Laura Bliss

Laura Bliss

Laura Bliss is CityLab’s west coast bureau chief, covering transportation and technology. She also authors MapLab, a biweekly newsletter about maps (subscribe here). Her work has appeared in the New York Times, The Atlantic, Los Angeles magazine, and beyond.

A photo of a new car dealership

If the Economy Is So Great, Why Are Car Loan Defaults at a Record High?

For low-income buyers, new predatory lending techniques may make it easier to get behind the wheel, and harder to escape a debt trap.

a photo of high-speed rail tracks under construction in Fresno, California.

Think of California High-Speed Rail as an $11 Billion Streetcar

California Governor Gavin Newsom’s plan to complete only a Central Valley segment of the rail link risks turning the transportation project into an economic development tool.

A photo of workers in Walmart

It Might Be Lights Out for Wisconsin’s ‘Dark Store’ Tax Loophole

Walmart, Target, and other big-box retailers around the U.S. are deploying “dark store theory” to slash property taxes. Now the state at the center of this fiscal threat may take action.

A photo of a bunch of Kia automobiles.

As the Planet Warms, Who Should Get to Drive?

A new study argues that “universal car access” could lift more Americans out of poverty.

MapLab: Which Way North?

A biweekly tour of the ever-expanding cartographic landscape.

a photo of men riding bicycles

Ready or Not, Here Comes the Micromobility Revolution

At a Bay Area summit devoted to electric scooters and other new mobility devices, fans evangelized about the potential of technology. But safety was an afterthought.

a photo of Uber's new app in Denver

Uber Wants to Be Your One-Stop Transit Stop

The ride-hailing app launches its first integration with public transportation options in Denver.

A photo of an elevated highway being constructed.

Federal Transit Funding Is on Track to Dry Up in 2021. Yes, Cities Are Worried.

The gas tax hasn’t budged since 1992, and highway trust fund is running on fumes. Could a Green New Deal pushed by Congress be a fix?

a photo of a woman hailing an Uber

Another Study Blames Uber and Lyft for Public Transit’s Decline

Ride-hailing services drive down bus and rail ridership in urban markets, a new University of Kentucky paper claims.

MapLab: The Internet Is a Metaphor

A biweekly tour of the ever-expanding cartographic landscape.

A photo of pedestrians in San Francisco

America’s Most Dangerous Roads for Pedestrians

In the U.S., pedestrian fatalities have climbed 35 percent since 2008. And federal traffic safety regulators aren’t at work, thanks to the government shutdown.

a photo of a transit bus under a freeway in Los Angeles, California.

Los Angeles Passed a Historic Transit Tax. Why Isn’t It Working?

Voters who supported L.A.’s Measure M may like transit, but they don’t seem to want a city that’s built for it.

California’s New Governor Would Punish Cities Over Affordable Housing

Gavin Newsom wants to withhold transportation funds from areas that don't meet housing targets. But some worry that could punish California’s poorest.

The ‘Driverless Experience’ Looks Awfully Distracting

At CES 2019, carmakers showed off vehicles with perfume-puffing headrests, augmented-reality video displays, and all manner of in-car entertainment.

MapLab: Map, Heal Thyself!

A biweekly tour of the ever-expanding cartographic landscape.

A photo of Clarence Eckerson, the director of Streetfilms, with a pre-fame Kate McKinnon in costume as Veronica Moss, auto industry lobbyist.

When Kate McKinnon Spoofed New York City’s War on Cars

Before Saturday Night Live, the comic starred in a series of shorts as an angry SUV lobbyist railing against the pedestrianization of Times Square.

A photo of NYC subway riders.

New York’s L Train Shutdown Is Cancelled. What Happened?

Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that the MTA’s much-dreaded 15-month tunnel closure isn’t needed. But this twist raises disconcerting questions.

CityLab Daily: Uber for Expectant Mothers

Also: A graphical guide to the retail apocalypse, and the year of the YIMBY.

In Columbus, Expectant Moms Will Get On-Demand Rides to the Doctor

To address high rates of infant mortality, the Ohio city will pilot a novel ride-hailing service designed for low-income pregnant women.

A photo of several people in a city starting at their smartphones.

2018 Was the Year of the Smart City Skeptic

Companies like Google, Uber, or Facebook aren’t built to fix society. That includes cities.