transportation

As the car's bumper breaks the laser curtains, cameras capture the front and back license plates and a sensor pings for any Good To Go transponders.
KUOW Photo/Joshua McNichols

Stricter security is needed when it comes to people's payment information for Washington’s four highway tolls.

Overall, the toll system needs improvement. That's the summary of a state audit on WSDOT’s toll division.

A new study conducted in Portland neighborhoods confirms that the more traffic there is on a street, the more air pollution cyclists are breathing.

A number of studies have measured air quality along bike routes, but Alex Bigazzi wanted to see how much pollution got into cyclists’ lungs.

A photo from the Seattle Fire Department's Twitter feed shows the side of a bus ripped open after a collision with a duck amphibious vehicle on the Aurora Bridge in Seattle.
Seattle Fire Department

The penalty that Ride the Ducks of Seattle faces over a fatal crash just went up.

The company had already agreed to a proposed $220,000 settlement with the state. But the Utilities and Transportation Commission decided that wasn't enough. It's proposing $308,000.

This week on Hidden Brain: Traffic. You hate it, we hate it, the rest of the world hates it, and it only seems to be getting worse. But is there a way to make roads safer and faster? Of course! (We just normally do the opposite).

Updated at 2:36 p.m. ET with an editor's note at the end of the story.

Sometimes you call an Uber, and what you thought would be an $8 ride is going to be two, three, even four times more — the result of greater demand brought on by a blizzard, or a baseball game. Whatever the reason, surge pricing is not fun.

It turns out Uber is working to fix it — or, should we say, end it. The move likely will be great for riders, but not for drivers.

Hunting For Surge

KUOW Photo/John Ryan

Transit riders around the region have told Sound Transit that the agency's proposal to build 58 miles of light rail over the next 25 years is too slow.

It's been a clear theme in the more than 30,000 comments the agency has received as it gears up for the Sound Transit 3 ballot measure this fall.

'Week in Review' panel Ross Reynolds, Claudia Balducci, Joni Balter and Rob McKenna.
KUOW Photo/Bond Huberman

Will the city come to a standstill with the viaduct closed? That isn't the only transportation story this week, we're also talking about Sound Transit 3.  And can you win an election without big donations? Why aren't more people furious about Troy Kelley? Plus, a round up of this week in pot. 

Ross Reynolds talks the week's news with former Attorney General Rob McKenna, Seattle Channel's Joni Balter and King County Councilmember Claudia Balducci. 

On the eve of a two-week closure of the Alaskan Way Viaduct, former Washington Governor Chris Gregoire said she’s confident the tunneling project under Seattle’s waterfront will ultimately succeed.

The viaduct is closing to allow the tunnel-boring machine known as Bertha to dig underneath the double-decker structure. Under the original timeline the tunnel was supposed to be open by now and the viaduct long ago torn down.

Two workers walk through the first rings of the tunnel toward Bertha, the SR 99 tunneling machine.
Flickr Photo/WSDOT (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Bertha the tunneling machine will slowly grind its way below the foundations of the viaduct over the next two weeks.

Bill Radke talks to The Seattle Times transportation reporter Mike Lindblom about the mass transit proposal Sound Transit 3 and how the plan will reach residents in Everett. 

A bus moves into traffic on Delridge Way in West Seattle.
KUOW Photo/Kara McDermott

King County Metro plans to increase transit service in the next five years, and it plans to do so without adding more greenhouse gas emissions.

Herrera Beutler Pushes More Oil Train Spill Planning

Apr 22, 2016

Washington Congresswoman Jaime Herrera Beutler has introduced a bill that would help firefighters around the country get grant money for oil train derailment and accident planning.

The bill doesn’t actually call for more dollars. Instead, it would create a higher priority for funding plans in communities where oil trains regularly travel.

Uber drivers will stay independent contractors, not employees, in California and Massachusetts, just as the ride-booking company had maintained they were. Uber is settling class action lawsuits by drivers in the two states for a maximum of $100 million.

In a statement, the company says it will pay the plaintiffs $84 million, plus another $16 million if Uber goes public and within a year increases in value by one and a half times over its worth in December.

People cover the westbound lanes (right) of state Route 520 during festivities on April 2.
Flickr Photo/Washington State Department of Transportation CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

The new 520 floating bridge has only been open a little over a week. But apparently it's been grating on the ears of some Medina residents.

When you ride on buses or trains in many parts of the United States, what you say could be recorded. Get on a New Jersey Transit light rail train in Hoboken or Jersey City, for example, and you might notice an inconspicuous sign that says "video and audio systems in use."

A lot of riders are not happy about it.

"Yeah I don't like that," says Michael Dolan of Bayonne, N.J. "I don't want conversations being picked up because it's too Orwellian for me. It reeks of Big Brother."

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