from offshore deposits of methane hydrate — sometimes called “flammable ice” — a breakthrough that officials and experts said could be a step toward tapping a promising but still little-understood energy source. The gas, whose extraction from the undersea hydrate was thought to be a world first, could provide an alternative source of energy to known oil and gas reserves....Experts estimate that the carbon found in gas hydrates worldwide totals at least twice the amount of carbon in all of the earth’s other fossil fuels, making it a potential game-changer for energy-poor countries like Japan. 

    New York Times
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    Everyone knows that mashing the gas, slamming on the brakes and cruising at high speeds kills fuel economy. And considering the average driver spends upwards of $3,000 a year on gas, you’d think people would be more inclined to change their driving behavior. But it’s like exercise: We all know we should do it, but we don’t have proper motivation. Automatic wants to change that.

  • The chief executive of the XpressWest high-speed rail project has responded to a letter from two congressional budget committee members calling for the rejection of a federal loan critical to the project, saying the information they have was “formulated using outdated information and faulty data from an organization with a clear bias.”

  • ...In the past 37 years since SamTrans was formed, it has substantially expanded its services--increasing paratransit services in response to a federal mandate, partnering in the Caltrain system and supporting the construction of BART to the airport--all without adding any new revenue. In the years since SamTrans' creation, the bus agency has never sought additional local funding support, even as its financial commitments mounted. But it needs help now.

    Mercury News