Transportation | KUOW News and Information

Transportation

Washington state lawmakers sent a distracted driving crackdown to the governor's desk late Wednesday. And lawmakers in Oregon are steadily steering their own version of this through legislative committees.

Jeff Bezos speaks at the Apollo rocket engine unveiling at The Museum of Flight, showing the injector plate from an F-1 rocket used on Apollo 12.
Courtesy of The Museum of Flight/Ted Huetter

Jeannie Yandel talks to Alan Boyle of Geekwire about the possibility of taking a hybrid, electric plane for short regional trips and Jeff Bezos' dream of people in space. 

It’s taken five years, but injured railroad worker Dwight Hauck sees victory at hand. Washington lawmakers are on the verge of requiring new safety standards for private transport companies that shuttle rail crews between trains. 


On March 23, 2011, union railroader Hauck nearly lost his life. He was the lone survivor of a crash in a rail yard in Kelso, Washington. 


“I don’t remember anything at all,” Hauck said. 

 


Jeannie Yandel talks with travel writer Harriet Baskas about what airlines can and cannot do when flights are overbooked. Baskas blogs at Stuck at the Airport.

File photo of Uber driver near the San Francisco International Airport.
AP Photo/Jeff Chiu

The city of Seattle's law to let Lyft, Uber and taxi drivers form a union has been halted in federal court. The law is the first of its kind in the nation.

Members of Bertha's crew pose with the American flag after the SR 99 tunneling machine broke into her disassembly pit on April 4, 2017.
WSDOT

It’s over.

As dozens of people looked on Tuesday, Bertha broke through to daylight after a nearly two mile dig under Seattle that took almost four years. Seattle is one step closer to replacing the aging Alaskan Way viaduct and moving a two mile section of state route 99 underground. 


Updated at 4 p.m. ET

It was the world's biggest tunneling machine when it first chewed into the loose dirt and gravel on Seattle's waterfront in 2013. With a cutting head nearly 60 feet wide, it had been built in Japan and shipped across the Pacific to dig a two-mile-long double-decker highway tunnel under downtown.

The machine was named "Bertha" in honor of a 1920s-era mayor — the prefatory "Big" always implied, never stated.

Flickr Photo/Jean-Pierre Chamberland (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Bill Radke talks with Mark Hallenbeck about transportation in the Seattle region. Hallenbeck is the director of the Washington State Transportation Center at the University of Washington. 

Scroll down to see what listeners had to say during the show. Or join the discussion on KUOW's Facebook page

Ryan Packer, senior editor at The Urbanist, and daily Pronto commuter checks in his bike at the end of his last morning ride to work.
KUOW Photo/Matt Martin

City crews are loading up those lime green bikes you may have seen people riding around. The bikes were part of Pronto, Seattle’s short-lived bikeshare program. The city has put the brakes on the system because not enough people were actually riding the bikes.

WSDOT

Remember Bertha, and how lots of people thought it would never finish digging the two-mile tunnel beneath Seattle's waterfront?

Well, the machine reached daylight around midday on Tuesday. After nearly four years of digging, the machine is about to reach the finish line on Highway 99 near the Space Needle.

Sound Transit's light rail shot from the SeaTac Airport Station.
Flickr Photo/Michael @NW Lens (CC BY NC ND 2.0)/https://flic.kr/p/9P9hnJ

Bill Radke speaks with Sound Transit CEO Peter Rogoff about the future of mass transit in Seattle. Rogoff also answers questions from callers and social media. 

At its peak, the Pronto system had 54 stations throughout Seattle.
KUOW Photo/Gil Aegerter

The lime green bikes stationed throughout Seattle will be gone by next week as the Pronto bike share program shuts down.

But it may not be the final chapter.

Sound Transit bus.
Flickr Photo/wings777 (CC BY NC ND 2.0)/https://flic.kr/p/63X142

Sound Transit has agreed to work with the state legislature on concerns over car tab fees.

Voters approved an increased car tab tax when they voted for the Sound Transit 3 package in November. However, as car-tab bills began arriving, the increases shocked some voters. And there's growing outrage over the way the tax is calculated.

KUOW PHOTO/BOND HUBERMAN

The fate of President Trump's health care plan comes down to the wire.

We get into the pros and cons of Seattle's proposed soda tax and homeless levy.

How generous might Washington state get when it comes to paid leave?

And some people are pretty surprised to find out that their car tabs are way more expensive this time around.

The nation's roads, bridges, airports, water and transit systems are in pretty bad shape, according to the civil engineers who plan and design such infrastructure.

The new report card from the American Society of Civil Engineers gives the infrastructure of the United States a D-plus.

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