Headline News

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  • ...In recent weeks, Minnesota leaders have pushed for $15 billion in gas tax increases, Massachusetts leacers have revived the gas tax as one of many potential ways to close a shortfall, and Maryland leaders have said they consider the tax unless the country goes over the fiscal cliff. The governor of Virginia, who has strongly opposed the tax in the past, seems at least ready to keep the measure on the bargaining table. The federal government appears willing to be doing the same.

    Atlantic Cities
  • ...The International Air Transport Association today released a report projecting 5.3% average annual growth in passenger numbers between 2012 and 2016....The emerging economies of Asia Pacific, Latin America and the Middle East will see the strongest passenger growth, the group predicts. Many of those passengers — about 193 million — will be traveling routes within or connected to China. The Asia-Pacific routes will account for about 380 million passengers over the forecast period.

    USA Today
  • Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Bakersfield), the third-highest-ranking Republican in Congress, suggested on Thursday that the federal government should “cut its losses” and not provide any more money for the state’s high-speed rail program....“Look, I know Hollywood happens to be in California, but this is not a Kevin Costner movie,” he said. “If we built it, I don’t know if they will come.” 

    LA Times
  • A measure to increase Alameda Country's transportation sales tax was defeated after a partial recount failed to reverse its razor-thin loss at the November polls.

    Contra Costa Times
  • A head-on collision on the Golden Gate Bridge that injured three women Wednesday and tied up traffic for hours could have been prevented, bridge officials acknowledged, had a long-planned movable median barrier been in place.

    SF Chronicle
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    A perilous stretch of El Camino Real in Millbrae where the state was found liable in 2010 for endangering pedestrians continues to claim victims as people try to cross the busy six-lane thoroughfare....Caltrans was ordered to pay $8 million to the family of a 17-year-old who was struck in 2007 while crossing in a crosswalk....Despite the jury's verdict, Caltrans has done little to improve the crossing.

    Bay Citizen
  • Downtown voters have approved a streetcar funding measure aimed at helping the city get people out of their cars. In a special election, voters supported creation of a tax-assessment district to raise as much as $85 million of the $125 million needed to build a 4-mile trolley loop. 

    SF Chronicle
  • The Metropolitan Transportation Agency voted unanimously  to spend an estimated $1.6 million in federal funds dedicated to improving transit performance and ridership on a 16-month program offering free Fast Passes to low-income San Franciscans under 18.

    SF Chronicle
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     What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas, but what happens in California is never so shy. Or so it seems in the case of a homegrown, Golden State partisan brawl over high-speed rail that has spilled onto the House floor and into year-end budget negotiations. At stake is a multibillion-dollar, years-in-the-works public works project — but also a governmentwide spending bill that could play into the high-stakes deficit-reduction talks between Congress and the White House....At issue is a House provision adopted in late June on a highly partisan vote triggered by the California Republican delegation. It would bar any new federal money from going to the Brown-backed California High-Speed Rail Authority.

    Politico
  • ...Susan Shaheen, a University of California-Berkeley researcher, says the heavy use of Facebook and social media makes renting cars from "friends" via an agency a safer transaction. "You get to meet the people online, and they are reviewed and rated by customers," Shaheen says. Additionally, the services can track the location of the car and ID, "which help prevent those types of instances," she says.

    USA Today