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Posts under ‘Planes, Trains, and Automobiles’

Fort Worth adopts minimalist rideshare regulations

This ought to be interesting. Months of work redrafting the city’s vehicle-for-hire ordinance wrapped up Tuesday night when the Fort Worth Council approved new rules that require transportation companies only to register with the city. The approach chosen by Fort Worth avoids more onerous regulations — including requirements for fingerprinting drivers — that proved problematic […]

Uptown BRT will be ready in 2019

A little later than originally expected. Construction might be set to start soon on dedicated bus lanes down Post Oak through the Uptown area, but the latest projections don’t have riders on the lanes for nearly three years. Despite earlier estimates to open the lanes in 2018, which Uptown Management District President John Breeding said […]

Still waiting for a design for I-45

Pull up a chair and relax, this could take awhile. After 15 years of discussion, study and ideas for improvements ranging from enormous tunnels to a massive circulating freeway loop, planners are still at least six months from unveiling their $7 billion plan for historic changes to I-45 and most of the downtown freeway network. […]

City bike plan finalized

Here it comes. Bicycling advocates – fresh off finalizing a plan for Houston’s bike future – face the challenge of getting formal city approval of their ideas as they incrementally piece together what could be a $500 million investment. Changing attitudes, however, have proponents optimistic that most if not all of the 1,800 miles of […]

Rep. Isaac asks FTC to step in on Austin rideshare regulations

Seriously? State Rep. Jason Isaac has asked the Federal Trade Commission to investigate Austin’s rules for ride-hailing companies, raising concerns that the city’s “burdensome regulations” are anti-competitive. In the letter dated June 7, Isaac said he thought the city “erected a pernicious barrier to competition” through its rules, which have become a point of contention […]

The latest attempt to kill the Uptown BRT line

Whatever. “See this right turn lane filled up?” asked consultant Wayne Dolcefino to about a dozen angry Uptown residents, standing along Post Oak Boulevard near the intersection with San Felipe Street on Monday morning. “That’s going away. The right lane at Westheimer? That’s going away too.” A woman’s jaw dropped, as though what Docefino said […]

Another lawsuit filed over Prop 1 ballot language in Austin

Sure, why not? It’s Uber Zimmerman! Litigious District 6 Councilman Don Zimmerman sued Mayor Steve Adler in his official capacity Thursday, challenging the outcome of the Proposition 1 election on the grounds the ballot language “misled voters and omitted main features” and did not conform to the required format, case caption information shows. A copy […]

AG opinion sought on eminent domain power for Texas Central

This could be a big deal. State Rep. Byron Cook asked Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton on Friday to rule on whether a private company developing a high-speed train project in the state has the power of eminent domain. Texas Central Partners has been developing a privately funded bullet train intended to travel between Houston […]

PocketCab

Austin isn’t the only city with rideshare innovation happening. Sugar Land-based PocketCab LLC plans to fill the potential void with a new dispatch app for taxi and limousine companies if Uber does decide to leave the Houston market. PocketCab works similarly to on-demand services today except that it pulls from independent limo and taxi drivers, […]

What’s the roadmap for ridesharing regulations look like?

This is going to be a challenge, no matter how you feel about it. Several state legislators have made it clear they’re eager to take control of rules for ride-hailing companies in Texas, shifting power from individual cities to the state. But with six months until the next legislative session, there’s no clear consensus on […]

What a free market in ridesharing looks like

It looks like Austin right now. When Uber and Lyft left Austin last month, they thought they were sending a message to the Austin City Council and other local governments looking to regulate them. Instead, their departure may pave the way for a revamp of ride-hailing in Austin that could draw the notice of other […]

Former drivers sue Uber and Lyft over leaving Austin

This ought to be interesting. A pair of former drivers for Uber and Lyft filed dual class action lawsuits Thursday against the ride-hailing companies over their abrupt exit last month from the Austin market. The lawsuits, filed in the U.S. District Court in the Northern District of California, claim that Uber and Lyft violated the […]

Uptown BRT construction officially begins

Here we go. Crews are relocating trees in preparation for two years of construction, starting in July. The Uptown Dedicated Bus Lanes Project will unfold in three phases, moving from north to south and starting with the West Loop to San Felipe segment. Designed to solve the area’s crushing mobility problem, the $121.5 million boulevard […]

Driverless trucks

Coming to a highway near you? Picture an 18-wheel truck barreling down the highway with 80,000 pounds of cargo and no one but a robot at the wheel. To many, that might seem a frightening idea, even at a time when a few dozen of Google’s driverless cars are cruising city streets in California, Texas, […]

Carrin Patman’s vision for Metro

I commend you to read Christopher Andrews’ report of a recent meeting between Metro Board Chair Carrin Patman and group of local transportation-interested bloggers. I quote here from his recap of what Patman has in mind for Metro while she is Chair: 1. A Regional Transportation / Transit Plan The last plan dates back to […]

First rideshare legislative hearing

There will be a lot more where this came from. Representatives from Uber and Lyft urged lawmakers to adopt statewide regulations for the ride-hailing industry during a Texas Capitol hearing on Wednesday, citing what they called burdensome local ordinances that have driven them to leave Austin and other Texas cities. The companies fielded pointed questions […]

What do we really want from rideshare regulations?

From Medium: To help ensure people have a fair chance at earning a living, Uber’s screening process embraces protections codified in the Fair Credit Reporting Act and other similar laws, ensuring lookback periods are reasonable and arrests without convictions or charges are not considered, among other indicators. We have said time and again that fingerprinting […]

Tesla tries another approach to getting access to Texas

If at first you don’t succeed, change your strategy. Tesla Motors’ Lone Star ambitions won the blessing of the Texas GOP at the party convention in Dallas this month, paving the path towards a possible end to the three years of drama over the electric car manufacturer’s right to sell in Texas. It’s a dramatic […]

My vision for Metro: Expansion

Part 1: Buses Part 2: Marketing itself One of the things that new Metro Chair Carrin Patman has been talking about is a regional transportation plan, to get everyone – including cities and counties not currently involved with Metro – to agree on what transit is and how we best go about doing it in […]

My vision for Metro: Marketing itself

Part 1: Buses Metro Board member Christoph Spieler has said that Metro turns over 20 percent of its ridership each year, just due to the natural comings and goings of life. As such, Metro doesn’t have to expend effort to persuade current non-users to give it a try in order to build ridership. It just […]

My vision for Metro: Buses

I’ve said before that I would have some suggestions for new Metro Board Chair Carrin Patman and her team as they take their places. This post is where I start sharing those suggestions. The idea is to focus on proposals that I believe are doable in the current political and economic climate, in the short […]

One year of the Green and Purple light rail lines

Ridership keeps trending up, but it’s hard to get a handle on the details from this story. Monday marks one-year of Metropolitan Transit Authority’s two newest rail lines. Well, most of Metro’s two newest rail lines. The last mile or so to the Magnolia Park Transit Center will not open until after a long-delayed overpass […]

The high-speed rail fight has officially shifted to Congress

Nothing like a little eminent domain action to spur some people on. In the four years Texas Central Railway unveiled plans to link Dallas and Houston with the country’s first bullet train, officials with the private company have talked a lot about how quickly the line will whisk travelers between two of the country’s largest, […]

RideAustin

Another new player gets set to enter the Austin rideshare market. Adding to the growing number of ride-hailing options in Austin since Uber and Lyft’s wholesale evacuation, a new nonprofit, community-based app called RideAustin was introduced today at the Alamo Drafthouse on South Lamar. The app is being described as “innovative,” as well as made […]

Japanese high-speed rail operator to open Dallas office

To be close to the action, no doubt. The Dallas Regional Chamber announced Thursday afternoon that Central Japan Railway Co. will station about 20 employees in Dallas. The company’s technical and operations experts will help privately-backed Texas Central Partners with the development of what could be America’s first high-speed rail line. Texas Central plans to […]

Feds rescind Universities line funding

Not a surprise at this point. A proposal for a light rail line along Richmond Avenue, long left for dead because of strong opposition and years of languishing, has lost its shot now for funding from the Federal Transit Administration. In a letter released Friday by U.S. Rep. John Culberson, R-Houston, FTA associate administrator Lucy […]

San Antonio to re-revisit its rideshare requirements

Just when you thought it was all over… With Transportation Network Company (TNC) tension looming from Austin and Houston, the City of San Antonio is preparing its push to renegotiate with ride-hailing companies such as Uber and Lyft. And one of the officials taking the lead on the talks believes they’ll be a model for […]

Turner reiterates the need to rethink transportation

New audience, same theme. Houston’s transportation future – and perhaps its economic vitality – relies on more options than new freeway lanes to make room for more cars, Mayor Sylvester Turner said Tuesday. “The solution is to increasingly take advantage of other modes of travel,” Turner told business and elected leaders at a lunch event […]

High speed rail opponents pick up another Congressional ally

Welcome aboard, Smokey Joe. In a filing with the Surface Transportation Board, North Texas Congressman Joe Barton (R) Arlington has come out against a high speed rail project between Dallas and Houston. Barton, whose district encompasses parts of Tarrant County and the city of Arlington that supports Texas Central Railway’s high speed rail line, claims […]

Abbott comments on Austin rideshare referendum

Sort of. Gov. Greg Abbott said Monday the fight is not finished when it comes to regulations in Austin that have driven ride-hailing companies out of the state capital. “The issue’s not over,” Abbott said in an interview on CNBC. “Republicans in the Texas Legislature have already raised proposals coming up in the next session […]

Lawsuit filed over Uber/Lyft referendum language

Oh, for crying out loud. Attorney Martin Harry filed a lawsuit — a draft of it was obtained by the American-Statesman — in Travis County state district court late Tuesday contesting the election’s outcome, alleging that the city violated election law by combining what should have been two ballot questions into one. “I don’t think […]

Patman shares her vision for Metro

I like what I’m hearing from new Metro Board Chair Carrin Patman. A regional transportation plan is critical, Patman said, because it allows everyone to establish what transit and transportation officials should be doing. Everyone, including counties and cities not part of Metro today, needs to be part of the dialogue and outline needs from […]

I-45 update: North St Bridge and more

The latest update from the I-45 Coalition: Dear I-45 Coalition member, October 2015 was the last update … it’s now May 2016 … several things have changed in the past 8 months. As a quick summary, TxDOT will be rebuilding I-45.  This will be a massive project that includes rerouting I-45 downtown by abandoning most […]

Yeah, we’re still talking about the Austin rideshare referendum

The tech community was as divided as everyone else. Joshua Baer, founder of Capital Factory, the downtown technology incubator, has been a critic of the proposed regulations. He said he believes the vote sent signals that Austin is hostile to startups. “Losing Uber and Lyft is a major setback to our reputation as an innovative […]