Transportation headlines, Wednesday, July 21

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

As [D.C.] Metro congestion grows, so does anger at ‘seat hogs’ (Washington Post)

This story will hit close to home for any rider of public transit. In D.C., as transit use continues to grow, more and more commuters are getting fed up with ‘seat hogs’ – those folks who choose to sit in an aisle seat on a bus or train, leaving the adjacent seat empty and inconveniently inaccessible (or occupied by a purse or bag).  The problem has grown to the point that the inevitable ‘covert’ cell phone pictures of seat hogs’ website has popped up – it’s called and it’s pretty hilarious (and infuriating).

California shouldn’t fall behind on license plate advertising (L.A. Times)

This opinion piece by California representative Curren Price Jr. defends a bill to study new license plate technology that would enable drives to get license plates that display electronic advertisements. The writer also happens to be the person who introduced the bill and thinks that it’s a pretty darn good way to battle the state’s budget woes – and feels the technology is inevitable, so why not just embrace it?

Transit Agencies Find New On-Ramps to the Information Superhighway (InTransition Magazine)

Metro’s forays into social media get a little bit of love in this article that looks at how transit agencies are attempting to improve their image and customer outreach with the likes of Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. The idea is that social media has the potential to reach a normally disengaged demographic – namely younger folks who typically wouldn’t attend public meetings due to their preference in digital modes of communication. I may be a bit biased, but as someone who finds phone calls to be an archaic form of communication, I think transit agencies are doing right by embracing social media.

Vehicle fee could bring in $5M for [San Francisco] street projects (San Francisco Examiner)

San Francisco has figured out a new way to raise money for transit – charge drivers a $10 vehicle registration fee. The measure, that goes on the ballot in November, could generate $5 million a year for transit and pedestrian improvements. A poll conducted by the San Francisco County Transit Authority revealed that 62% of voters support the vehicle registration fee.