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transportation

James Turner, Metro's Transit Operator of the Year, has been driving buses for 35 years.
Courtesy of King County Metro

When Seattle passengers love their bus driver, they can call a feedback line to sing their praises.

King County Metro bus
Flickr Photo/clappstar (CC BY-NC-ND)

If you ride King County Metro transit, you may soon see fares change. A new proposal would simplify pricing and set a flat rate for all times of day and all destinations.

Courtesy of WSDOT/Ally Barrera

Jeannie Yandel speaks with Ally Barrera and Mike Allende, the minds behind two of Washington Department of Transportation's Twitter accounts, @wsdot and @wsdot_traffic. They are known for posting gifs, memes and hand drawn maps to make Seattle area traffic just a little less awful. 

Ever been stuck in traffic and wished you could just levitate and fly over the crawling cars? Flying cars of various sorts entered the popular imagination more than five decades ago. Think “The Jetsons.” 

And now, a division of aerospace giant Airbus is getting ready to test a pilotless flying air taxi.

Bill Radke speaks with professor Sara Rankin of Seattle University and Scott Lindsay, former public safety advisor to the mayor of Seattle, about legislation being crafted that may aim to end ticketing of cars that double as residences for their owners, which is up to 40 percent of all homeless in the city. 

It might seem like vocal discontent about airline bumping has reached a high-water mark recently, especially after a passenger was bloodied and dragged off a United flight last April.

Now, new data from the U.S. Department of Transportation shows that bumped-passenger rates are at their lowest level since 1995.

New Bus Gives Hikers a New Way to Get Outside

Aug 2, 2017

It’s hard to go hiking if you don’t have a car, says Ben Hughey, with the Mountains to Sound Greenway Trust.

And that means “the people we see out on the trails aren’t the people that we see in the city,” he adds. “This isn’t a representative sample. Not everyone who lives in the city is getting outdoors.”

Starting in August it will be easier for Seattle-area hikers to get to the woods on public transportation. King County Metro is working with King County Parks to ease traffic and competition for parking at trailheads — and to help people who don’t have cars get outside.

KUOW PHOTO/Kara McDermott

Health care reform didn't make it out of the Senate, the military said it won't be taking action yet on the President's tweets about transgender service members and Congress passed a set of sanctions against Russia despite what President Trump has said about sanctioning Russia. So just how powerful is the  president? 

Parking in Seattle could become a thing of the past.
Flickr Photo/James Callan (CC BY NC SA 2.0)/https://flic.kr/p/4mBfBq


Tired of circling the block looking for parking in Seattle? Donald Shoup, a UCLA professor and author of the book, “The High Cost of Free Parking,” says the city can solve that problem by charging more.

With an assist from Microsoft, Washington state’s Department of Transportation has launched a feasibility study of bullet train service in Cascadia.

Alaska Airlines is still ironing out operational wrinkles following the acquisition of Virgin America last year. At the same time, its smaller, regional airline is still grappling with a pilot shortage.

Spokane voters will decide in November whether to allow the shipment of coal and oil by rail through the city. The city council voted in favor of a special election in November.

Coal and oil trains pass through Spokane daily, but that could change by the end of the year. Spokane’s city council will take public testimony Monday on a proposed ballot initiative that would prohibit coal and oil shipment by rail through specific areas of the city.



The city of Seattle is allowing Limebike, Spin and Ofo bike-share companies to operate under a six month pilot program.
Courtesy of LimeBike and Spin

Bill Radke speaks with Gabriel Scheer, director of strategic development for LimeBike, and Derrick Ko, co-founder and CEO of Spin. These two bike share companies launched in Seattle this week.

Up until now, when we talk about Seattle and bike share, we talk about it failing. We already tried that and it didn't work.

Adhering to Seattle's climate action plan would require reducing tailpipe exhaust 15 times faster than the 0.5 percent a year Seattle has actually achieved.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

Seattle leaders love to talk about fighting climate change.

Texting or holding a phone to your ear while driving is already illegal in Washington state. But starting Sunday, Washington state troopers and local police will begin enforcing a toughened law against distracted driving.

There were about 25 passengers on the final trip of the morning from Seattle. The Rich Passage I holds 118 people.
KUOW Photo/ Carolyn Adolph

In a region where traffic congestion is making commutes longer and longer, one commute just got shorter. It now takes half an hour to get from Seattle to Bremerton.

Kitsap Transit’s fast ferry service began Monday morning.

For Tim Eyman, when it comes to initiatives it’s all about timing. And now the professional initiative promoter thinks the time is right for another version of his $30 car tabs measure. That’s because of Sound Transit 3, the voter-approved measure that has resulted in a spike in vehicle registration renewal fees.

Display at the Valentinetti Puppet Museum in downtown Bremerton, Washington.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

Starting Monday it will only take half an hour to reach Bremerton if you take Kitsap Transit’s fast ferry. It runs from the King County dock just south of Colman dock – the one used by the water taxis – to a dock close to WSDOT’s car ferry terminal in Bremerton.

Until today, a car trip from downtown Seattle to Snohomish County took less time than a ferry trip to Bremerton. Now, the opposite is true. 

As part of a set of ambitious new environmental goals, France expects to do away entirely with the sale of diesel and gas vehicles by 2040.

Environment Minister Nicolas Hulot announced the proposal on Thursday as part of the country's renewed commitment to the Paris climate deal, reports the BBC.

Hulot said that financial assistance would be available to lower-income drivers to replace their gas vehicles with cleaner ones.

The first-ever mass-market Tesla should roll out of the factory this week.

CEO Elon Musk tweeted late Sunday that the company's Model 3 car "passed all regulatory requirements for production two weeks ahead of schedule. Expecting to complete SN1 on Friday," using an abbreviation for serial number one.

Musk also tweeted that production would increase "exponentially," with 100 cars in August, more than 1,500 in September and 20,000 per month in December. Musk also announced a July 28 "handover party" for the first 30 buyers of the Model 3.

You've heard the one about it being so hot you can fry an egg on a sidewalk, well how about it being hot enough to ground a jet?

That was the case in Phoenix on Tuesday, where temperatures were forecast to climb as high as 120 degrees Fahrenheit.

Updated at 1:35 p.m. ET

A decision by Oregon's Transportation Commission makes it the first state to allow residents to identify as "non-binary" — a third gender option beyond male or female.

Starting in July, Oregonians can select M, F, or X as their gender on licenses and identification cards, The Oregonian reports. Applicants who want a new ID will pay fees for replacement or renewal.

Seattle's Department of Transportation is providing $2.3 million to go toward a change in start times for Seattle Public Schools.
Flickr Photo/tncountryfan

Kids in Seattle Public Schools can expect different start times when they return in the fall. But that kind of change takes money.

How much? $2.3 million.

Uber made two big announcements Tuesday, adopting new policies to improve its workplace environment and saying CEO Travis Kalanick is going on a leave of absence for personal reasons. Kalanick said he needs time to grieve the recent death of his mother.

"The ultimate responsibility, for where we've gotten and how we've gotten here rests on my shoulders," Kalanick said. "There is of course much to be proud of but there is much to improve."

Kalanick said he would be working on a team that could lead "Uber 2.0."

The Columbia River Gorge Commission hears an appeal Tuesday from Union Pacific Railroad on a proposed track expansion near Mosier, Oregon.

The proposed five-mile stretch would pass through the site of last year’s oil train derailment that spilled 40,000 gallons of crude oil and contaminated the town’s groundwater.

Downtown Bremerton.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

Seattle is the fastest-growing city in the country, which means bad traffic and increasingly unaffordable housing.  

More than 100 people testified before the Washington state Energy Facility Site Evaluation Council in Vancouver Wednesday. It was one of the last opportunities for the public to sound off on a proposed oil terminal there.

The council heard more than seven hours of testimony from both critics and supporters of a controversial plan to build the nation’s largest oil-by-rail terminal in Vancouver.

The Washington Supreme Court reversed a lower court decision Thursday in a ruling that suggests the Port of Vancouver violated public meetings law while negotiating a lease for an oil terminal.

The court largely sided with environmental groups who argued the port commissioners violated the public meetings law by excluding the public from deliberations about the controversial Tesoro-Savage oil terminal lease.

Every morning hundreds of thousands of people traverse Austin's congested roads to get to work. Most of them have probably thought: There’s got to be a better way.

This is the story of one man who found it.

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