Transportation

How Media Coverage of Car Crashes Downplays the Role of Drivers

Safety advocates have long complained that media outlets tend to blame pedestrians and cyclists who are hit by cars. Research suggests they’re right.

photo: an Uber driver.

Did Uber Just Enable Discrimination by Destination?

In California, the ride-hailing company is changing a policy used as a safeguard against driver discrimination against low-income and minority riders.

Why Car-Free Streets Will Soon Be the Norm

In cities like New York, Paris, Rotterdam, and soon San Francisco, car-free streets are emerging amid a growing movement.

photo: a commuter looks at a small map of the London Tube in 2009

Help! The London Tube Map Is Out of Control.

It’s never been easy to design a map of the city’s underground transit network. But soon, critics say, legibility concerns will demand a new look.

A photo-illustration of a child looking at a garbage truck

Why Are Kids Obsessed With Garbage Trucks? An Investigation

For some kids, the weekly trash pickup is a must-see spectacle. Parents, children, waste-management professionals, and experts on childhood all offer theories as to why.

photo: a woman on an electric scooter

Most Electric Scooter Riders Are Men. Here's Why.

Most users of micromobility devices like dockless scooters and e-bikes are young men. Fixing that gender gap may take more than just adding safety features.

photo: a high-speed train in Switzerland

The Case for Portland-to-Vancouver High-Speed Rail

At the Cascadia Rail Summit outside Seattle, a fledgling scheme to bring high-speed rail from Portland to Vancouver found an enthusiastic reception.

Why Is Cell Phone Reception So Bad on Airport Tarmacs?

Cell reception is bad after boarding because of the way airports are designed.

When Cities Don’t Accept Cash for Public Services

This year saw a wave of backlash against cashless retail, but what about when cities like Washington, D.C., want to move toward all-digital payments?

photo: An Amazon shop opens in Paris in 2018.

Paris to Amazon: No Free Delivery for You

Mayor Anne Hidalgo wants the e-commerce company to pay for the carbon emissions and traffic congestion that online shopping generates in the French capital.

photo: Pre-Thanksgiving traffic on the Long Island Expressway in 2018.

The Lessons of Holiday Traffic Congestion

The annual holiday gridlock reveals the failure of the American imagination when it comes to other transportation choices.

This Thanksgiving, Give Thanks for Public Transit

“Hell is other people,” Sartre wrote, and public transit serves them up aplenty, but chance encounters with unfamiliar folk are the joy of cities. Be thankful.

photo: Uber app and sign for City of London

Why London Has Stripped Uber’s License

The ride-hailing company could be banned from its largest European market after passenger security concerns trigger a new crackdown by Transport for London.

photo: passengers in D.C.'s Metro

The ‘Namewashing’ of Public Transit

D.C.’s Metro plans to raise extra revenue by having companies buy naming rights for public transit stations. But corporate “namewashing” may not be easy money.

photo: Elon Musk and a Tesla Cybertruck

Bring on the Apocalypse: Cybertruck Is Ready

Tesla's Elon Musk shatters expectations (and glass) with a bulletproof electric pickup that looks like it expects you to shoot at it. Maybe you will.

Scooter Riders Hate Wearing Helmets. Maybe This Will Help.

As the debate over electric scooters and safety continues, Bird is trying to tap the power of the selfie to encourage riders to don protective headgear.  

What Happens When a City Tries to End Traffic Deaths

Several years into a ten-year “Vision Zero” target, some cities that took on a radical safety challenge are seeing traffic fatalities go up.

photo: a digital advertising billboard on a car roof

Car-Mounted Ads Take a New Direction: Data Collection

A startup called Firefly puts sensor-equipped advertising screens on top of Uber and Lyft vehicles. Now they do more than marketing: They collect data.

photo: A Starship Technologies commercial delivery robot navigates a sidewalk.

My Fight With a Sidewalk Robot

A life-threatening encounter with AI technology convinced me that the needs of people with disabilities need to be engineered into our autonomous future.

photo: a police officer in the NYC subway.

Why Public Transit Is an Equity Battleground

From New York City to Santiago, public transit plays an increasingly central role in debates over social equity, inclusion, and who should get the right to ride.

photo: Interstate 70 near Odessa, Mo.

A Transportation Grant Program's Trump-Era Rebrand

Under Trump, an Obama-era transportation grant program designed to fund innovative multi-modal projects became a rural highway-building machine.