Also: Why cities should support street vendors, and the tech that’s changing how cities help the homeless.

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What We’re Following

School’s out: Every morning and afternoon, a national fleet of 500,000 buses takes 26 million captive riders to and from school. Powered mostly by diesel fuel, their impacts on the environment really add up, especially with labyrinthine pickup routes and noxious idling times. While most other vehicles, including city buses, have graduated to sleeker, safer, more efficient, and more electric technologies, the big yellow school bus—carrying what is arguably the country’s most precious cargo—has been left behind. For the latest installment of our Bus to the Future series, CityLab’s Sarah Holder has the story: It’s Time for the School Bus to Grow Up.

Andrew Small


More on CityLab

When Is a Dedicated Bus Lane Not a Dedicated Bus Lane?

Pre-signals are a rare bird of traffic engineering, but they could save bus riders a lot of time.

Laura Bliss

The Tech That’s Changing How Cities Help the Homeless

From mapping apps to the blockchain, new tools are intended to give cities the information they need to address this growing challenge.

Sarah Holder and Linda Poon

Community Colleges Are No Match for American Poverty

Amarillo College is working hard to accommodate low-income students—but it can only do so much.

Marcella Bombardieri

Why Cities Should Support, Not Exclude, Street Vendors

In developing countries, informal workers make up 50 to 80 percent of the urban workforce. Keeping them locked out of prosperity is bad for everyone, according to a new report.

Tanvi Misra

America Is Flooding, and It’s Our Fault

Floods like the one that devastated Ellicott City on Sunday are not “natural” disasters outside our control—we can reduce the impacts and risks if we resolve to.

Samantha Montano


Learn to Share

An image from New York City's carshare parking video.
(NYC DOT)

Next week, New York City will begin a two-year pilot that allocates about 300 parking spots for car-sharing companies like Zipcar and Enterprise. It’s an idea that’s already in practice in D.C., Portland, Seattle, San Diego, and others—and in New York, it’s raising a debate around who lays claim to public parking.

Slate’s Henry Grabar pointed out that less than a third of New Yorkers commute by car, so car owners might not have the best case to say “taking back public land from personal vehicle storage is unfair.” ICYMI: Here’s CityLab’s interview with the guru of parking: Donald Shoup.


What We’re Reading

Study suggests white racial resentment is the impetus behind welfare cuts (Washington Post)

A year after the Paris Accord withdrawal, what have climate mayors done? (Curbed)

Why architects make the best photographers (Fast Company)

Free cash to fight income inequality? A California city is the first to try (New York Times)

How Tijuana has become a city of exiles (California Sunday)


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