cars

Business
4:58 pm
Mon December 8, 2014

GOP Leaders: Gas Tax Hike Could Fuel Fixes To Bad Roads And Bridges

Thomas Harden of Chicago pumps gas into his truck. He says he wouldn't support a gas tax increase.
David Schaper NPR

Originally published on Tue December 9, 2014 1:57 pm

Gasoline prices are at their lowest level in four years. The price at the pump in many states is almost a full dollar cheaper than it was last spring.

So some politicians think this is a good time to raise gasoline taxes. Several states are tired of waiting for Congress to fix the federal highway trust fund, so they're considering raising gas taxes themselves to address their crumbling roads.

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Holiday Safety
11:30 am
Tue November 25, 2014

Connecticut Organization Reminds Holiday Drivers Not to Drink

Jenson Lee Creative Commons

The holidays can be happy, but they can also be a dangerous. Safe driving advocates are renewing their campaigns to separate drinking from driving. 

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Three-Wheelers
8:59 am
Mon November 24, 2014

Manufacturer Seeks Connecticut's OK to Sell New Vehicle

The Slingshot is a reverse tricycle with two wheels in front and one in back.
Facebook

The maker of a new vehicle called the Slingshot is meeting with state motor vehicles officials to discuss whether they may sell the three-wheeler in Connecticut. 

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Automobiles
4:29 pm
Sat November 15, 2014

For Best-Selling Truck, Ford Bets Big On Aluminum

A 2015 F-150 rolls off the assembly line at the Dearborn Truck Plant in Dearborn, Mich. The aluminum-sided F-150 could set a new industry standard — or cost the company its pickup truck crown.
Paul Sancya AP

Originally published on Sat November 15, 2014 5:30 pm

The first 2015 Ford F-150 rolled off the assembly line this week, and it is no normal truck. The new F-150 pickup is the first with an aluminum body, making it hundreds of pounds lighter than its predecessors.

Ford isn't taking this gamble on just any truck — the F-150 is the company's most important vehicle. Morgan Stanley estimates the F-Series truck line and SUV derivatives represent 90 percent of Ford's global profits.

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A Radio Legend Passes
9:02 am
Sat November 8, 2014

Why Everyone Who Loves Public Radio Should Thank Tom Magliozzi

Tom Magliozzi of Car Talk
Richard Howard

Car Talk is the most important program in the history of public radio.

There, I said it.

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Remembrance
2:34 pm
Mon November 3, 2014

Tom Magliozzi, Popular Co-Host Of NPR's 'Car Talk,' Dies At 77

Tom Magliozzi's laugh boomed in NPR listeners' ears every week as he and his brother, Ray, bantered on Car Talk.
Courtesy of Car Talk

Originally published on Mon November 3, 2014 6:23 pm

Tom Magliozzi, one of public radio's most popular personalities, died on Monday of complications from Alzheimer's disease. He was 77 years old.

Tom and his brother, Ray, became famous as "Click and Clack the Tappet Brothers" on the weekly NPR show Car Talk. They bantered, told jokes, laughed and sometimes even gave pretty good advice to listeners who called in with their car troubles.

If there was one thing that defined Tom Magliozzi, it was his laugh. It was loud, it was constant, it was infectious.

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Transportation
8:59 am
Fri October 24, 2014

An Answer to "Are We There Yet?" on Connecticut Highways

Some state highway signs now give travel time to motorists.
Jeff Cohen WNPR

If you're driving on one of the state's major highways and you see one of those electronic message boards overhead, it may now offer you something new: real-time information about how long a trip will take. 

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Consumers
11:40 am
Thu October 23, 2014

You're Enjoying Low Gas Prices, But Is It Really A Good Sign?

Macy Gould shared this photo from Lexington, Ky., where the gas prices are under $3.
Macy Gould Instagram

Originally published on Thu October 23, 2014 2:40 pm

All around the country, gasoline prices have been falling for weeks, down to an average of about $3 a gallon. Those lower prices are helping restrain inflation across the board.

On Wednesday, the Labor Department said its consumer price index barely inched up 0.1 percent last month. Over the past 12 months, the CPI has risen by 1.7 percent, roughly half of its historical average rate of increase.

That sounds great for consumers.

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Politics of Parking
4:40 pm
Thu October 9, 2014

State Cautions Hartford About Parking Operation for Stadium Development

iStock Thinkstock

The city of Hartford says it won't "control" the parking in its new $350 million baseball stadium development, but it wants to have "input" and make "recommendations" as to who will operate that parking. And that's gotten the attention of a state development official who has cautioned otherwise. 

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WAMC News
8:59 am
Thu October 9, 2014

NYC Council Considers Car Ban For Central Park

Originally published on Thu October 9, 2014 6:40 am

New York City’s Central Park may soon be free of cars.

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Athletes
5:42 pm
Mon October 6, 2014

USA Swimming Suspends Michael Phelps Over DUI Arrest

Michael Phelps reacts following the men's 200m butterfly final at the Gold Coast Aquatic Centre in Gold Coast in August.
Patrick Hamilton AFP/Getty Images

Eighteen-time Gold medalist Michael Phelps, who was arrested for Driving Under the Influence, has been suspended for six months and will miss the 2015 FINA World Championships, USA Swimming announced on Monday.

"Michael's conduct was serious and required significant consequences," USA Swimming Executive Director Chuck Wielgus said in a statement.

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Racial Profiling
10:51 am
Fri September 12, 2014

Traffic Stop Data Opens Dialogue About Racial Profiling in Connecticut

Steve Lyon Creative Commons

A new report reveals a disparity between the frequency of traffic stops among white drivers and drivers of color in Connecticut.

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Retail
3:29 pm
Fri August 29, 2014

Holiday Gas Prices Lowest In Four Years

A graphic produced by Gasbuddy.com shows regional variation of gas prices.
GasBuddy.com via USEIA

Originally published on Fri August 29, 2014 4:52 pm

Some good news heading into the long weekend: Labor Day gas prices are at their lowest level in four years.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration says the nationwide average for retail regular was $3.45 per gallon on Aug. 25 — that's the lowest average price for a Monday ahead of Labor Day since 2010, and it's about $0.25 per gallon less than at the end of June this year. The current price is down from the record average of $3.83 for the 2012 holiday.

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Accident
3:48 pm
Tue August 26, 2014

Former FBI Director Louis Freeh Returns To Surgery Following Crash

Former FBI Director Louis Freeh speaks during a news conference in 2012.
Matt Rourke AP

Originally published on Tue August 26, 2014 6:53 pm

Former FBI Director Louis Freeh was returned to surgery at a New Hampshire hospital on Tuesday, after suffering serious injuries in what police say was a one-car crash Monday, according to the Burlington Free Press. The newspaper also reports that Freeh is under armed guard.

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Europe
1:42 pm
Mon August 18, 2014

Paris Heist: Gunmen Take $335,000 From Saudi Motorcade

The Four Seasons George V hotel is seen in Paris. Armed robbers held up a convoy of Saudi diplomatic vehicles that was bound for a Paris airport from the hotel, with about $335,000 in cash.
Iam Langsdon EPA /LANDOV

Originally published on Mon August 18, 2014 2:07 pm

The motorcade of a Saudi prince was hit by thieves Sunday night, as armed men burst from two BMWs and carjacked a vehicle that contained 250,000 euros (about $335,000). The motorcade had been headed from a luxury hotel in Paris to an airport; police suspect the gunmen had inside knowledge.

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Hot Cars
3:05 pm
Mon August 4, 2014

"Look Before You Lock" Effort Launched

State officials are bringing attention to the problem of children left alone in hot cars.
Credit Miki Yoshihito / Creative Commons

A campaign to raise awareness about the problem of leaving children alone in hot cars is being launched in Connecticut, weeks after the death of a Ridgefield toddler. 

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Automobiles
7:21 pm
Fri August 1, 2014

GM Stays At The Top As U.S. Car Sales Surge In July

Sales of GM's cars slid by 3.8 percent from July 1013, but its light trucks and SUVs, like this Buick Enclave, more than made up for it, spiking 17.5 percent.
AP

Originally published on Tue August 19, 2014 12:28 pm

Sales incentives helped U.S. auto sales rise in July, as major auto companies reported selling more than 120,000 more vehicles than the same month last year. GM retained its spot as the U.S. sales leader.

Sales of passenger cars rose by nearly 5 percent this July compared to last year, with sales of light trucks even higher, at 13.4 percent, according to data released Friday by research firm Autodata Corp.

GM sold 256,160 vehicles last month, beating Toyota's 215,802 and Ford's 211,467.

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Technology
3:20 pm
Wed July 16, 2014

Company Experiments With 3D-Printed Car

Local Motors engineer James Earl prepares to test drive the company's 3D printed vehicle prototype. (Carrie Jung/KJZZ)

3D printers are capable of producing a variety of consumer products, from children’s toys to prosthetic limbs. Now, a company in the Phoenix area is trying to take the technology to the next level with cars. From the Here & Now Contributors Network, Carrie Jung of KJZZ reports.

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Fri June 13, 2014

Is Congestion Pricing in Connecticut's Future?

Tom Condon.
Chion Wolf WNPR

Toll booths have lots of bad connotations in the Northeast, and not just because of a the tragic accident in Connecticut nearly 30 years ago, which forced the closing of the toll booth.

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We Be Jammin'
2:55 pm
Thu June 12, 2014

Could Tolls End the I-95 Traffic Nightmare Through Connecticut?

A picture of the high-speed tolling system on CityLink, a network of tolled urban Freeways in Melbourne, Australia.
Contributed Photo Connecticut Department of Transporation

Highway tolls are again being discussed in Connecticut as part of an 18-month study conducted by the state Department of Transportation. It's got road planners asking an interesting question, can one type of toll actually reduce traffic?

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Driving Safety
11:37 am
Thu June 5, 2014

Crackdown On Danbury-Area Distracted Drivers

Police want drivers to remember, "Phone in One Hand. Ticket in the Other."
dolgachov/iStock Thinkstock

The fourth and final crackdown on distracted drivers is being held in the Danbury area. 

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Fitch's Modified Corvair
12:35 pm
Fri May 30, 2014

The "Fitch Phoenix" Goes Up For Auction In Greenwich

Only one protoype of the Fitch Phoenix was built. It will be auctioned off Sunday in Greenwich.
Bonhams

A one-of-a-kind automobile built by a Connecticut icon goes on the auction block this weekend.

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Technology
2:56 pm
Wed May 28, 2014

Google Is Becoming A Car Manufacturer

Google X is building a few hundred self-driving cars that have no steering wheel, accelerator pedal or brake pedal.
Google

Originally published on Wed May 28, 2014 4:35 pm

Google is taking a detour into the world of automobiles, by becoming a carmaker.

But not just any car: a car that drives itself. In an effort to create a fully, 100 percent self-driving vehicle — something that needs no human being at the steering wheel — the company is building a car without a steering wheel.

Scientists at the company's research wing, Google X, have been working on this project hush-hush for the past year.

Today's Self-Driving Car

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Catching a Ride
2:22 pm
Thu May 22, 2014

Connecticut Taxi Firms Sue Ride-Share App Companies

Design Pics Thinkstock

A group of taxi firms in Connecticut is suing two new ride-share companies, trying to stop them from doing business in the state.

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Pedestrian Fatalities
8:15 am
Thu May 22, 2014

Connecticut Ranks 27th For Pedestrian Safety

F Delventhal Creative Commons

Connecticut ranks 27th among 50 states when it comes to pedestrian safety, according to Dangerous By Design, a new report compiled by the National Complete Streets Coalition, a program of Smart Growth America. 

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Elevated Highways
10:12 am
Wed May 21, 2014

New Plan for I-91 Viaduct In Springfield Said to Address Residents' Concerns

An elevated portion of I-91 through Springfield, Massachusetts.
Rusty Clark Creative Commons

Massachusetts transportation officials said a new construction plan for replacing the Interstate 91 viaduct in Springfield will cause fewer traffic headaches than a previous version. 

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Pregnancy Health
1:31 pm
Mon May 12, 2014

Driving While Pregnant Is Riskier Than You Might Think

Be a bit more careful? The risk of a traffic accident rises by about 40 percent during the second trimester of pregnancy.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Mon May 12, 2014 5:04 pm

Don't scuba dive. Be careful about flying. Stay out of those hot tubs. Pregnancy comes with a long list of do's and don'ts.

Now it looks like we might need to add another item to that list: Drive more carefully.

Expectant mothers are more likely to have serious car crashes, a large study out of Canada finds.

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WAMC News
1:26 pm
Mon May 12, 2014

Springfield Parking Authority Gets New Director And Direction

Springfield Parking Authority Executive Director Mary McNally speaks in city hall after Mayor Domenic Sarno ( at right) announced her appointment. Springfield Chief Development Officer Kevin Kennedy stands next to the mayor.

Originally published on Fri May 9, 2014 6:21 pm

An attorney and veteran of several municipal boards and commissions has been tapped to head the parking authority in Springfield, Massachusetts. The appointment comes as the city is on the verge of a parking space crunch. 

Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno announced Friday the selection of Mary McNally as the new executive director of the Springfield Parking Authority.  He called her “eminently qualified” and said the appointment is part of a new direction at the authority.

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Connecticut First
5:55 pm
Fri May 2, 2014

Lawmaker Supports Highway Tolls; Bill Makes it Easier for Charitable Raffles

A key lawmaker in the Connecticut General Assembly is embracing a White House proposal to loosen restrictions on tolling federal interstates.  Rocky Hill state Representative Tony Guerrera-- a co-chairman of the legislature’s Transportation Committee-- says that tolls are the answer to Connecticut’s declining gas tax revenues. He said it would also allow the state to reduce its high taxes on gasoline.  

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WAMC News
9:58 am
Fri April 18, 2014

MassDOT Surveys Commuters In Planning I-91 Project

The elevated highway in Springfield, MA known as the I-91 viaduct will be rebuilt beginning in November. The project is expected to take 3 years to finish

Originally published on Thu April 17, 2014 6:52 pm

The Massachusetts Department of Transportation as part of the planning for a major highway project in western Massachusetts is surveying commuters.

   MassDOT wants to hear from people who travel on Interstate 91 to find out daily routes, arrival and departure times and parking locations.  It is part of the planning for the 3-year $260 million reconstruction of the elevated portion of the highway through downtown Springfield.  Springfield Chamber of Commerce President Jeff Cuiffreda says the online survey is a good first step toward minimizing traffic problems.

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