How We Roll, Dec. 9: what should transit agencies do about fare evaders?

Friendly reminder: service changes go into effect on Sunday.

Art of Earthly Transit: 

More about the project here.

Art of (Space) Transit: 


From the NASA website: Middle school students programmed a camera aboard the International Space Station — the Sally Ride EarthKAM — to photograph this portion of the Sahara desert in western Libya on October 3, 2016. In early November 2016, the Expedition 50 crew set up the EarthKAM gear once again in the Harmony module’s Earth-facing hatch window, to allow students to photograph targets on Earth and downlink the imagery.

EarthKAM is the only program providing students with such direct control of an instrument on a spacecraft orbiting Earth, teaching them about environmental science, geography and space communications. The project was initiated by Dr. Sally Ride, America’s first woman in space, in 1995 and called KidSat; the camera flew on five space shuttle flights before moving to the space station on Expedition 1 in 2001.

Image Credit: Sally Ride EarthKAM

7 things that will get you banned from Uber (Buzzfeed) 

About what you’d expect. If you’ve been drinking, barf before or after riding. The buzzfeeders also showed me how to check my own rating, which is a perfect 5.0 after my one and only ride earlier this week (Pasadena to LAX Terminal 5 in 36 minutes (it was 4:30 a.m.). And, no, I am not made of money and, yes, I’ll be taking the FlyAway and Gold Line back home once I’ve been granted a temporary release from the Cincinnati metro area.

Ignoring fare evaders can make transit faster and richer (Wired) 

The article argues that gates and turnstiles are more trouble than they’re worth and proof of payment systems work better. Of course, Metro Rail had no turnstiles until relatively recently, with many arguing that too many people were riding for free. Metro has all-door boarding on the Silver Line; stay tuned to see if it ever spreads to the rest of the bus system.

Fun fact: The Expo Line hit a new high for average weekday boardings with 47,544 in November compared to 42,344 in October. Likely reason why: in late October the Expo Line went to trains running every six minutes for much of the day. That’s getting dialed back somewhat as part of this Sunday’s service changes, with Expo returning to 12-minute service at mid-day, which officials say better reflects ridership patterns. All mid-day trains will be three cars now and peak hour service will go from two-car trains to a mix of two- and three-car trains.

Clean energy moving forward despite Trump’s EPA pick, experts say (NYT)

Scott Pruitt may not like federal rules over clean power and methane emissions, but some experts feel like market forces will remain the largest determinant when it comes to greenhouse gas emissions. Example: many utilities are investing in renewable energy with an eye toward energy markets in 10, 20 or more years from now.

Still, some critics worry that government can put its thumb on the scale and help some industries more than others. Should be interesting to see. Stay tuned.

In pictures: the crown jewel of Iraq’s railway (BBC)

Train to Basra

A more accurate headline would have been ‘what’s left of Iraq’s railway.’ Great pics, though.