Transportation headlines, Thursday, April 7

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.

Boxer tests out “America Fast Forward” at Senate committee hearing (DC Streetsblog)

Yesterday, The Source posted a note that Representative Judy Chu (D-Monterey Park) testified in Congress in support of America Fast Forward. Today, DC Streetsblog reports that Senator Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) took up the AFF mantle in a committee hearing in the Senate. While the coalition supporting America Fast Forward is indeed broad and bipartisan, it’s important to remember that important legislative legwork still needs to be carried out by members of Congress. So far, Boxer and Chu’s colleagues seem supportive to AFF, although some representatives of rural districts noted that it may not be as useful to their constituents as it would be to those living in cities.

Editorial: Job-needy valley awaits word on new rail funding (Bakersfield Californian)

California is waiting to hear if it will get a piece of Florida’s $2.4 billion in rejected high-speed rail funding from the U.S. Department of Transportation. In the mean time, the Bakersfield Californian wants their congressional representatives to know that they should be champions of the state’s bullet train project, not detractors. As the editorial notes, the project would bring tens of thousands of jobs to the Central Valley, not to mention an increase in the region’s connectivity to the state’s major economic hubs to the north and south.

New Google Maps feature nudges drivers to consider alternatives (California Streets)

Blogger Matt Nelson draws our attention to a new feature that Google Maps is rolling out in San Francisco. He noticed that, when he searches for travel directions, Google now automatically suggests public transit and walking directions where they would be competitive with driving. It seems like a useful way to help remind travelers that the car is often not the best option for getting around town. So far, however, the new feature has yet to reach Los Angeles. We’ll keep you posted if it does.