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What Congress Should Be Talking About When It Talks About a National Transportation Plan

July 30, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Late Tuesday, with federal transportation funding set to run dry by the end of the week, the U.S. Senate approved a funding patch that would stem the tide through mid-December. That stands in contrast to a House-approved patch that would fund transportation through May. The Senate hopes the earlier deadline ...

Oregon's Pay-Per-Mile Road-Funding Program Continues to Evolve

July 9, 2014 We've seen this movie before, where Congress heads straight toward a transportation funding cliff it totally saw coming, so we know that lawmakers will find some awkward-and-unnecessarily-dramatic way to stop at the edge. That's great for all the jobs spared in the short term, but bad for the hope of ...

How Tolls Could Help Prevent a U.S. Transportation Crisis

May 8, 2014 Earlier this week, Joseph Kile of the Congressional Budget Office outlined for a Senate committee the dire situation that is the Highway Trust Fund. The fund that pays for U.S. highway and transit projects — largely populated by the weak federal gas tax — will more or less run out ...

How Twitter Could Help Police Departments Predict Crime

March 19, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Initially, Matthew Gerber didn't believe Twitter could help predict where crimes might occur. For one thing, Twitter's 140-character limit leads to slang and abbreviations and neologisms that are hard to analyze from a linguistic perspective. Beyond that, while criminals occasionally taunt law enforcement via Twitter, few are dumb or bold ...

How Driverless Cars Could Save the Government Lots and Lots of Money

February 21, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Most of us experience the inefficiencies of America's transportation system every day. Congestion costs us time, poor roads cost us car repair fees, unrealized safety improvements cause hardship, injury and even death. Brookings economist Clifford Winston recently put a number on these inefficiencies — at least $100 billion — and ...

Meet the Next-Generation Bus

September 9, 2013 FROM NEXTGOV arrow For a lot of cities, the future of public transportation is going to be the good old bus. That doesn't mean the bus itself will be good and old. Mannheim, Germany, and Gumi, South Korea, recently joined a growing list of cities outfitting electric buses with "induction charging" — a ...

Old Payphones as Electric Car Charging Stations?

September 4, 2013 FROM NEXTGOV arrow One of the most intriguing ideas to emerge from New York's contest to transform its thousands of semi-obsolete payphones was turning them into charging stations for electric vehicles. City officials have taken notice. Technology commissioner Rahul Merchant recently told the New York Times that converting public phones into EV stations ...

Why We Should Build a National Internet System Under the National Highway System

August 22, 2013 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Earlier this month, The Daily Yonder, a well-named site about life in rural America, brought us this unsettling map of broadband availability, or lack thereof, in the country's remote counties: Truth is, the connectivity of U.S. cities is nothing to brag about either. A 2012 report from the New America ...

The Billion-Dollar Technology That May or May Not Prevent the Next Big Train Crash

July 31, 2013 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Emerging reports on the two recent train crashes in Europe suggest, ever so sadly, that they could have been avoided. In Spain, the engineer appears to have been talking on the phone and looking at documents while speeding. In Switzerland, one driver seems to have failed to stop at a ...

Why Mega-Projects Always End Up Costing More Than Expected

July 30, 2013 Last week the San Francisco Chronicle reported that the Transbay Transit Center, a massive transportation hub calling itself the "Grand Central Station of the West," will cost at least $300 million more than project officials estimated. One city official characterized the situation as unfortunate but said it wouldn't have a ...