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Lab Report

Lab Report: Uber and Lyft Head Back to Austin

A morning roundup of the day’s news.

A Lyft driver responds to a request
Stephen Lam/Reuters

Ride-hailing’s return: Uber and Lyft are returning to Austin, after the Texas Senate approved a bill to handle ride-hailing regulations at the state level, overriding the city’s rules. USA Today reports:

Texas lawmakers this week passed a bill that puts regulation of the ride-hailing companies into state hands, overriding municipal rules. Uber and Lyft unplugged from Austin last year after a contentious local referendum where voters chose stricter background checks for the firms' drivers.

But that battle—one of the stiffest faced by the companies—will be nullified as soon as Gov. Greg Abbott signs the statewide bill into law. The Texas governor has signaled his willingness to do so. “Buckle up,” he tweeted Wednesday. “Coming soon.”

Train delay: As a June 30 deadline looms, U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao isn’t budging on approving federal funds for the Bay Area to electrify its Caltrain tracks for quicker and more reliable service. (Mercury News)

Philly’s unmet potential: An 18-month Brookings study examined why Philadelphia isn’t more of a national and global leader, despite recent advancements in its innovation district. (Philly Mag)

Stadium side effects: The gentrification impacts of Orlando’s soccer stadium highlight Major League Soccer’s tricky business across the country in setting up key downtown locations with the promise of growth. (Guardian)

Crime report drop: Are deportation fears stopping Latino immigrants from reporting crimes? FiveThirtyEight finds data in Philadelphia, Dallas, and Denver aligning with decreases police chiefs in L.A. and Houston have observed.

Treaty realities: What’s nonsensical about the L.A. mayor’s pledge to adopt the Paris Agreement is that cities don’t sign international treaties. What’s sensical is that yes, many cities taking a steering wheel with the agreement’s climate change goals. (Wired)

The urban lens:

Toronto waterfront in the evening.. miraculous shot 📸by: @aldosantorini ... The architecture and design of a space are such crucial elements when you desire to create thriving places. The unique design of this bridge attracts so many people making it a public hotspot within the city. The wave design that was constructed along the harbour front are meant to showcase the movement of water in Lake Ontario ... #createexplore #cityscapeblog #placestovisit #travel #streetsasplaces #worldplanning #waterfront #photography #toronto #unlimitedcities #cities #peoplescreative #architecture #architecture_best #architectureilike #archdaily #urbanplanning #urbandesign #redevelopment #torontowatwaterfront #citylabontheground #citylab #design #cityscape #urbanlandscape #urbanspaces #projectforpublicspaces #theglobalgrid #urbanexplore #worldurbanplanning

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About the Author

  • Katie Pearce writes the Lab Report, CityLab’s morning news roundup.