LA and NYC's Public Transit Systems Got In a Twitter Fight Over Baseball

New Yorkers like to make fun of LA’s subway. Angelenos like to make fun of how New York is a raging hellhole of gentrification that reeks of desperation and greed, but with great trains! So with their baseball teams meeting in the playoffs, it’s only natural that their transit systems start talking smack. »9/30/15 7:52pm9/30/15 7:52pm

Uber Can Actually Make It Easier For People To Ride Public Transit

Uber’s destruction of the taxi industry is obvious—and NYC cabs are finally fighting back. But how much of a threat is Uber to other modes of transportation? Earlier this week I worried that Uber’s plan to more easily scoop people off city streets might take ridership away from public transit. But a FiveThirtyEight… »8/28/15 2:52pm8/28/15 2:52pm

If You Want Better Public Transit, You Probably Shouldn't Use Uber

I’m writing this from a train. Without access to a car, I had to make a plan this morning for how to get to an interview: rent a car, ride a bike, take a train and a bus, use an on-demand ride service. I chose the train for a few reasons. But mostly because I believe that choosing public transportation is the best… »8/26/15 4:30pm8/26/15 4:30pm

Want to Make Your Commute Feel Shorter? Wait at a Tree-Lined Bus Stop

Trees, what can’t they do? They shelter urban wildlife, improve our mental health, and provide the very air we breathe. And it turns out that just the presence of trees at a public transit stop might be enough to improve riders’ perception of the transit experience—even if the actual service doesn’t improve at all. »8/13/15 4:20pm8/13/15 4:20pm

What Is the Most Obnoxious Behavior You've Seen on Public Transit?

Manspreading—the phenomenon where males require extra room on trains for their oversized scrotums—has been in the news lately with several reports of men being arrested on the New York City subway for occupying more than one seat. Surely this isn’t the worst offense committed on our public transportation systems? »6/01/15 6:56pm6/01/15 6:56pm

Would You Take the Bus If It Earned You Free Credits For Tolls?

There's a running joke in many American cities: The only way to make public transportation truly work would be to pay people to ride it. In Atlanta, that's kind of what a new pilot program is doing. For certain transit trips, passengers can now earn $2—but they can only use the money to pay tolls on a nearby highway.… »3/18/15 6:40pm3/18/15 6:40pm

The 10 Best American Cities for Riding Transit To Work

We've seen plenty of stories that measure how big, fast, and effective our transit systems are in the U.S. But for many people, none of that matters unless transit can do one thing: Get them to work. That's why this study by the University of Minnesota is so valuable—it shows which transit systems provide the best… »10/13/14 8:25pm10/13/14 8:25pm

L.A.'s First Public Transit Used Actual Horse Power

Public transportation was slow to arrive in Los Angeles, a city whose farthest reaches were still accessible by foot in the 1870s. But as the city began to stretch out over the surrounding landscape, some form of regular, wheeled transportation around town became a practical necessity. And in the beginning, horses… »4/23/14 5:39pm4/23/14 5:39pm

L.A. Once Had Cable Cars (Just Like San Francisco's)

They used to be more than just a San Francisco novelty. In the late 19th century, cable cars were a widely used public transit solution in cities across the United States—including Los Angeles. There, they replaced the city's first generation of streetcars, horsecars, and brought real estate development to previously… »4/04/14 12:43pm4/04/14 12:43pm

Smog is Forcing France to Rethink its Love of Diesel

Last week, the smog in Paris got so bad, city officials made public transit free and banned half the city's cars from the road. The vehicle ban only lasted a day, with the reduced traffic and changing weather patterns alleviating the smog situation. But why did the smog get so bad in the first place? Blame France's… »3/20/14 6:40pm3/20/14 6:40pm