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Transportation Nation

Public radio newsrooms around the nation are joining together with their listeners to get the stories of a changing America. As the federal government spends stimulus money and people change the way they commute, Transportation Nation will follow the stories of roads, bridges, bikes, buses, subways, streetcars, pedestrians and more. Be a part of it at transportationnation.org.

Recently in Transportation Nation

Passenger Rail Projects Proliferate in Central Florida

Monday, May 13, 2013

WMFE

"We can’t depend on the old ways of doing things," says Harry Barley, the executive director of Central Florida’s regional transportation planning agency Metroplan Orlando.

"The old ways have typically been simply building wider roads and newer roads. We’ve got to look for more efficient ways of moving people." Florida may be known for aborting a high-speed rail project in 2011, but come 2014 and beyond, it may be a state of rail investment. 

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How New Jersey Transit Failed Sandy's Test

Monday, May 13, 2013

The weekend before Sandy thundered into New Jersey, transit officials studied a map showing bright green and orange blocks. On the map, the area where most New Jersey Transit trains were being stored showed up as orange – or dry.

And it might have been a good plan. Except the numbers New Jersey Transit used to create the map were wrong.

ProPublica's choice: Best Reporting on Hurricanes and Their Aftermath

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DOT Demos Bike Share at Navy Yard

Sunday, May 12, 2013

With the city’s long awaited bike share program just two weeks from getting underway, the Department of Transportation gave reporters access to a few bikes and stations at the Brooklyn Navy yard on Sunday.

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Coders Hunker In Brooklyn Bunker To Come Up With The Next Great MTA App

Sunday, May 05, 2013

WNYC

UPDATE May 6: 05 p.m.: See below for a bit more detail on the winners with links.

About 300 software developers spent the weekend together in a large room on the NYU-Polytechnic campus in downtown Brooklyn, all competing for three prizes in an MTA app contest.

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City Deploys Agents to Police Bike Lanes Ahead of Bike Share Launch

Friday, April 26, 2013

Ahead of next month's launch of a new bike share program, the city’s Department of Transportation is deploying so-called "street safety managers" to restore order back to bike lanes and make sure cyclists — and pedestrians — are obeying traffic signals.

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The Bike Share is Coming

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

NYC's bike share program is accepting registrations, and docks are already installed in some locations. WNYC's metro editor, Andrea Bernstein, explains what you need to know to register for the program.

 

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Unemployment Falls in Auto Industry Swing States

Wednesday, June 06, 2012

Did the auto industry bailout work? New numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics suggest it did, with unemployment rates dropping faster than the national average, due in part to jobs created by the auto industry. This could be the push President Obama needs to stay on top until November, but as the rest of the country continues to struggle, it might not be time to raise the victory flag quite yet.

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The Immortal Driver: Chicago's Plan to Eliminate Traffic Deaths

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Is zero traffic fatalities a utopian pipe dream? Chicago’s transportation commissioner Gabe Klein explains why he thinks otherwise. He lays out the city's new initiative to eliminate all traffic fatalities within ten years.

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The Virtues of Public Transportation, From a Proud Straphanger

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

The United States has long been a car culture. But with fewer young people buying cars than ever, an American automobile industry in decline, and rising fuel prices, this culture is facing something of a crisis. Taras Grescoe, author of "Straphanger," takes this as a unique opportunity to look at public transportation throughout the world, and to consider how trains, subways, and buses can be better integrated into our daily lives.

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Total Ban on Cellphone Use Behind the Wheel Planned for Chapel Hill

Monday, April 16, 2012

Chapel Hill, North Carolina, will be the first place in the country to ticket drivers for using their cellphones at all, even hands-free devices. Police won’t pull anyone over for talking on a cell, but drivers caught making traffic violations while on the phone may receive an extra ticket. The ban is slated to go into effect on June 1, but members of Chapel Hill’s business community think it goes too far.

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Does the Boeing 737 Airplane Have Dangerous Structural Problems?

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Every 2.5 seconds, somewhere in the world, a Boeing 737 takes off or lands. The Boeing 737 one of the world’s most popular planes, as well as one of the best-selling. But is it also plagued with dangerous structural problems? Last April, a Boeing 737 taking Southwest Airlines passengers from Phoenix to Sacramento had to make an emergency landing when part of the plane's body ripped, leaving a 59-inch hole in the roof of its cabin. It wasn't the first such incident to take place in a Boeing 737 — and a new investigation suggests it might not be the last.

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Los Angeles Braces for 'Carmageddon'

Friday, July 15, 2011

This evening, at 7 p.m. (PST), a ten-mile stretch of Los Angeles’s Interstate 405 — the nation’s busiest stretch of road — will close down until Monday morning. Bracing for the worst, Los Angelans are labeling the temporary shutdown "Carmageddon." But is it really an apocalyptic nightmare in the making? Or a virtual snow day to celebrate?

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Democrats Surprised by Obama Transportation Plan

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

(Crossposted from Transportation Nation)

Presidents Barack Obama’s proposal for $50 billion in new spending on highway and railroad infrastructure, delivered in Milwaukee on Monday, has players on Capitol Hill scratching their heads while at the same time predicting the money likely won't pass Congress this year.

Aides to key lawmakers in both the House and Senate said they knew little of Obama’s proposal prior to his announcement Monday in front of a labor union audience. Much of what Capitol Hill knows of the White House’s actual intentions it has learned from the press, several said.

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Transportation Costs Make Some Dream Homes Costly Nightmares

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Found your dream home out in the suburbs at a fantastic price?  Well, it may not be as cheap as you think.  According to a new study released yesterday by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, when you factor in the costs of transportation, only 1/3 of America's neighborhoods are actually considered affordable. (You can look up your own neighborhood in the just-released Housing + Transportation Affordability Index.)

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Minority Communities Receiving a Minor Share of Stimulus Funds

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Minority communities have been hit hardest by the recession, but they are receiving fewer of the stimulus project contracts doled out by the government.  

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Transportation Nation: Speeding up the Pace of Spending

Thursday, February 25, 2010

In partnership with WNYC Radio in New York, The Takeaway's Transportation Nation looks at the changing shape of America's transit landscape.  

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Living Snow Fences? Subway Station Skylights? High-Speed Rail? It's the Federal Stimulus, One Year In: a Transportation Nation podcast

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

WNYC

One year ago, the Obama Administration began pushing billions and billions of dollars out the door.  The federal stimulus combines tax cuts, huge chunks of federal spending and the extension of benefits in hopes of stimulating the American economy.  So how are American cities changing, and what will we remember about this massive program decades from now?

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Transportation Innovations from Across the USA

Monday, January 25, 2010

Takeaway correspondent Andrea Bernstein is just back from a conference in Washington of 10,000 transportation professionals from across the country. There, she learned how cities around the country are introducing novel ideas for transport, trying to make them mainstream. We hear about "Hot Lanes," "Bike Shares," and whether or not some cities may be looking at letting rich people buy their way out of traffic congestion.

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'This is Not Your Father's DOT': Transportation Sec. Ray LaHood

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

The federal government is on the verge of spending billions of dollars on highways and public transit projects, beginning in 2010.  Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood views this as a historic moment in American history, when federal money will back policy aimed at getting Americans off the highways, out of our cars and into public transit and high-speed rail.  LaHood steps through the many areas of American life in which he's now shaping policy. (click through for the full interview transcript)

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Washington Convenes 'Distracted Driving' Summit

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Call it Driving While Distracted, or DWD. It may not sound as serious as DWI, but driving and texting or twittering or "just" checking your email is a serious enough issue that dozens of elected officials, transit groups and law enforcement agencies are gathering in Washington today to look at what can be done about it. We hear from Kristin Backstrom of AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, who will be at the conference, New Jersey State Trooper Sergeant Stephen Jones and his daughter Alicia Jones, who admits to texting while driving.

The Department of Transportation is offering a live webcast of the summit. Watch here.

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