transportation

Updated at 8:53 a.m. ET

Prosecutors in Duesseldorf, Germany, say Andreas Lubitz, the co-pilot of Germanwings Flight FU 9525, who appears to have deliberately crashed the plane carrying 150 people into the French Alps, concealed a medical condition from his employers.

Updated at 3:15 p.m. ET

The co-pilot of Germanwings Flight 4U 9525 appears to have deliberately crashed the plane carrying 150 people into the French Alps after the pilot had left the cockpit, Marseille prosecutor Brice Robin said at a news conference Thursday.

Oregon lawmakers came into the session revved up about the need for new revenue to pay for improvements to roads and bridges.

This post was last updated at 1:51 p.m.

French investigators say they are examining the cockpit voice recorder of Germanwings Flight 4U 9525, which crashed in the French Alps on Tuesday, killing all 150 people onboard.

Remi Jouti, head of France's bureau of investigations and analysis, said at a news conference that the orange voice recorder was found mangled, but viable.

This post was last updated at 5:35 p.m.

An Airbus A320 aircraft operated by Germanwings, Lufthansa's low-cost subsidiary, crashed in the French Alps today, likely killing all 150 people on board, French officials said. Germanwings said Flight 4U 9525 was traveling from Barcelona, Spain, to Duesseldorf, Germany.

As night fell on the area, French authorities called off the search operations.

Paris has banned cars with license plates ending in even numbers from its roads today to reduce smog that last week briefly made the City of Lights among the world's most polluted places.

NPR's Eleanor Beardsley, who is reporting on the story for our Newscast unit, says the Paris Metro and other public transportation are free for the next few days to encourage people to use them. The ban on cars doesn't extend to electric, hybrid or emergency vehicles.

One section of Bertha's front body now sits on the ground near the rescue pit.
AP Photo/Ted Warren

A 270-ton section of Bertha’s front body now lies on the ground in downtown Seattle, ready for workers to add steel reinforcing. The Seattle Tunnel Partners hopes to lay the tunnel borer's cutter head nearby in a couple of weeks. 

They’ll be repaired so workers can complete the tunnel that’s replacing the Alaskan Way Viaduct. KUOW’s Joshua McNichols went to Pioneer Square to see how people are feeling about Bertha these days.

An example of a "sharrow," a painted icon intended to point the way for bikers on shared roads.
Flickr Photo/Ann and Tim (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Seattleites have many travel options, but sometimes those options clash.

Seattle Mayor Ed Murray hopes to change that with a $900 million transportation levy being floated to voters this fall. Murray says his plan, called Move Seattle, would not perpetuate what he calls the mode wars.

Work lights shined above the bustling site of the SR 520 Pontoon Construction Project during the first float-out on July 30, 2012.
Flickr Photo/WSDOT (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Ross Reynolds talks with Washington state Transportation Secretary Lynn Peterson about recent accidents at the sites of state transportation projects.

A large highway sign lies across the median on state Route 520 after a construction crane knocked it down. The sign struck a bus, injuring several people.
Sonny Behrends

Eight people were injured late Tuesday night when a construction crane knocked down a large highway sign on state Route 520, sending it crashing onto a bus, authorities said.

The injuries were minor but all eight people were taken to hospitals, the Seattle Fire Department said on Twitter.

The Washington State Patrol said the crane dropped a large steel pipe that bounced off the bus and hit the overhead traffic sign, causing it to fall onto the bus too. The incident occurred about 10:20 p.m. just east of Lake Washington Boulevard and blocked all lanes.

If you ride a bicycle or motorcycle, this has no doubt happened to you: You stop at a red light controlled by a sensor in the pavement and you wait... and wait.

Several high mountain passes in the Northwest are set to have historically-early openings this year due to low snowpack.

KUOW Photo/Joshua McNichols

When the Capitol Hill and University link light rail stations open up in about a year, it will change how many people get around Seattle. Something else is changing too: the way King County Metro organizes its bus routes. It’s considering two very different strategies. At a series of open houses this month, it’s asking the public for feedback.

KUOW’s Joshua McNichols has more.

Picture yourself standing at a bus station in Nairobi, Kenya. The unwritten rule is that none of these minibuses (shared taxis, called matatus) will leave until they have enough passengers. That can be around 20 or more people. So every matatu has a tout shouting at top volume — even banging on the side of the bus — to corral more customers.

All of a sudden, what looks like a discotheque on wheels pulls up.

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