What’s happening? A proposal for a high speed rail from Las Vegas to Los Angeles is gaining calls for wildlife bridges to protect the mountain sheep along the rail line.
Why is this important? How this high speed rail project considered the wildlife bridge may be telling for other rail lines and may be a way to preemptively make amends with opposition.
How will this be important? let’s watch and see how this unfolds- wildlife bridges the new negotiating tool
What’s happening? Houston is expanding its EV fleet with a transition anticipated in 2030. The city anticipates recouping about $55 million of that cost in fuel savings and avoided maintenance costs
Why is this important? The current fleet is 15 EVs. This year it is adding 100 EV light duty trucks and transit vans.
How will this be important? The charger roll out will be 3 phases. (1) replace 42 chargers destroyed by Hurricane Harvey. (2) add chargers at police and fire stations (3) add chargers to parks and other city-owned spots.
What’s happening? Elizabeth Warren has sided with gig workers to be classified as employees as the fight about gig worker classification plays out in Massachusetts.
Why is this important? Like in California, industry has proposed a ballot proposition to ensure that gig workers are not employees.
How will this be important? Let’s watch what all the states do. Some will codify that gig workers are contract workers, some will codify that gig workers are employees, and some will have ballot propositions. It’s who is on which side that helps you shape your allies.
What’s happening? A new study by Reason, SHOULD GOVERNMENTS LEASE THEIR AIRPORTS?, says 31 airports could free up $131 billion for infrastructure improvements in local governments. It works by a local government leasing or selling its airport, a revenue-producing asset. Congress’ 2018, The new Airport Investment Partnership Program, allows cities to enter into public private partnerships for their airports. Those lease proceeds can then be used as general revenue.
Why is this important? Cities have seen revenues impacted by the pandemic and this would provide access to new general revenue without raising taxes.
How will this be important? Look to the 3 most likely leases: global airport companies, infrastructure investment funds, and public pension funds. The value of the 31 airports, including multiple in Texas and California, can be found here.
What’s happening? A podcast interview with Texas Central Rail CEO illuminates that the federal Infrastructure Bill could impact construction which is not expected within the next 6 months.
Why is this important? The federal infrastructure bill could open up $12 billion in federal loans
How will this be important? 40% of the land n necessary for the project has been secured
What’s happening? Heart Aerospace, a Swedish start up, is building EV airplanes.
Why is this important? Their initial electric airplane, ES-19, will have an operating range of 400 km
How will this be important? Maintenance costs are estimated to be 100 times less.
What’s happening? 8 states, Arizona, Connecticut, Georgia, Iowa, Kentucky, Maryland, Oklahoma and Utah, will allow digital drivers licenses on Apple Devices in apple wallet
Why is this important? users will upload their physical drivers license and a selfie, and other photos for verification, and the state’s approval will add the license to Apple wallet.
How will this be important? 8 states now, but as we grow more accustomed to touches payment systems, this number will grow. Airports are touting it as making travel more seamless.
What’s happening? 3 truck companies are embracing solar power on their trucks: Rush Enterprises; Marten Transport, and Mesilla Valley Transportation
Why is this important? Solar power on trucks is augmenting truck battery life for liftgates, telematics and refrigeration units in trailers
How will this be important? Solar power is also being integrated into their facilities and influencing their suppliers and manufacturers
What’s happening? The trucking industry has a driver shortage. States like Oregon and New York are waiving certification fees for women.
Why is this important? Anticipating a shortage of 100,000 drivers by 2023, recruitment of women is increasingly common.
How will this be important? In 2019 only 6.7% of long haul truckers were women
What is happening? Tennessee Valley Authority, the entity that brought electricity to Appalachia, is pledging to switch its fleet to EV by 2030. With all its passenger cars converting, and 1/2 of its trucks.
Why is this important? The plan is not immediate purchase, but as vehicles age out, the replacement will be an EV, allowing for the EV market to reduce its costs too.
How will this be important? TVA also partnered with the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation to build.a network of recharging stations at least every 50 miles on Tennessee’s major highways
What is happening? Rural roads see 50% of traffic fatalities even though the rural population is 1/5. That means the fatality rate is twice that of urban areas.
Why is this important?
How will this be important? Access to funding and creative solutions are the name of the game.
What’s happening? Pennsylvania is adding a miles driven fee to compensate for declining gas tax revenues.
Why is this important? The numbers behind the new miles driven fee:
How will this be important? Every state has declining gas tax revenues and many are considering miles driven fees.
What is happening? Phase 1 goals of identifying technology modes and alignments, two modes are proposed to be carried forward: high-speed rail and hyperloop. Phase 1 recommended moving into Phase 2.
Why is this important? High-speed transportation alternatives would “accommodate the current growth and provide residents with safe, reliable and efficient travel. “
How will this be important? The final recommendation will connect to local transportation systems & link to future high-speed options.
What is happening? Iowa has new rules for autonomous vehicles and trucks that include demarkation on registrations that indicate if the vehicle can operate without a driver on gravel.
Why is this important? Iowa wants to be prepared for when vehicles arrive in Iowa so that business know what the rules of the road are.
How will this be important? Iowa is laying the frame work for restricted registrations of vehicles “just to make sure that they are not operating in scenarios that they might not be prepared for.”
What’s happening? In December 2020 (what is time?) we talked about Peachtree Corners Georgia which had recently installed solar panels into roadways to support EV charging infrastructure.
Why is this important? EV manufacturers say the presence of charging infrastructure increases the sales of EVs
How will this be important? The solar embedded in the road are a partnership between the lab and The Ray solar roadway in Troup County
What’s happening? This November’s ballot in Texas will include a HJR 99 (2021 | TX) that will allow counties to issue bonds or notes to finance development of “an unproductive, underdeveloped, or blighted area.”
Why is this important? Cities already have this authority in Texas
How will this be important? The 2 limits placed on the bond sale include:
What’s happening? A pilot project in Iowa is using data to identify the worst intersections for wrong way driving, the best place to place warning signs, the best kind of warning signs (signage, flashing lights, cameras…)
Why is this important? 60% of wrong way drivers are alcohol impaired, but the pilot is also gathering data on when and where to notify drivers of the wrong way
How will this be important? if this project reduced wrong way driving it can be replicated.
What’s happening? Port queues have increased by 1 hour at the 25 busiest US Ports. Innovation & Automation has been the name of the game. Port of Houston has used innovative smart technology to map and track containers, and the Port of Los Angeles has automated cranes.
Why is this important? Port traffic continues to grow and some unions push back against innovation and automation.
How will this be important? As traffic increased and demand increases, innovation and automation will be vital. Private sector technology will be key to improve port flow.
What’s happening? City fleet adoption in NYC, Columbus OH, led to advancing charging capabilities in the cities.
Why is this important? City fleets are also spurring innovation like solar car ports, robots switching out batteries, and wireless charging.
How will this be important? Its holistic including workforce development with local universities and community colleges to support the new EV charging technologies.
What’s happening? Trying to follow in the footsteps of California’s $200 M ballot proposition that clarified that gig workers are not employees, the Massachusetts Coalition for Independent Work is working a ballot initiative in Massachusetts to clarify that gig workers are not employees
How will this be important? Worker classification will be an ongoing legal, legislative and regulatory free for all.
What’s happening? Aligning with Executive Order 1, Build Back Better investments the President by Executive Order will :
Why is this important? The rational is economic competitiveness with China plus clean air goals, climate change and keeping investments in the U.S.
How will this be important? The Presidential fact sheet sets forth the following EV specific goals:
What’s happening? Miami, FL & Austin, TX will be home to 1,000 Robotaxis taxis beginning in December and Ride Share worries about the impact to ride share drivers.
Why is this important? The Robotaxis are a partnership between Argo AI along with Ford and Lyft.
How will this be important? Innovation and automation are driving factors, but no analysts think a 100% Robotaxis driven fleet will emerge. Drivers will still have a place.
What’s happening? Israel-based company REE Automotive is bringing its skateboard-style EV platform to the USA, with a US headquarters in Austin TX. One of REE’s investors is Koch Strategic Platforms.
Why is this important? REE is focused on fleet vehicle market offering a ready-made, fully customizable electric vehicle platform
How will this be important? REE’s innovation in x-by-wire technology has allowed it ” to develop a modular, fully-flat skateboard chassis with more room for passengers, cargo and batteries that will be highly adaptable to customers.”
What’s happening? Indiana’s Department of Transportation is testing a magnetized concrete for roadways that can charge EVs as they are driven.
Why is this important? Indiana is working with ASPIRE, Advancing Sustainability through Power Infrastructure for Road Electrification, funded by the National Science Foundation, the consortium of government, university, and business is devoted to working up new charging technologies for battery-electric vehicles.
How will this be important? You and I first talked about roads that can charge EVs a couple years ago with a cement being used near Arlanda Airport in Stockholm, Sweden. Follow the dots, ya’ll.
What’s happening? Add Mercedes Benz to Gm, Stallantis, and Renault that have all vowed to move to all EV. In 2025 Mercedes will shift its focus entirely to EV with output of only EVs in 2030.
Why is this important? The EU has a 2035 deadline for all EV vehicle sales. To meet that Mercedes is dedicating $47 Billion to EV development for cars, light commercial vehicles and vans. We see you Amazon Mercedes delivery vans.
How will this be important? Mercedes will take a tighter control of battery manufacturing with partners world wide including in the U.S. likely in the South, likely in Alabama.
What’s happening? We hear a lot about AZ and TX have low regulatory hurdles for autonomous vehicle testing. Some say it lures companies. If you’re Nuro the robot vehicle that delivers things like groceries, you choose Houston, TX because of topography. It’s flat. It is sprawling. It has a diverse customer base.
Why is this important? It’s like that old lawyer saying- if the facts are on your side, argue the facts, if the law is on your side, argue the law. Here, nascent technologies like AVs handle flat roadways better.
How will this be important? one trick ponies no more- think more holistically- its friendly regulations, a willingness to adapt with industry needs- AND population, diversity, topography.
What’s happening? In January, February & March of 2021, EV registrations exceeded regular vehicle registrations by 3X.
Why is this important?
How will this be important? Year over year the number of EVS registered keeps increasing
What’s happening? The Nordic Recycling Center in Gothenburg Sweden will begin recycling WV batteries and fully refining 95% of the materials for future use.
Why is this important? The company says it will ” meet our customers’ needs to dispose of spent batteries in a safe and environmentally sound way”
How will this be important? As EV sales continue to climb, recycling spent batteries is an increasingly new industry
What’s happening? Raleigh, NC is calling for free mass transit
Why is this important? This included an interview with a urban developer that said you’re giving service workers almost a month’s worth of rent by making transit free. That’s a big deal to move workers in and out of a city center.
How will this be important? Free transit also means there’s no changing of cards or money or the passing of germs while that occurs. This is also a permissible use of Federal COVID Relief Funds
Why is this important? Supporters say digital driver’s licenses give the licensee more control over wha information is revealed making it safer, can make online transactions more secure.
How will this be important? More businesses and agencies must adopt the technology necessary to read digital licenses.
What’s happening? Those criticizing regulators for a lack of EV charging infrastructure note that these regulators should follow the gas station model for EV chargers. Others say the gas station model doesn’t work for EVs because 85% of EVs charge at home.
Why is this important? Gas stations are slow to adopt chargers because margins are slim and it is expensive.
How will this be important? It is thought federal funding will have to step in and cover areas that aren’t covered by partnerships that emerge for charging station toll outs.
What’s happening? GM’s Brightdrop unit, Ultium Charge 360, fleet charging service will include at home charging for fleet drivers.
Why is this important? Meet the partnership that’s delivering the EV fleet charging: GM, BrightDrop, Duke Energy company eTransEnergy, EVgo, In-Charge Energy and Schneider Electric
How will this be important? This partnership is looking at how can they offer charging that is most convenient for their drivers. It is a change in perspective from what’s best for the company and focuses on the end user (the drivers) needs, or a stakeholder focus.
What’s happening? Regional Air can be electric air which makes it a reasonable and clean alternative to high speed rail.
Why is this important? Regional Air doesn’t require acquiring large swaths of land for rail.
How will this be important? As our populations increase, we have to develop innovative ways to move people to and fro.
What’s happening? Harris County is bringing on demand feature of ride share to its public transit system by offering on demand transportation between 2 zones for Harris County Transit Plus, for residents living in Generation Park in precincts 1, 2 and 4.
Why is this important? Local governments are embracing innovation to adapt transportation systems to the needs of their residents
How will this be important? Local governments are getting creative whether its partnerships with ride share or adopting ride share like models.
What’s happening? San Francisco is seeing that ride share riders are leaving and moving to taxi services because of increased use of surge pricing.
Why is this important? Cabbies servicing SFO say airport taxi cab rides have doubled.
How will this be important? Flywheel which works like ride share but uses cabs is seeing record breaking use.
What’s happening? A program in the city of Leicester, UK converts the top of bus stops into pollinator gardens for bees.
Why is this important? Green space and pollinator gardens keep the bee populations thriving which in turn cleans the air and keeps agribusiness flourishing.
How will this be important? It’s a great space for nonprofits or local governments to promote tangible low cost projects.
What’s happening? CATO writes about how car dealership protections fit in the modern world. CATO points to 3 reasons why the old justifications for protection no longer fit. (1) dealerships aren’t mom and pop shops anymore “The top 10 dealership groups in America have annual revenues around $100 billion—more than any car company. ” (2) foreign makers make the auto market far more competitive (3) there are different sales models that don’t involve inventory on hand
Why is this important? Things change and adapt including laws and rules.
How will this be important? Tesla isn’t the only vehicle company outside the traditional box, Rivian, Fisker, + more. The market is growing.
What’s happening? Baltimore raised 3 reasons to oppose the proposed high-speed Northeast Maglev between Baltimore and DC. (1)economic equity that negates affordable transportation (2) environmental justice (3)community impacts
Why is this important? The terms have changed since COVID. Now we’re hearing about environmental justice and economic equity.
How will this be important? Setting the post-COVID tone for future project standards.
What’s happening? The former head of the Maryland Secretary of Transportation proposes a beneficiaries pay system that would impose an 8% federal surcharge on all commercial activity occurring on U.S. streets and highways. Costs would be built into our end consumer prices.
Why is this important? Because pay as your drive tax systems are costly to run and implment
How will this be important? The gas tax isn’t keeping pace, and eventually a replacement will be necessary. This tax is based on commercial activity and would be sensitive to inflation and economic trends.
What’s happening? New York City’s Taxi and Limousine Commission voted to block the issuance of new for-hire vehicle licenses for electric vehicles
Why is this important? EVs are currently exempted from existing caps in NYC rules. This vote knocks that exemption out.
How will this be important? The board members took aim at Revel, for wanting to disrupt, the industry. A board member said, ” “This is one of the moments for which the cap was created — to provide a check and balance for businesses whose strategy is to disrupt the system, adding to congestion and putting profits and growth before the City’s welfare,”
What’s happening? Apparently a lot of people inNew Hampshire hit cats with their cars. So many that a bill has been filed to bring justice for the cats. The bill would require you to report the collision to either the animal’s owner or to police
Why is this important? Texas Governor this week vetoed a bill about standards for drinking water for dogs left outside in the Texas heat.
How will this be important? An excellent barometer for how bills that require self reporting function.
What’s happening? MyEV.com has named Oklahoma the #1 EV state.
How is this important? Oklahoma landed on #1 with its unique tax for EVs and that their charging network ensures a charger every 50 miles. The tax is levied based on the size of the vehicle and how much it is driven each year.
Why will this be important? The Oklahoma tax is lower for EVs because OK levies a tax on charging. 3-cent tax per kilowatt hour to charge an electric vehicle (EV). There is no tax for EVs that charge at home.
What’s happening? Consumer Energy has a new incentive program that incentivizes businesses to install charging stations. Consumers has $3 million for its PowerMIFLeet plan to power 200 fast charging locations and more than 2,000 charging stations at homes and businesses in Michigan.
Why is this important? It’s an EV charger plan in the birth place of the US auto industry. If it works there….it works….anywhere.
How will this be important? The plan includes consultations to help planning resources, expert guidance and financial incentive. Basically, they’ll hold your hand through the entire process.
What’s happening? Pennsylvania is doing a deep dive on transportation funding with its 46-member Pennsylvania Transportation Revenue Options Commission, consisting of lawmakers, transportation leaders and others in the transportation industry.
Why is this important? The hype is focused on a 4.2 cent increase and then a repeal of the entire gas tax within a decade.
How will this be important? the laundry list of options is interesting: move police funding to roads, pay as you drive fees, a delivery service tax, increase vehicle registration fees, increase vehicle taxes…
What’s happening? The 2020 resurgence of Black Lives Matters and increased awareness of civil justice issues has towns and states taking actions to make things better. Dumfries Virginia is renaming a road into a historic freed slave community.
Why is this important? Local governments are digging into their histories. These council members discovered that a Dumfries is one of a handful of African-American communities in Northern Virginia prior to the Civil War. The new name, Batestown honors one of the first settlers.
How will this be important? Look at the names of local parks, buildings, roads and get ready for new names.
What’s happening? When the pandemic began, Kansas City, KS waived all mass transit costs.
Why is this important? The pandemic highlighted the impact of transportation costs on essential workers like grocery store cashiers. The policy question became whether that essential worker should use her limited resources for mass transit fees or to put food on the table.
How will this be important? Cities are considering continuing free mass transit, at minimum, for low income riders, veterans, students, communities hit hard by COVID.
What’s happening? Meet this 22 year old Texas Company- Hitch. Hitch is solving a transportation issue that isn’t currently covered- long-haul ride share and same-day courier service
Why is this important? Hitch is growing 50% month over month this year. Same day delivery services in Texas largest 11 cities is 50% of the usual suspects. Ride Share with Hitch for 50- mile + trips is 5 times less than with the usual ride share suspects.
How will this be important? There isn’t much action in the 50 – 350 mile transportation space so here we go!
What’s happening? Meet Trucks Venture Capital, a fund that focuses on early-stage entrepreneurs in transportation. Its new follow-on fund, Trucks Growth Fund, will provide later-stage capital.
Why is this important? Follow the money to funding safer, cleaner and more accessible transportation. We’re talking automated vehicles, microtransit and delivery services too.
How will this be important? Tracking the future of transportation, watch the funding here.
Tech Crunch | Trucks VC launches two new funds for early and late-stage transportation startups
What’s happening? The Port of Long Beach is not imposing its emissions tax on trucks that are fueled by natural gas.
Why is this important? The emissions fee is expected to generate $80 million in year 1.
How will this be important? The Long Beach Port has a Clean Air Action plan that calls for emission free by 2035.
What’s happening? New data from Houston, Texas shows that after ride share companies entered Houston, injuries from drunk driving decreased according to a new study by Dr. Christopher Conner, a neurosurgery resident at McGovern Medical School at UTHealth in Houston and lead author of the report, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association’s surgery periodical.
Why is this important? Vehicle crash visits to Trauma Level 1 facilities by 23.8% during the peak Friday and Saturday night periods after Uber arrived in February 2014
How will this be important? The researchers are considering additional studies to consider how ride share impacts transit system dependent metro areas, unlike Houston which is car dependent, and social economics.
What’s happening? Meet Kaptyn Inc., a a reservation-based premium transportation option, that acquired in 2019 a large group of Las Vegas taxicab companies
Why is this important? The timing shift from on demand to reservation is key to its concierge transportation business model. Additionally, it employs 150 full-time drivers who receive benefits.
How will this be important? A new transportation segment emerges that isn’t a cab and isn’t a limo and isn’t a ride share…hello regulation.
What’s happening? During the Pandemic, NV Governor Executive order limited surge pricing by ride share to provide some stability for tourism.
Why is this important? NV learned from its experience. Drivers are hesitant to return in Las Vegas increasing waiting times to 30 minutes. NV could again impose a ban on surge pricing but any future ban would have to be renewed every 30 days.
How will this be important? Some state and local governments are considering legislation to cap surge pricing.
What’s happening? Congress for the New Urbanism released its report “Freeways Without Futures” that identifies 15 highways that were built by taking BIPOC land and by their removal could make the cities the highways serve more healthy, vibrant, and prosperous.
Last week in remembrance of the Tulsa massacre we heard about I-244. But, in Austin, TX we have I-35 making the list as well as I-345 in Dallas, I-980 in Oakland and I-5 in Seattle.
Why is this important? California has a new statewide commission looking at these issues. So do other states and cities throughout the country. It’s not limited to a party.
How will this be important? How we build highways will change as sates pass bills or adopt rules that require study on the impact of the project to a community before eminent domain can be used.
What’s happening? Since Black Lives Matters captured the ethos a year ago, government planning has included addressing historic inequalities and marginalization. Enter Colorado’s SB21-260 (2021 | CO) that would create a $209 million fund that would pay for pollution- and traffic-reduction initiatives.
Why is this important? The bill supporters say its time for community-impact considerations to be included in transportation planning.
How will this be important? The authors are funding it with fees on ride share & delivery services.
What’s happening? The Texas Legislature passed SB 911 (2021 | TX) about alcohol to go, and low and behold, there are rules for food delivery too.
Why is this important? The limits on delivery services preempt any local regulations. It also has requirements for restaurant removal from delivery services, signage, fees, and a clear way for customers to provide feedback.
How will this be important? Want a people to focus on something else about your bill? simply add it to an alcohol to go bill, because that will preoccupy the conversation.
What’s happening? Austin Energy team created an EV Buyer’s Guide. A new app simplified vehicle charging to improve the customer experience.
Why is this important? Partnerships brought the program to life. Austin partnered with the City of Austin’s Sustainability Office, Bloomberg Philanthropies American Cities Climate Challenge, local auto dealerships and technology partners.
How will this be important? Build a similar partnership for your client, your city, or your business.
What’s happening? A Chicago Alderman is proposing capping ride share surge pricing at 150% of the normal fare during times of “peak demand.”
Why is this important? Surge pricing is getting more attention.
How will this be important? Cities and states are going to figure out how to regulate the price surging just like the regulate price gouging during emergencies.
What’s happening? Washington State Governor Inslee, who when a Presidential candidate promoted banning gas vehicles, vetoed a measure that would prohibit the sale of gas powered vehicles beginning in 2030.
Why is this important? The veto came because of the the provision requiring a statewide legislative framework for a pay as your drive program to fund roads.
How will this be important? Road funding is complicated. Check that all the i’s are dotted and all the t’s are crossed. ” Inslee said the goal of 100% electric vehicles is “too important to tie to the implementation of a separate policy like the road usage charge.”
What’s happening? EV manufacturer Fisker is a hard no on bitcoin because of the environmental concerns around bitcoin.
Why is this important? Tesla has been clear on its intent to support and participate in bitcoin transactions.
How will this be important? Aligning bitcoin, with perceived unsustainable energy use, with EV manufacturers will be one to watch.
What’s happening? Ohio has announced two sets of electric buses. The buses have to “Run 140 miles on a single charge in all weather conditions.”
Why is this important? The Center for Transportation and the Environment says less than 2% of the nation’s transit vehicles, buses, are electric.
How will this be important? Charging will occur in short bursts of rapid charging as route drivers take leg-stretching breaks every couple of hours.
What’s happening? The gas tax isn’t keeping up, an influx of Californians who according to the soothsayers all drive EVs, every single one of them, and thus- EV fees. Let’s be real, the gas tax isn’t keeping up and EV sales are increasing. Californians are only added to make stories scarier or sexier.
Why is this important? Fees in the ball park of $200 annually are close in Texas. SB 1728 (2021 | TX)
How will this be important? Every state is trying to solve this conundrum
What’s happening? A US Senate proposal calls for a 25 cent per mile fee on trucking to fund transportation. Trucks would have a tracking device that logs miles and reports data back to the IRS.
Why is this important? States are considering pay as you drive options to fund transportation as the gas tax doesn’t keep up. If your state has interstates and lots of trucks, maybe you’ve found your thing.
How will this be important? States will try this. Why recreate the wheel when you an just borrow it…
What’s happening? Oklahoma Governor signed a bill allowing ground based delivery drones. SB 706 (2021 | OK)
Why is this important? delivery drones are coming to streets, sidewalks and crosswalks near you
How will this be important? there are going to be accidents and liability issues that emerge. follow the legislation to and re-write it for your part of the world.
What’s happening? States are trying to figure out who is liable as the driver in autonomous vehicles. Is it the owner? the manufacturer? The software developer?
Why is this important? Regulating Autonomous Vehicles isn’t just about traffic accidents but also insurance policies.
How will this be important? The self-driving automobile industry is a “global market opportunity worth an estimated $8 trillion,” wrote Sens. Gary Peters, D-Mich., and John Thune, R-S.D.
What’s happening? CalTrains modernization program will add 19, 7 car electric trains with a mix of funding including 2008 bond proposition proceeds. The largest funding share will be federal.
Why is this important? CalTrain says it will increase ridership and revenue will decreasing costs.
How will this be important? Lather, rinse, repeat. Electric trains are not high speed rail trains.
What’s happening? New Jersey is testing electric trains.
Why is this important? Electric trains are seen as an offset for rebuilding infrastructure and as a viable replacement to diesel trains.
How will this be important? Replacing infrastructure or building infrastructure for electric trains, could be a costly endeavor. If this pilot plays out as cost efficient, its a program to be replicated.
What’s happening? The ACEEE, the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy, says 6 of 36 states consider social equity in its EV charger plans.
Why is this important? California statutorily requires at least 35% of utilities’ funding for EV charging equipment go toward underserved communities & New York’s Public Service Commission ordered utilities to invest in charging with special considerations for LMI and environmental justice communities
How will this be important? States are still crafting EV charging policies.
What is happening? A new study from the University of California, Davis, published in the journal Nature Energy last week, says 18% of EV owners from 2015-2019 switched back to gas vehicles.
Why is this important? It also held for hybrid owners with 20% switching back.
How will this be important? The key factor for EV users giving up the ghost- lack of reliable Level 2 charging at home. EV charging is a hot topic for regulatory agencies with players at every level from utilities to car manufacturers to tech who run the software or machines to construction regulations, to actual construction.
What is happening? Both Lyft and Uber have sold off their self driving car businesses.
Why is this important? Cited factors for the sale included the challenge for autonomous vehicles in urban areas.
How will this be important? Autonomous vehicles and urban areas remain challenging and autonomous delivery services are emerging. Its all first impression stuff and open for business.
What’s happening? There is a brewing movement to limit the number of parking spaces or “vehicle storage.” We’ve seen it in Austin where hotels are permitted without any parking.
Why is this important? The pandemic changed how sidewalks, roadways, parking lots are utilized. The advocates that want to remove parking space limitations believe that parking lot policy is EV charging policy.
How will this be important? Determining where to situate EV chargers is complex- 80% of charing occurs at home, but some homes aren’t in areas that are pre-disposed to buy an EV. The challenge for law makers is how to make charger policy equitable.
What is happening? California is moving a jay walking repeal in the Freedom to Walk Act
Why is this important? Has the support of statewide bike association which called jaywalking laws, “regressive and oppressive laws in the dustbin of history”
How will this be important? Repealing Jaywalking is gaining ground.
What is happening? EV Connect philosophy focuses on sustainability and it partners with local businesses and schools in the Southern California Edison Charge Ready pilot program
Why is this important? The company talks about support for like-minded local businesses that are building a sustainable future
How will this be important?EV Connect platform works seamlessly with all charger types and manufacturers leveraging open standards
What is happening? GoFor says EVs reduce emissions, drivers to make more money, and lower total cost of ownership is less as is there less frequent maintenance and lower fuel costs.
Why is this important? EV isn’t limiting itself to personal vehicles, it is delivery robots, local
What is happening? A bipartisan coalition in DC, the Problem Solvers Caucus, have endorsed a gas tax increase to fund infrastructure
Why is this important? “The time is now for Congress and the administration to reach across the aisle, unite and boost investments in our surface transportation network that will move our transportation systems into the 21st century,” said Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (R., Pa.), the co-chairman of the Problem Solvers Caucus.
How will this be important? As political divide in Capitol Houses remain slim by margins, it leads to effective bipartisan solutions.
What’s happening? 80% of scooter fatalities involve a car. Local empirical data from city emergency departments like Los Angeles and Austin do not track how the accidents happened. April 2021 Journal of Safety Research published the first scooter safety study. 80% occur during daylight and 70% at intersections. The research finds alcohol is not a factor in the accidents.
Why is this important? As cities come back to life, traveling alone in fresh air, on scooters will be attractive. States and cities have laws/rules/ordinances on scooter safety and with new data comes a refresher.
How will this be important? The research said the solution is that bike lanes should continue across intersections to keep bikes and scooters out of crosswalks and sidewalks.
What’s happening? Oregon is touted as the go-to for pay as you go legislation after having piloted the program. InfoHive has highlighted the key points of the pilot program from its inception. HB 2342 (2021 | OR) will codify the pay as you drive program.
Why is this important? Here’s looking at model legislation that will be replicated as other states grapple with declining gas tax revenues. Oregon will apply to new 2027 vehicles that don’t use gas or get 30 miles or more per gallon of gasoline, and allows an opt out for a $400 annual fee.
How will this be important? States are going to replicate and adapt this Oregon model.
What’s happening? Worcester, MA is considering using federal stimulus funds for transportation. Worcester’s Congressperson says that the city has discretion over much of the funding.
Why is this important? The city is considering public transit options that include more on-demand options as well as zero cost options.
How will this be important? All cities will be grappling with how to best use stimulus funds be it for broadband, transit, healthcare or other funding needs.
What is happening? Longmont Colorado is considering a $1 hourly fee from people who charge their electric vehicles at publicly accessible city EV charging stations. The city says the annual revenue of $12,000 will cover the cost of operations.
Why is this important? Cities are looking for revenue. EV chargers fit that bill.
How will this be important? EV chargers and what types of fees can be associated with them are new and novel for local governments that are considering new fees.
What’s happening? Virginia SB 758 (2020 | VA) allows robots up to 500 lbs, gives the robots the same rights as pedestrians & requires cities to allow the robots on roads when there is no sidewalk. Pennsylvania SB 1199 (2020 | PA) considered a similar regulatory framework.
Why is this important? The use of delivery services increased with the pandemic.
How will this be important? It is the wild Wild West when it comes to whether delivery robots can operate on sidewalks. We’re going to start seeing these robots more and yet the rules are far and few.
What’s happening? Most states have no regulations for sidewalk delivery robots. In 2017 San Francisco essentially banned the robots except in limited circumstances.
Why is this important? Opposition is typically workers who believe they will be replaced by these sidewalk delivery robots
How will this be important? In the last 6 months a sidewalk delivery robot company completed 500,000 deliveries.
What’s happening? Uber, Walgreens and PayPal have partnered to launch an $11 million fund to provide free ride-hail trips to U.S. COVID-19 vaccination sites. The Vaccine Access Fund will be managed by U.S. non-profit Local Initiatives Support Corporation.
Why is this important? Partnerships in the post COVID are tackling big issues.
How will this be important? The pandemic brought us a new economy where partnerships like these are gaining traction and accomplishing goals quicker than the individual entities.
What’s happening? The Colorado Department of Motor Vehicles is auctioning cannabis related license plates like ISIT420 and GANGA to fund the Colorado Disability Funding Committee. The auction will occur at 4:20pm on 4/20 (April 20th).
Why is this important? It’s clever. Thinking outside the box to raise funds for an underfunded committee.
How will this be important? Pick a topic and replicate in your state. Or snap up those license plates if you see fit.
What’s happening?Lyft and Motional have signed “the world’s largest robotaxi deployment partnership” Motional has a close collaboration with Hyundai. Service to begin under the Motional brand in 2023.
Why is this important? Partnerships grow businesses
How will this be important? Autonomous transportation is where we are headed, buckle up buttercup.
What’s happening? Miami tourism is increasing as vaccine rates increase. A noted increase in ride share activity, a 5% increase, has occurred since the beginning of the year.
Why is this important? Ride Share pivoted like they ere dancing and no one was watching. it was a glorious vision. They moved to delivery services. They moved to vaccine and health care related transportation. They connected food pantries with donors and recipients.
How will this be important? Tracking transportation trends fuels transportation planning. or at least policy makers think so, so add it to your pitch.
What’s happening? Maine Governor by Executive Order calls for the development of the “Clean Transportation Roadmap to 2030” to identify policies, programs and regulatory changes needed to meet Maine’s electric vehicles (EV) and emissions reduction goals. Potential strategies include incentive programs and utility rate policies. The deadline- end of this year.
Why is this important? There’s more than one way to get your foot in the door. Sometimes it doesn’t take laws or rules.
How will this be important? Allow this Executive Order to be your blueprint…
What’s happening? In what sounds a lot like Season 2 of True Detective- the highways system was built by taking land from people who were Black or minorities or disadvantaged.
Why is this important? The new Biden infrastructure building plan looks to correct the wrongs of the past.
How will this be important? Some say “Our transportation systems have really led to racial disparities and discrimination” local governments, state governments and the federal government are all identifying ways to change that.
What is happening? Florida is raising fees on EVs if it passes Senate Bill 140 (2021 | FL) The annual fee on an average EV would be $135.
Why is this important? As EVs and hybrids rise, and gas prices stay low, state gas tax revenues will be in decline. Fees on vehicles that don’t pay gas taxes will that void.
How will this be important? EV sales are projected to only increase, thereby exacerbating issues with the gas tax not keeping up with the times.
What’s happening? In a search for revenue, some cities are adopting congestion pricing that puts a toll on entering downtown areas.
Why is this important? It’s bicoastal. NYC is considering up to $25 for trucks. San Francisco is considering a toll that could go as high as $14. LA and Oregon Department of Transportation are working ways to offer reduce costs for low income.
How will this be important? Congestion pricing has been used for years in London and Stockholm. It works for them.
What’s happening? A startup in South Carolina is innovating in ride share by making rides safer and more inclusive. HOPIN includes an SOS safety feature, allows women to select women drivers & accepts prepaid cards which expands the customer base to the unbanked.
Why is this important? The gig economy isn’t static, ever expanding and innovative. Regulations and laws have to be adaptable.
How will this be important? To quote a restaurant review of a James Beard award winning restaurant, several years after it received the award- “cannot rest on your laurels” innovate, innovate, innovate
What’s happening? Let’s deep dive.
Why is this important? Some say EV owners would have purchased their vehicles even without the tax credits, so why bother with other incentives. Others say EV sales are still around 1%.
How will this be important? Virtually US manufacturers have announced greater EV rollouts in the future. Build it and they shall come….
What’s happening? Minnesota is looking at a proposal to charge an electric vehicle fuel tax on KW charging. SF 1602 (2021 | MN)
Why is this important? States are looking to replace declining gas tax revenues. Taxing charging at “electric fuel dealers,” under the bill would add a tax of 5.1 cents per kwh
How will this be important? states need revenue. EV charging is new and thus creative taxing ideas abound.
What’s happening? The Colorado Parks Department has partnered with Rivian to install chargers in all 42 state parks.
Why is this important? State agencies are ripe for partnerships for EV chargers- especially at well placed state agencies or agency lands where people spend a lot of time- like state parks.
How will this be important? EV charger installation partnerships are all the rage.
What’s happening? GM is partnering with MIT alums for a battery to made from lithium metals and not lithium ions.
Why is this important? New battery technology is expected to cut costs by 60%.
How will this be important? When drafting regulations and legislation consider innovation. Lithium Ion would be a limitation, whereas EV battery is open to innovation.
What is happening? Pennsylvania Legislature looks to stop 9 new P3 bridge tolls and require legislative approval before a P3 can add a toll to a project.
Why is this important? Opponents say it stifles P3s, & politicizes a process set up to foster innovation. PA’s DOT is opposed.
How will this be important? It is a forewarning for other entities that add user fees, Legislatures and tolls are like oil and water.
What’s happening? Uber and Lyft are partnering to create a database of abusive drivers. That would allow the companies to share information about drivers that have had sexual assault complaints, and other complaints related to customer safety.
Why is this important? Companies taking action to root out the bad actors before legislative action is taken is model corporate behavior.
How will this be important? This database partnership can be helpful for other companies to model.
What’s happening? Pennsylvania is open for legalized autonomous delivery robots.
Why is this important? The opposition is an interesting mix. Democrats and unions call it a job killer. Pedestrian and accessibility advocates are concerned about sidewalk safety.
How will this be important? last mile delivery methods are going to get more sustainable, and adaptable. Virginia, Idaho, Florida, Wisconsin and Washington, D.C. have all passed legislation for robotic last mile legislation.
What’s happening? President Biden announced a transitioning of the federal fleets to EV. In that, the USPS entered into a $482 million contract that will include EV and traditional vehicles. Making the fleet 10% electric. To reach 90% EV fleet, the USPS would spend $3 billion to $4 billion.
Why is this important? Fleets are adopting EV from law enforcement to local government fleets. When not in use, some local governments are utilizing the EV fleets to power lights or act as back up power for facilities.
How will this be important? With BP’s announcement that it was transitioning away from fossil fuels to continued adoption of clean air objectives, EV adoption is viewed as a way to gain reliable transportation.
What’s happening? Oklahoma Legislature is considering HB 1674 (2021 | OK) that would make it a misdemeanor to protest and block a roadway and also provide liability protection if your car hits a protestor and you were exercising due care while trying to remove your car from the area.
Why is this important? Legislative bodies across the country are trying to legislate their way through the protests and riots of 2020.
How will this be important? Even if politeness returned to political discourse, there will always be cycles fo protests and riots.
What’s happening? Charging Point went public this week. Its been in the EV charging game for 14 years.
Why is this important? Wall Street is paying attention to charging companies. There’s a major federal infrastructure bill forthcoming with an EV charging angle. EVgo is anticipated as the next publicly traded charging company.
How will this be important? More attention will be paid to home charging. EV owners do the vast majority of their charging at home using Level 2 chargers, which are slow (several hours) to use and pretty inexpensive to install. EV owners are fueling up their EVs as they charge their cell phones. A lot of home charging is overnight topping off batteries.
What’s happening? After Texas record setting blackouts, the proposition of rail that requires electricity to function, gets caught in the mix.
Why is this important? Opponents to high speed rail are saying “We don’t want to see more homes and lives be put at risk, increased frequency or duration of brown outs and black outs, in order to run a train.”
How will this be important? This argument of whether adequate electricity exists in Texas will continue. Just this week, InfoHive has how it impacts economic development and high speed rail and this is just the beginning.
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