Things to read whilst transiting: National Public Radio’s website is jettisoning reader/listener comments, which the site has posted since 2008. Why? NPR explains that more commenting is done on social media sites and only .06 of site users are commenting (although commenting a lot).
Using Google stats, NPR also estimates that 83 percent of comments were left by males even though males are just 52 percent of all site users. Interestingly, Google stats estimate that Source readers are about 54 percent male — although it sure seems that the vast, vast, vast majority of Source commenters are men.
No, we’re not going to get rid of comments on this blog. But we’ve struggled to get more women to participate, perhaps because dudes really like trains and buses and systems and such. If you have a suggestion for how we can do better, drop me a line.
Art of Transit:
Dept. of Another Big Fire:
— Marcus Yam 文火 (@yamphoto) August 17, 2016
— Will Lester (@WillLesterPhoto) August 17, 2016
The cars would be used for ride hailing services. Excerpt:
“That means there’s going to be no steering wheel. There’s going to be no gas pedal. There’s going to be no brake pedal,’’ he [Ford CEO Mark Fields] said. “If someone had told you 10 years ago, or even five years ago, that the C.E.O. of a major automaker American car company is going to be announcing the mass production of fully autonomous vehicles, they would have been called crazy or nuts or both.”
General Motors has already bought a stake in Lyft and has previously said its self-driving cars would be in service within a few years.
I’ve gone from very skeptical about autonomous cars to less skeptical and now find myself getting more skeptical again. Are cities really going to allow these kind of cars on the streets within five years? Are people going to hop in the cars? Aren’t the cars going to get stuck in traffic?
I get the benefits — especially for those who don’t want to buy cars or can’t drive anymore. But this sometimes feels like a very business-driven leap into the future that is part horsehockey and part wishful thinking. Agree? Disagree? Persuade me I’m wrong, please.
Related: Vox looks at the three big trends that will shape the car industry in the 2020s and two of them involve self-driving things.
Related 2: MIT wants humans’ input on who self-driving cars should kill (in the rare case of a brake failure).
On the other hand, who knows what the future may hold. Some of us thing it could be very different….
Quasi-related: John Oliver tackled the auto-loan industry on “Last Week Tonight” on Sunday. It’s funny and serves as a good explainer of how Wall Street is investing in dubious loan outfits — with some parallels to what happened in the housing industry, perhaps. If you want to watch it, go find it. Warning: adult language and animation.
The North Hollywood tunnel opens: a good value? (CiclaValley)
Mr. CiclaValley says the new underground connections between the Red Line and Orange Line in NoHo will save him time. But Senor CiclaValley looks at the new stairs, portal, elevators and escalator and questions the $22-million price tag of the project.
The Rio Olympics transport legacy (Adventures in Transitland)
The legacy isn’t insignificant, writes blogger Darren Davis — more got done in the run-up to the World Cup and Summer Games then has been widely reported. But Rio still has considerable long-term needs, especially with private car use growing.
Happens, all the times says a spokesperson for Rep. Adam Gray (D-Merced). If you say so! 🙂
Related: Metro just received $109 million for two transit projects from the state’s cap-and-trade fund. I’ll post the news this afternoon.
Dept. of Pop Culture: 1960s Batman and Robin to return! Well, sort of.
Categories: Transportation Headlines