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  • When the Municipal Transportation Agency in July began allowing passengers to legally board all of its buses, streetcars and light-rail vehicles through all doors, some critics figured it was the beginning of the end or that Muni was merely giving in to the fare cheats who had been creeping through the back doors for years.

    SF Chronicle
  • Berkeley's long love-hate relationship with alcohol enters a new round this week when the City Council reconsiders its drunken-driving policies.

    SF Chronicle
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    After a summer experiment - deemed successful by BART officials and bike advocates - in which the regional rail transit system abandoned its bike ban during commute hours on five Fridays, BART is preparing for a second test. During March 18-22, bikes will be allowed in BART stations and aboard all trains - where there's room - all day and night. In addition to the bikes-on-board test, BART is also reconfiguring its rail cars to make more room for bikes, along with wheelchairs, luggage, strollers and standing riders, near train doors, and has plans to install more secure parking spots for bikes at stations, establish bike waiting areas at crowded stations, provide real-time information on train crowding, and participate in a regional bike-sharing plan.

    SF Chronicle
  • Jim Yong Kim, president of the World Bank, said Friday at a global transportation conference that working on sustainable transportation is part of the bank’s moral responsibility and will be a major focus of its lending in the coming years. Lifting people out of poverty is the bank’s chief mission, Kim said. But climate change caused by global warming threatens that mission, he said, particularly for future generations.

    McClatchy/Modesto Bee
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    Researchers studying air travel congestion have typically focused on a handful of hubs, those problem airports that seem to routinely struggle getting flights on and off the ground on time (we’re looking at you, Newark and JFK). Air travel congestion, however, is really more a phenomenon built on networks of airports than any individual one...."Our approach was more from epidemiology, from epidemics spreading," says Pablo Fleurquin, a researcher with the Spanish National Research Council.

    Atlantic Cities
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    ...(W)hile airline executives argue that mergers are good for passengers because they bring more service to more destinations, some economists and consumer advocates warn that all this consolidation comes at a price for travelers. With fewer carriers, passengers have fewer options; fares and fees are now more likely to go up, particularly for flights between midsize cities. And more cities, especially smaller ones, can expect to see further reductions in service.

    New York Times
  •  ...Titled “Health Cobenefits and Transportation-Related Reductions in Greenhouse Gas Emissions in the San Francisco Bay Area,” the article looks at how ongoing efforts in the Bay Area to reduce reliance on automobiles might produce beneficial side effects for the region’s public health. By relying more on their own two legs and less on four-wheeled vehicles, Bay Area residents would see measurable reductions in chronic conditions like obesity, cardiovascular disease and diabetes — as well as a reduction in premature deaths. Almost all of the public health benefits (99 percent, in fact) are attributable to increased physical activity levels rather than to decreased air pollution.

  • Almost nobody likes higher BART fares or parking charges, but few passengers showed up Thursday to complain about a plan to raise them as the transit system's directors broached the always controversial topic...Directors, who will consider the increases in the coming months, did not vote on the proposals, but a majority seemed to favor the decade-old practice of automatically raising fares every other year at a rate linked to inflation....But a plan to raise parking fees, and adjust them according to demand, appeared to be much less popular, rekindling a traditional feud pitting directors from the suburbs against those from urban areas.

    SF Chronicle
  • San Francisco plans to shift its traffic-calming strategies this year to focus on larger thoroughfares. Traditionally, the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency spends $2.5 million a year of The City’s transportation tax funds on measures to slow down traffic and make walking safer for pedestrians. Last year, nearly all of those funds — $2.2 million — were dedicated for projects on smaller, residential streets.

    SF Examiner
  • ...Fuel taxes provide some 40 percent of state highway revenues and 92 percent of the federal highway trust fund, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. But the funds, squeezed by fuel economy, are not keeping up with the nation’s infrastructure needs...The situation has also led some to suggest a radical rethinking of road financing. Gov. Bob McDonnell of Virginia addressed the issue last month with a controversial proposal: get rid of the tax on gasoline altogether and increase the state’s sales tax to fill most of the funding gap that the move would create.

    New York Times