Transportation

Traffic-free Times Square in New York City

Mapping How Cities Are Reclaiming Street Space

To help get essential workers around, cities are revising traffic patterns, suspending public transit fares, and making more room for bikes and pedestrians.

photo: a TGV train in Avignon, France

To Fight a Fast-Moving Pandemic, Get a Faster Hospital

To move Covid-19 patients from the hardest-hit areas, authorities in France turned one of the nation’s famous TGV trains into a very fast ambulance.

photo: a bicycle rider wearing a mask in London

In a Global Health Emergency, the Bicycle Shines

As the coronavirus crisis forces changes in transportation, some cities are building bike lanes and protecting cycling shops. Here’s why that makes sense.

photo: an Uber vehicle in Miami

The Human Cost of Calling an Uber Right Now

Uber and Lyft drivers risk Covid-19 infections to shuttle doctors and vulnerable people around. Can they get the same job protections as other frontline workers?

photo: A bus driver in Ohio wears a protective mask as a passenger boards on March 17.

Is Free Transit Safer? As Ridership Drops, Some Agencies Cut Fares.

In Ohio and elsewhere, buses are going fare-free as the Covid-19 crisis spreads. Here’s why that can make both riders and drivers safer.

When the World Stops Moving

Jarringly quiet highways and empty rail cars are signs of Covid-19’s profound economic and public health impacts. Perhaps leaders can also learn from them.

photo: Houston highways in 1987

The New Age of Freeway Revolts

Adding lanes for “traffic relief” remains politically popular. But in Houston and Portland, highway expansions are facing an energized — and effective — local resistance.

photo: Bikes, scooters, buses and streetcars on San Francisco's Market Street.

What Happened After Market Street Went Car-Free

Two months after a ban on private cars took effect on a major San Francisco street, bike and e-scooter ridership is soaring, and bus trips are getting quicker.

photo: an airliner

Why Are Airlines Flying Empty 'Ghost Flights'?

As demand for air travel plummets around the world, some carriers are operating planes with no passengers, burning fuel to hold their flight slots.

photo: a bike rider boards a Caltrain train in 2009.

It's Time for Some Cheap and Boring Transportation Solutions

City leaders: Before buying a hyperloop, maybe fix your sidewalk?

Photo: A protected bike lane along San Francisco's Market Street, which went car-free in January.

Why Would a Bike Shop Fight a Bike Lane?

A store owner is objecting to San Francisco’s plan to install a protected bike lane, because of parking worries. Should it matter that it’s a bike shop?

photo: Uber and Lyft vehicles.

Ride-Hailing Isn’t Really Green

The Union of Concerned Scientists estimates that the environmental impact of Uber and Lyft rides is 69% worse than the transportation modes they replace.

animated illustration: cars, bikes, scooters and drones in motion.

This City Was Sick of Tech Disruptors. So It Decided to Become One.

To rein in traffic-snarling new mobility modes, L.A. needed digital savvy. Then came a privacy uproar, a murky cast of consultants, and a legal crusade by Uber.

photo: e-scooter riders in San Francisco

Injured on an E-Scooter? A ‘Mobility Claims Board’ Can Help

If you get hurt riding a dockless electric scooter, you have few legal protections, thanks to company liability agreements. A “Mobility Claims Board” could help.

photo: Utah Department of Transportation workers inspect a highway bridge under construction on Interstate 15 in American Fork, Utah.

What 4 Years of Trump’s Transportation Budgets Add Up to

In his 2021 budget request, President Trump sends mixed messages about federal funding for highways, bridges, and railways. Sound familiar?

photo: bicyclists in Paris during a transit strike in December.

Paris Mayor: It's Time for a '15-Minute City'

In her re-election campaign, Mayor Anne Hidalgo says that every Paris resident should be able to meet their essential needs within a short walk or bike ride.

Britain’s Bold Plan for High-Speed Rail

Faster north-south train service around London could decrease reliance on cars and planes. But northerners say their more dire transportation needs are being neglected.

photo: an e-scooter in a park

The Local Regulations That Can Kill E-Scooters

In less-dense cities and suburban areas, e-scooter companies have a harder time profiting from dockless vehicles. Local leaders should regulate accordingly.

Amsterdam Eases Train Travel to London, Despite Brexit

It will now take just four hours and ten minutes to travel from Amsterdam to London on the Eurostar high-speed train.

photo: Dolphin Stadium in Miami in 2008

Hate Stadium Parking and Game-Day Traffic? An Idea.

What if every seat at major sporting events came with free bus, train, and subway tickets? It’s called “transit validation,” and it can reduce traffic, pollution, and costs.

photo: Vienna art museum

Vienna’s Cultural Approach to Going Car-Free

In an effort to cut vehicle emissions and boost public transportation, Austria’s capital will reward car-free travel with free access to museums and concerts.