Also: What happened to NYC’s L Train shutdown? And L.A. debuts its earthquake alert app.

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What We’re Following

Mileage may vary: Ride-hailing services like Uber and Lyft have certainly been part of what’s transformed personal mobility in cities—but the societal benefits have been less clear. As we enter the eighth year of the Uber and Lyft revolution, the promise that ride-hailing will lead people to “ditch their car” has some mixed results in the latest American Community Survey from the Census. While the number of “car-free” and “car-light” households have grown faster than population in cities where ride-hailing is popular, so has household vehicle ownership in those same cities. Said another way, more households are ditching cars; other households have more cars.

Today on CityLab, Bruce Schaller, the transportation consultant who recently discovered that ride-hailing services have increased traffic congestion in New York City, digs into the contradictory data to discover another phenomenon that might be driving the increase in car ownership in America’s most multimodal cities: The “car-rich” household. Read his findings: In a Reversal, ‘Car-Rich’ Households Are Growing.

Andrew Small


More on CityLab

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.

Laura Bliss

Getting Around the City With Kids, When Formal Transit Has Collapsed

In Harare, Zimbabwe, mothers going about daily tasks have few good options for travel. Here's how we make it work.

Maureen Sigauke

L.A.’s Public Earthquake-Warning App Is the First in the U.S.

ShakeAlertLA aims to give smartphone users a few seconds’ warning of imminent quakes.

Amanda Kolson Hurley

Meet the Jane Jacobs of the Smart Cities Age

All eyes are on Sidewalk Labs' futuristic plans for a data-driven neighborhood in Toronto. But no one's watching more closely than Bianca Wylie.

Laura Bliss

The 2018 Retail Apocalypse, in 6 Charts and a Map

Store closures are up as online shopping grows—but other measures suggest brick-and-mortar retail is still doing OK.

David Montgomery


Shutdown Watch

A TSA agent directs people through airport security.
(Mark Lennihan/AP)

The partial government shutdown is entering its third week, and more effects are beginning to surface. CNN reports that hundreds of TSA officers called out sick from at least four major airports last week. Some 51,000 TSA employees considered essential have been working without funding since December 22, and as their first paycheck delay comes on Friday, increased wait times at airport security lines might produce new public pressure. One union official explained that TSA officers are calling out sick to take on paying work and save money on daycare.

Also in shutdown symptoms: HUD sent last-minute letters to 1,500 landlords to prevent evictions (Washington Post), and the USDA can’t say how long it can keep paying for food stamps (Politico).


What We’re Reading

How L.A. Unified is preparing for a teacher’s strike (Los Angeles Times)

Why timber is a hot topic in Georgia politics (Next City)

Stockholm’s digital billboards now help homeless people find shelter during freezing weather (Curbed)

Bad air makes you bad at your job (Fast Company)


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