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  • The last four BART stations with free parking, including the Concord and North Concord/Martinez stations, will soon begin charging ax $1-a-day fees BART officials said. For the Concord station, the fees will begin Oct. 27; at North Concord/Martinez, the charge begins effective Nov. 12.

    Mercury News
  • Bright lights, bicycles and banner planes. Together, the three don't seem to have much in common, but when it comes to issues surrounding Levi's Stadium, it seems residents couldn't have more to discuss....While several residents addressed their wishes to have bike trails near the stadium open for public use during 49ers games, saying it was not "a homeland security issue" as police had claimed, others said they felt like "hostages" in their own homes, unable to leave due to traffic congestion during games.

    Mercury News
  • Just because you can talk to your car doesn't mean you should. Two new studies have found that voice-activated smartphones and dashboard infotainment systems, though hands-free, may be more distracting than picking up your phone. In-dash phone systems are overly complicated and prone to errors, the study by AAA and the University of Utah found, and the same is true of voice-activated functions for music and navigation. And a companion study found that using Siri -- the voice control system on Apple phones -- while driving was dangerously distracting.

    Mercury News
  • Caltrain's electrification project may now proceed as a design-build project under new legislation recently signed by California Gov. Jerry Brown. California transit agencies' authority to issue design-build contracts expires at the end of this year, but Senate Bill 785 extended the authorization until 2024, according to a Caltrain press release. Extension of the design-build authority was necessary for Caltrain's electrification project to proceed as planned.

    Progressive Railroading
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    The latest truck concept from Mercedes-Benz doesn’t look like anything crazy. Its design is a bit unusual, and it’s loaded up with LEDs instead of headlights and cameras instead of side mirrors. But those modest tweaks to conventional design hide the fact that this is a serious bid to revolutionize the trucking industry. That’s because the “Future Truck 2025″ drives itself. And while it’s a prototype, Mercedes is serious about spending the next decade getting it—and us—ready for commercial use.

  • ...Santiago Calatrava's PATH Hub looms physically and metaphorically over transit planning in New York City. The stark white design of Calatrava's rafters hulk over the streets even as the visible joints and rust coloring give it a rundown urban chic look. From above, the building appears downright ionic. Inside, the white marble hallways designed to accommodate 200,000 pedestrians glisten, with light bouncing off in every direction.One day, this underground passage will host a high-end mall from the Cortlandt Street 1 train station to Brookfield Plaza, and the mall will offset the expense. It was supposed to be a subway station.

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    HAVING spent 38 hours last week traveling the 2,400 miles between Binghamton, N.Y., and my home in Tucson, much of that time in airports, I couldn’t help but think how we arrived at this point. Delays are now running at six-year highs, yet we have allowed a strained air travel system to develop in this country while airlines pile up tidy profits, raise fares, cut routes and add fees.

    New York Times
  • The Metropolitan Transportation Commission's (MTC's) Bay Area Infrastructure Financing Authority (BAIFA) has selected TransCore to develop, integrate, and maintain a network of express lanes providing Bay Area motorists with lower congestion alternatives.The competitively procured $54.6 million project will convert 90 miles of existing high occupancy vehicle (HOV) lanes into express lanes on I-680 from Dublin to Walnut Creek; I-880 from the Santa Clara County line to San Leandro; and I-80 in Fairfield. The work is expected to be completed by the end of 2017.

    Broadway World
  •  Just because you can talk to your car doesn't mean you should. Two new studies have found that voice-activated smartphones and dashboard infotainment systems may be making the distracted-driving problem worse instead of better. The systems let drivers do things like tune the radio, send a text message, or make a phone call while keeping their eyes on the road and their hands on the wheel, but many of these systems are so error-prone or complex that they require more concentration from drivers rather than less, according to studies released Tuesday by the AAA Foundation.

    AP/Contra Costa Times
  • It’s hard to miss the EV Arc, an electric-vehicle charging station soon to appear on San Francisco streets. The Arc, short for autonomous renewable charger, doesn’t need to be connected to the power grid. It generates all its own electricity through a solar panel that tracks the sun, storing the energy in a battery pack until an electric car plugs in.

    SF Chronicle