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August 25, 2011

Transportation News of Note

Traffic I want to share three interesting articles I saw related to transportation. First up is from the NY Times Green Blog and it's called "Gas is Cheaper, But We're Still Driving Less."

For the week ending Aug. 19, demand for gasoline at gas stations across the country was down by 4.2 percent compared to the same week a year ago. In week-to-week terms, it's down 0.8 percent, despite the fact that gasoline prices have been edging down lately. In fact, the average price for a gallon of regular was down 4 cents from the week before, but still nearly a third higher than a year ago.

Good news for lowering pollution and oil addiction, or bad news for the economy? Or both?

Then we're got this LA Times article called "Carmakers' Rebound is Driving Jobs in US." Experts say our economy is tied closely to the auto industry, and the industry is finally coming back again:

From a trough two years ago, Ford Motor Co., General Motors Co., Chrysler Group and other auto companies have added almost 90,000 manufacturing jobs, a 14% increase, according to federal employment data....And it's not just the Big Three American manufacturers that are thriving. Nissan, VW and other foreign-based firms are expanding in the United States, putting billions of dollars into building and refurbishing plants. Start-ups Tesla Motors in Palo Alto, Fisker Automotive in Anaheim and Coda Automotive in L.A. are hiring and spending hundreds of millions of dollars designing and launching electric and hybrid vehicles.

Bike lane Finally, let's move off cars and on to the two-wheel variety of transportation: Bikes. I noticed that the Capital BikeShare sites I passed on my way out of Washington, DC, after Tuesday's earthquake were empty. I guessed that because the public transit and commuter rail were shut down or very slow and backed up, people were biking out of town.

As it turns out, Capitol BikeShare did see a big jump in use on Tuesday:

Capital Bikeshare, for example, tweeted this morning that it recorded 5,847 rides yesterday, an increase of 1,090 from the day before. Of those rides, 1,246 came between 2 and 4 p.m., compared to the 812 during that same timeframe on Monday. If you think about it, Capital Bikeshare's 1,121 bikes distributed at the 116 stations throughout the District and Arlington are now an integral part of any plan for mobility or evacuation in case of an emergency in the city.

Bikes - great for your commute - great for getting out of town when traffic and public transit is snarled post-emergency. Want to win a bike? We can help you with that. And did you read that last post on the five most eco-friendly bikes?

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