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Matthew W. Daus, Esq.
Partner and Chairman, Windels Marx Transportation Practice Group
President, International Association of Transportation Regulators
Transportation Technology Chair, University Transportation Research Center

Contact: mdaus@windelsmarx.com
156 West 56th Street | New York, NY 10019
T. 212.237.1106 | F. 212.262.1215

 
 

The COVID-19 Daily News will take a break from November 24 to 29 for the Thanksgiving holiday.  We wish everyone a wonderful Thanksgiving!

 



Is the On-Demand Model Foundational to the Future of Transit?


 
It is not that these will replace fleets of buses and trains — those will likely remain the workhorses they have always been — but on-demand transit seems to embody so many of the larger trends to emerge in transit, particularly since the COVID-19 crisis. On-demand is nimble, flexible and easily modified. It is guided by data with operators having a deeper understanding of users and where they are headed. In addition, these projects are almost always built out of public-private partnerships.
 
Transit agencies have come to realize their role in society reaches far beyond running a bus or a train. Armed with the lessons of COVID-19, or the unprecedented largesse to come from the newly signed infrastructure law, agencies are anxious to redefine themselves, reorient their bearings and think seriously about concepts like public-private partnerships, flexibility, social and digital equity, convenience and other characteristics which — accidentally or not — have come to define on-demand transit.
 
Neighborhood-based, nimble, convenient and socially responsive are all central themes of on-demand transit. And these are the kinds of philosophies tickling into the larger transit ecosystem.
 
“The pandemic really challenged our traditional way of thinking around what does transportation mean, what does mobility mean, and how does it serve the neighborhoods that need it the most,” said Eulois Cleckley, CEO of the Miami-Dade County Department of Transportation and Public Works, speaking on a panel titled “Urban Mobility at an Inflection Point.”

“The pandemic changed government a little bit to think outside of the box, be more nimble, and react much more quickly than we otherwise would have,” he added.
 
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The Infrastructure Bill Is Big, but It Will Not Transform America’s Focus on Cars

 

While the massive law is a historic achievement in a time of toxic partisanship, some analysts, transit advocates, and environmentalists say it does not go far enough in upending the fundamental emphasis on automobiles embedded in federal transportation policy. It contains $110 billion in new spending for highways, roads, and bridges, compared with $39 billion in new spending on public transit — close to the usual ratio. The president had wanted $85 billion for transit. Voluminous research has shown that widening roads does not cure traffic congestion because of “induced demand,” an econometrics term that says, basically, “If you build it, they will come.”

The new law, however, has the potential to dramatically improve infrastructure and road safety for people who get around cities by bicycling or walking, advocates of so-called active transportation say. It includes 60% more for the federal Transportation Alternatives program, and increasing every year over five years. Local governments compete for grants under the program to pay for bike lanes, sidewalk improvements, shared-use trails, and other projects that make walking and cycling easier and safer.

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Windels Marx Transportation Practice Group News Feed - Volume 2 (2021), Edition 211
 
INTERNATIONAL NEWS

UK Prime Minister Johnson Adds Thousands of Charging Points for EV Boost
The aim is to add up to 145,000 new charging points a year to the system until the end of the decade, building on the 250,000 already installed in homes and workplaces.
Click Here to Read More
 
This Is Latin America’s Potential “Super App”
It is a delivery and taxi service, based in Venezuela.
Click Here to Read More
 
Australian Researchers to Study How Tesla Car Batteries Can Power Grid
Australia's University of Queensland (UQ) said it would recruit Tesla car owners around the world to analyze if the vehicle's spare battery capacity could support the energy grid and even power homes in the future.
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NATIONAL NEWS

Bird, Lime Lead Micromobility Expansion after Pandemic Lull
An August report from McKinsey & Company found that an estimated 120 shared micromobility companies around the world have collectively raised $9 billion since 2010. 
Click Here to Read More
 
Taxi! To the Airport — by Air, Please.
Several companies are betting they can bring electric urban air travel to the masses — perhaps within the next few years.
Click Here to Read More
 
U.S. Awards Nearly $1 Billion in Infrastructure Grants
The U.S. Transportation Department said it was awarding nearly $1 billion in infrastructure grants as the Biden administration prepares to boost funding on the nation's roads, bridges, rail, transit and other projects.
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LOCAL NEWS
 
Governor Hochul Announces Advancement of Program to Deploy More Than 50,000 New EV Charging Ports across the State
Governor Kathy Hochul announced utility companies may fully implement New York's electric vehicle infrastructure program known as "EV Make-Ready," which will deploy more than 50,000 new public and commercial Level 2 charging ports across the state by 2025.
Click Here to Read More
 
DoorDash Settles San Francisco Wage Probe for $5.3M
DoorDash will pay $5.3 million to about 4,500 drivers, the San Francisco city attorney announced Monday, ending an investigation that started over claims that the food delivery giant misclassified workers as independent contractors and used tips to subsidize their base pay.
Click Here to Read More
 
Runway to Taxi Gets Longer as Cab Shortage Hits Thanksgiving Airport Travelers
New York City’s local airports expect to see the most travelers in two years this week — but flyers should brace for long waits at taxi stands.
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Biden Pushes Electric Vehicle Chargers as Energy Costs Spike

President Biden toured a General Motors plant in Detroit to highlight how his newly signed $1 trillion infrastructure law could transform the auto industry. 
 
He is highlighting billions of dollars in his giant bipartisan infrastructure deal to pay for the installation of electric vehicle chargers across the country, an investment he says will go a long way to curbing planet-warming carbon emissions while creating good-paying jobs. It is also an attempt to leapfrog China in the plug-in EV market. Currently, the U.S. market share of plug-in electric vehicle sales is one-third the size of the Chinese EV market.
 
The president noted that the U.S. was not yet leading with electric vehicles, something he believes his infrastructure package can change with plans to build 500,000 charging stations. “Up until now, China has been leading in this race — that’s about to change,” he said. “We’re going to make sure that the jobs of the future end up here in Michigan, not halfway around the world."
 
Two top White House advisers said the legislation would help America regain its global competitiveness, which has waned, they contend, “after decades of delay and decay.” However, Republicans, even some of those who voted in favor of the infrastructure package, are criticizing Biden for being preoccupied with electric vehicle technology at a time when Americans are contending with a spike in gasoline and natural gas prices.
 
Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell took the Senate floor Tuesday to make the case that “the Biden administration doesn’t have any strategic plan to snap its fingers and turn our massive country into some green utopia overnight."

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About Windels Marx
With offices in New York, NY, New Brunswick, NJ, Madison, NJ, and Stamford, CT, Windels Marx Lane & Mittendorf, LLP is a full service law firm formed in the mid-nineteenth century. Today, we represent domestic and international clients in the banking and financial institutions, energy and environmental, government and tribal interests, healthcare, hospitality, insurance, manufacturing, real estate, technology and intellectual property and transportation industries.

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