transportation

Uber drivers will stay independent contractors, not employees, in California and Massachusetts, just as the ride-booking company had maintained they were. Uber is settling class action lawsuits by drivers in the two states for a maximum of $100 million.

In a statement, the company says it will pay the plaintiffs $84 million, plus another $16 million if Uber goes public and within a year increases in value by one and a half times over its worth in December.

J. Stephen Conn / Creative Commons

Remember Hartford's Six Pillars? Gov. John Rowland’s plan to revitalize Hartford -- begun almost 20 years ago -- included a convention center and sports megaplex, a downtown higher education center, up to 1,000 housing units, Civic Center renovations, expanded downtown parking, and riverfront improvements. 

A German train dispatcher was playing a game on his cellphone shortly before he misdirected two trains, causing a head-on collision that killed 11 people, according to prosecutors.

The dispatcher may face charges of negligent homicide, according to Reuters and The Associated Press — though he insists he was not distracted by the game.

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

When UConn engineering professor Karthik Konduri was reviewing the first set of results from a statewide transportation study he’s working on, he wasn’t surprised when the mobile taxi service Uber started showing up in survey responses.

Alan Light / Creative Commons

More than 70 airports in upstate New York are eligible to compete for a share of $200 million in state funds up for grabs in a new state competition from Governor Andrew Cuomo.

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

Standing in a laboratory packed with various scientific instruments, University of Connecticut engineering professor Arash Zaghi gestured to three steel beams, modest in appearance where they sit under the large and brightly-painted hydraulic-powered machine capable of applying weights of up to 275 tons.

epSos .de / Flickr Creative Commons

It’s national distracted driving awareness month again, which means police will be out on the state’s roads and highways checking to see if you’re using your phone while you're driving. But it’s a targeted effort and not all police departments participate. 

The investigation into the crash of an Amtrak train just south of Philadelphia on Sunday, in which two people were killed, is ongoing.

A forward-facing video from the train that recorded footage "up to the collision" showed that there was "construction equipment on the track and work train equipment on the track immediately adjacent to the Amtrak train's track," said Ryan Frigo, the National Transportation Safety Board investigator in charge.

Rio Wight / Flickr

Richard Buckminster Fuller may not be a household name. Nevertheless, his contributions to society and to sustainable living through technology and design were both vast and transformative.

By the time of his death in 1983, Fuller had patented 25 inventions, published over 30 books and had chronicled nearly his entire career through a series of papers knows as the "Dymaxion Chronofile."

When I was a college student in Boston, in the mid-2000s, I didn't have a whole lot of money. But for the price of a movie ticket, I could catch the Chinatown bus down to New York City. It was a fast, cheap adventure.

These days, thousands of people travel up and down the northeast corridor on services like MegaBus and BoltBus. But the Chinatown bus was the original budget bus service. It started in the late 1990s as a service for the Chinese-American community, and became popular with students and others looking for a thrifty ride.

MTA Relaunches Public Safety Campaign

Mar 22, 2016

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority is relaunching the "If you see something, say something" public safety campaign that it started after the September 11 attacks.

Andrew Ciscel / Creative Commons

What if commuting between Connecticut and Long Island meant hopping into a car and driving through a tunnel deep below Long Island Sound? Sounds far-fetched, right?

Well, if you're New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, you might not think so. And if you're Amtrak, you might think it shouldn't be cars driving under the Sound, but trains connecting the Northeast Corridor

CT-N

Governor Dannel Malloy has named a new leadership team for the Department of Motor Vehicles. 

The shutdown of Washington, D.C.'s Metrorail system for an entire day — 29 hours to be exact — for a safety inspection prompted a New York Times interviewee to say: "It's the capital of the United States and one of the biggest business centers in the country. This is like a developing country."

Starting at midnight Tuesday, the D.C. Metro rail system will shut down for 29 hours while authorities investigate potential dangers related to a cable fire on Monday, Metro's General Manager Paul Wiedefeld said at a news conference Tuesday.

Referring to trouble early Monday that caused delays on the Blue, Orange and Silver lines throughout the day, Wiedefeld said the incident showed "commonalities with the cable fire in [the] L'Enfant Plaza [station] a year ago." In that incident, a woman died after being trapped on a train filled with smoke.

Freewayjim / YouTube

Governor Dannel Malloy’s bill which would create a constitutional lockbox to safeguard transportation funds has moved out of committee. But several lawmakers said they want the bill to be improved, or they won’t support it going forward.

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

Hartford resident Tenaya Taylor, 25, became a bike commuter last summer. She’s a college student and works a few different jobs around the city. The bus schedule can be unreliable sometimes, she said, so biking for her is the fastest way to get around. 

The cities of Springfield, Holyoke, and Northampton along with Amherst and UMass have signed an agreement committing to move forward on a regional bike share program. 

The program, tentatively named “ValleyBike,” would make bicycles available to people for a small fee to make short trips. 

Christopher Curtis, chief planner with the Pioneer Valley Planning Commission, said the communities and the institution will be looking to obtain $1.1 million in federal transportation funds to buy the bicycles and build the bike stations.

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

For Nutmeggers who drive to work on the state’s jam-packed highways or pile into Metro-North trains during the morning rush, the thought of commuting by sea might seem like a tranquil alternative -- but not necessarily a realistic transit option.

John Haley / Connecticut Historical Society

This hour, a panel of experts and historians gives us an in-depth look at the life and legacy of Beatrice Fox Auerbach, owner and CEO of Connecticut's most beloved department store, G. Fox and Co. 

Mamata.mulay / Creative Commons

The legislature's Transportation Committee heard testimony Monday on Governor Dannel Malloy's proposed transportation lockbox. Lawmakers expressed concern about possible ways around the proposed amendment to the state constitution.

Eduardo Mueses / Creative Commons

Ten Connecticut towns and three transit districts across the state are receiving $20 million in federal highway funds for transportation projects centered on improving traffic flow and air quality

A growing threat to airline safety is the illegal use of lasers to damage pilots’ eyes. Now an international company Revision, with offices in Essex, Vermont, has developed a protective eyewear that blocks the damaging effects of lasers.  

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Governor Dannel Malloy seems to be at odds with his transportation commissioner over the issue of congestion pricing. It’s a way to discourage drivers from using highways, but its place in the state’s comprehensive transportation plan is uncertain.

Despite gains in car safety, 2015 saw the largest percentage rise in motor vehicle deaths in the past 50 years, according to the National Safety Council. Cheaper gas and a stronger economy were likely key factors in the rise, the nonprofit group says.

Kat Northern Lights Man / Creative Commons

If you’re at a crosswalk, do you wait for the walk signal to cross to the other side? Or do you just cross when there's no oncoming traffic? What if you’re with other people, or children? 

That’s what researchers at the University of Connecticut and Manchester Community College are asking in a survey they hope to circulate online. 

Freewayjim / YouTube

Governor Dannel Malloy’s transportation goals for the state include a plan to widen the entire length of I-95 in Connecticut. The state’s transportation commissioner said on WNPR Friday that the widening plan is actually tied to congestion pricing to discourage highway use.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

More trains! Wider roads! Fixed bridges! The governor’s big plan to fix our transportation system has a lot in it but the state is still figuring out how to pay for it. Department of Transportation Commissioner James Redeker stops by for an update on the state of Connecticut’s current transportation infrastructure and plans to overhaul the system.

Thanks in part to the mild snow-free winter so far, the reconstruction of Interstate 91 through downtown Springfield is ahead of schedule.

   MassDOT CEO Stephanie Pollack said the contractor on the $185 million project appears to be on track to earn a $9 million bonus by completing the work by the end of 2017.

"Between the mild winter and those rewards the contractor has every incentive to bring the project in ahead of schedule and it is my understanding that may well happen," Pollack told reporters in Springfield Wednesday.

Jim Maurer / Creative Commons

Ridership on the New Haven commuter rail line has reached a record high.

Governor Dannel Malloy said on Tuesday there were 40.3 million passenger trips in 2015. That's up two percent from 2014 when ridership was 39.6 million.

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