Saturday, August 6, 2016

Transportation News Round-Up: August 6, 2016

Photo by John Sonderman.
This week in transportation, Massachusetts got new ride-sharing service regulations, a DC metro train derailed, and Connecticut debated over various high-speed rail proposals. Here are the most important and interesting transportation stories of the past week:

The Hill: Kaine primed for driver's seat on transportation issues as VP
The Hill writer Melanie Zanona explains why Tim Kaine, recently named Hillary Clinton's vice presidential nominee, was known as the "infrastructure governor" during his time in the Virginia governor's mansion: "He has fought to repair the deteriorating Arlington Memorial Bridge, pushed for greater federal oversight of Washington's Metrorail system and championed tax and fee increases for infrastructure projects throughout Virginia.

MassLive: Gov. Charlie Baker signs law regulating Uber and Lyft in Massachusetts
Massachusetts' new ride-sharing service regulations, signed this week by Gov. Baker, represents a compromise between companies like Uber and Lyft and the state's taxi industry: Shira Schoenberg writes, "The regulations impose a new fee on ride-sharing services and establish requirements for background checks, inspections and insurance, but still subject the services to less onerous regulations than taxi drivers face."

CT Mirror: CT split on rail overhaul; Malloy says repairs should come first
The Federal Railroad Administration is currently considering three proposals to improve rail service in the Northeast Corridor. While CT Gov. Dan Malloy has asked the FRA to prioritize making improvements to existing rail lines before building high-speed rail lines through the state, you can probably guess which proposal is my personal favorite: "Amtrak supports the most ambitious plan, one that would establish new lines from New Haven to Hartford and from Hartford to Providence and add a new rail route from New York to Boston through Danbury... At a cost of about $300 billion, Alternative 3 would be the only one that would establish high speed rail with trains traveling at 220 miles an hour and faster."

Improvement Alternative 3.
Graphic courtesy of the Federal Railroad Administration.
DCist: Metro: Deteriorated infrastructure likely caused derailment
Metro continues to investigate the cause of a derailment last week, and thinks it has the answer: "A Metro derailment last week that sent two railcars off the tracks and one passenger to the hospital on Friday was likely caused by failing track infrastructure in the area. Rail ties near the East Falls Church station had deteriorated, causing the rails to be too far apart... A wide gauge issue was also behind a derailment near the Smithsonian stop last summer, though no passengers were involved that time."

Wall Street Journal: Rio: A city transformed
For an international item, check out before-and-after photos of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, as it prepared to host the 2016 Summer Olympic games. New infrastructure includes the Line 4 subway expansion to connect its beaches to Olympic park, and the VLT light rail connecting Rio's domestic airport to a bus terminal.

Happy reading, and happy weekend!

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