Transportation headlines, Tuesday, Oct. 5

Here is a look at some of the transportation headlines gathered by us and the Metro Library. The full list of headlines is posted on the library’s blog.

London: bring on contact-less credit cards for fare payment (ZDNet)

The city’s transit agency said it plans to allow customers to pay fares by swiping their contact-less VISA, MasterCard or American Express cards. Why? It’s easy and means that visitors don’t have to fiddle around getting an Oyster card, London’s bulked up version of a TAP card. Excerpt:

TfL also revealed that it has been working with transport operators in major international cities to develop “common standards and systems” for the new plans. It said it wants to position London at the forefront of ticketing technology and expects to see this method of paying for travel “widely adopted” in the next few years.

“These technologies have the potential to propel us into a world where travelling around London can be easier and even more convenient for passengers. The mayor is continually looking for new thoughts and ideas and that includes contactless payment,” Kulveer Ranger, the mayor’s transport adviser, told GC News.

Is Chicago ready for a high-speed train to the airport? (Chicago Tribune)

Mayor Daley — who soon won’t be mayor anymore — recently visited China and fell in loved with the mag-lev train that whisks passengers between downtown Shanghai and the international airport in seven minutes and at speeds up to 268 mph. He wants one for Chicago, where O’Hare is served by an El train running up the middle of the Kennedy freeway. But it’s a pricey proposition and studies have shown that 75 percent of those who take the current train work at the airport. Most of those who actually fly get there by car.

Today’s musical interlude is from Michelle Shocked and her “Come a Long Way,” a great L.A. driving song.

Peninsula cities sue high-speed rail agency (Mercury News)

The cities of Menlo Park, Palo Alto and Atherton filed a suit on Monday against the California High-Speed Rail Authority, alleging the agency didn’t properly study the impacts of the bullet train project. The cities have been unhappy that bullet trains plan to use the existing Caltrain commuter rail corridor on the San Francisco Peninsula. Menlo Park and Atherton already sued the Authority; that suit was dismissed.