Headline News

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  • A German company plans to open by the end of this year the region's first retail hydrogen-cell fueling station at a Ramos Oil Co. facility in West Sacramento that supplies a variety of specialized fuels...Several automakers have introduced hydrogen cars and more are expected to begin selling hydrogen fuel cell vehicles in the 2015 model year. Some are eligible for up to a $5,000 in electric vehicle rebates.

    Sacramento Business Journal
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    After a decade of false starts, smartphone-enabled cab-sharing has finally arrived. In an ongoing quest to drive down the cost of a ride, attract more customers, increase efficiency, and take over the personal travel market, Lyft and Uber have both rolled out beta services in San Francisco that match users going in the same direction: UberPool and Lyft Line. Building on their popular and easy to use e-hailing platforms and sizable networks of passengers and drivers, both services are betting they have the right formula to move more people at a lower price.

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    ...Susan Fine, who led the transformation of Grand Central Terminal in the 1990s, turning it into one of the most irresistible retail hubs in the city, says she is convinced that she can bring that same mini-mall magic to Columbus Circle — or rather four feet below Columbus Circle...“Tokyo, Hong Kong, Singapore, all these cities we say we’re competing with in Asia — they’ve all got underground retail,” Ms. Fine said. “I see no reason it can’t be a success here. And then it’s on to the other stations, and the other cities. D.C., Madrid, Moscow..."

    New York Times
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    A flight, operated by the Brazilian low-fare airline GOL, has flown from Florida to São Paulo, Brazil, on a 10 percent blend of a clear liquid called farnesane mixed with regular jet fuel...This summer, farnesane became the third kind of renewable aviation fuel to earn approval from the standards agency ASTM International, in addition to the ones made from algae and oil seeds approved in recent years.

    New York Times
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    It has taken 50 years, but New York City is reducing the maximum speed on most of its streets to the limit that existed when Checker cabs were in vogue. On Tuesday, the City Council approved a bill that would reduce the maximum speed for cars, trucks and taxis on residential streets to 25 miles per hour, from 30 m.p.h. The change will be the subject of a three-week publicity campaign by city officials starting on Monday. The new speed limit will go into effect on Nov. 7.

    New York Times
  • Federal officials said Wednesday that they would begin temperature screenings of passengers arriving from West Africa at five American airports, beginning with Kennedy International in New York as early as this weekend, as the United States races to respond to a deadly Ebola outbreak.

    New York Times
  • 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