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  • When the Department of Transportation doled out $1.5 billion in infrastructure grants last week, one of the largest checks went to a rail overhaul in the Chicago area...."When there's delays at O'Hare, it impacts the whole nation's air transportation," said Joseph DiJohn, a freight analyst for the Urban Transportation Center at the University of Illinois at Chicago. "Likewise, if there's delays in freight here, it can impact the rest of the nation, backing up trains. This is not a local project, it's a project of national significance."

    New York Times
  • Senate leaders said Wednesday they would bring up the long-stalled FAA reauthorization legislation in the next five weeks. Majority Leader Harry Reid characterized the legislation as a bill that would "create thousands and thousands of jobs and it will make our air travel and our surface transportation travel safer."

    Dallas Morning News
  • General Motors' tank-like Hummer is known in China as Han MaHan Ma, which translates as "fierce horse." This week, the brand was put out to pasture by the Chinese company Sichuan Tengzhong Heavy Industrial Machinery, which withdrew its bid to buy the unit after the Chinese government refused to approve the deal.

    LA Times
  • Over the next 3 1/2 months, BART directors will consider how to close that gap while trying to keep the system reliable, clean, safe and affordable, while also setting aside money for future capital needs such as a needed fleet of new rail cars. The transit agency will consider service reductions, fare and parking fee increases, and cutting labor and other expenses. 

    SF Chronicle
  • During a budget hearing Tuesday night, Burlingame council members said they fear the bullet train could "ruin" the community, particularly the downtown. Officials said they were willing to dip into the city's depleted reserves to fund the lobbying bid, saying it would be needed for just one year. Early estimates were that the extra staff needed for the effort would cost $200,000.

    San Mateo County Times
  • The BART board today awarded a $5.2 million contact to spruce up the Pleasant Hill station with new lighting, signs, paint, bicycle storage area and two new staircases for emergency exits.

    Contra Costa Times
  • The California Transportation Commission allocated $69.4 million today to repave the deteriorating road surface on Interstate 680 in the San Ramon Valley....Some of the $185 million approved for 43 projects statewide today comes from a $19.9 billion transportation bond measure that California voters approved in 2006.

    Contra Costa Times
  • Oakland officials said Thursday they have stopped the unequal practice of issuing tickets for certain violations in some neighborhoods while issuing courtesy notices in others....The announcements came in response to an article in The Chronicle on Thursday, which exposed an internal city memorandum that directed parking officers to issue tickets to cars parked in the wrong direction or on sidewalks anywhere in the city except for two wealthy neighborhoods - Montclair and Broadway Terrace.

    SF Chronicle
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    The Teamsters union and environmental activists have formed an unlikely and outspoken alliance aiming to clear the air in American ports, and perhaps bolster the Teamsters’ ranks in the process. The labor-green alliance is getting under the trucking industry’s skin by asserting that short-haul trucking companies working in ports — and not the truck drivers, who are often considered independent contractors — should spend the billions needed to buy new, low-emission rigs that can cost $100,000 to $175,000 each.

    New York Times
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    South Africa has erased apartheid from its statute books, but the racist schemes of white minority rule remain engraved on the landscape in an extreme form of residential segregation. Millions of blacks still live in townships far from centers of commerce and employment. Those with jobs, like Mrs. Hanong, must endure commutes that devour their time and meager incomes, while legions of jobless people are isolated from opportunity. The new Bus Rapid Transit systems planned for South Africa’s major cities in recent years have promised to ease those hardships by providing fast, affordable, dignified travel on bus lanes cleared of other vehicles.

    New York Times