It is still as dark as night as Jim Rix steps out of his red brick Chicago bungalow and gets into his car, parked on the street. It's 6 a.m., and the 53-year-old engineer is getting an early start on his 35-mile commute out to Argonne National Laboratory in Chicago's southwest suburbs.
"Depending upon weather and time of day, it can take 45 minutes to two hours to get to and from work," Rix says.
This story is part of a series on commuting in America.
Imagine a hospital on top of a mountain. How would doctors and patients get in and out? In Portland, Ore., commuters don't have to drive up a twisty, two-lane road to get there. Instead, they glide up 500 feet in the air in a gleaming silver gondola.
Portland's aerial tram connects the south waterfront down near the river to the Oregon Health and Science University on top of Marquam Hill.
For nurse Sara Hone, it has changed her commute. "I love it. I can't imagine a time without it," she says.
In their first televised debate on KING5 TV, Mayor Mike McGinn and State Senator Ed Murray engaged in a sharp but mostly civil exchange over housing, transportation, and police reform, among other things.
Every year in January, volunteers fan out across King County to count the number of people who are homeless. In February, the great backyard bird count tracks birds and species all over the world.
On Thursday, it was Washington state’s bicycle count, when hundreds of people across the state stood on corners and counted cyclists, pedestrians and others using non-motorized method of transportation like in-line skates and skateboards.
Correction 10/10/2013: This story has been changed to clarify candidate Vandana Slatter’s position on light rail and differs from the audio.
Bellevue has three City Council races on the ballot this fall. The candidates for those races say they have ideas to help Bellevue manage future growth and to make the downtown feel less like “an airport terminal.” They spoke at a candidate forum yesterday hosted by the Bellevue Downtown Association.
The Seattle City Council is trying to determine how it should handle new rideshare companies that compete with taxis. Council members told a packed meeting Thursday they are leaning towards embracing — and regulating — them.
A new tolling proposal would ask drivers to pay as little as $1.00 for taking the Highway 99 tunnel under downtown Seattle. During morning and evening commutes, rates would jump to $1.25. A state advisory committee is hoping the proposal will strike a balance between tolling revenues and potential traffic diversion.
Two years ago, when the tunnel plan was approved by voters, the proposed tolling rates were as high as $3.00 during peak hours. Under that plan, traffic planners were concerned that high tolling rates would divert too many cars onto downtown streets. Maud Daudon is co-chair of the Advisory Committee on Tolling and Traffic Management. She's also president and CEO of the Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce. She talked with Ross Reynolds.
Worker strikes are in the air these days, it seems. Many of them involve the lowest paid workers in our cities. That brings to mind a recent memorable radio moment when a San Francisco transit strike led a tech CEO in San Francisco to complain via social media that transit workers should be automated. Marketplace's Krissy Clark didn't let him off so easily.
The Washington state Department of Transportatation says the new replacement bridge on I-5 over the Skagit River should be ready to drive on Sunday morning.
WSDOT officials say the weather’s drying out enough to pour concrete on the replacement span that’s being constructed adjacent to the temporary bridge. Recent heavy rains have delayed the pouring operation. After the concrete cures, they’ll slide the new bridge into place.
It has been two months since the last special session in Olympia came to a close. Now Governor Jay Inslee is saying he wants to call another one.
Lawmakers failed to pass a transportation package during the last special session. The special session will only be called if there are enough votes to pass a transportation package that was stalled during the last legislative session.
Senator Rodney Tom said he is holding seven public meetings around the state to assess what the public wants in a transportation plan. Jerry Cornfield of the Everett Herald joins us for more analysis on the compromises and possibilities for a new plan.