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TheCityFix Picks, August 13: BRT in Tanzania, Transbay Transit Center, Buttery Biodiesel
Construction on the Transbay Transit Center in San Francisco was begun. Among those at the ceremony were U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. Photo by Speaker Pelosi

Construction on the Transbay Transit Center in San Francisco has begun. Among those attending the ceremony were U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. Photo by Speaker Pelosi

Welcome back to TheCityFix Picks, our series highlighting the newsy and noteworthy of the past week. Each Friday, we’ll run down the headlines falling under TheCityFix’s five themes: mobility, quality of life, environment, public space, and technology and innovation.

Mobility

The U.S. appears to be getting more serious about high-speed passenger train travel, like the bullet trains used in Japan and Europe. The U.S. Department of Transportation announced that up to $25 million are available in its recent call for research proposals.

Tanzania’s capital Dar es Salaam inaugurated the construction of the Dar es Salaam Rapid Transit project this week. It’s the first of  six phases of the city’s Transport Master Plan to be completed by 2025.

The Vancouver Sun reports that local businesses are standing in the way of bike lanes being installed on city streets despite high usage of previously installed lanes and a growing cycling culture in the city.

With July’s sales numbers in, the Wall Street Journal reports that India’s car sales have reached an “all-time high”, up 38% from the last report on sales in March.

Poland’s Ministry of Infrastructure released guidelines for improving railway transport through improving accessibility and making railway transport more attractive than car transport.

Quality of Life

A new report from the American Public Transportation Association collected the findings of several transportation and health studies and reveals that “public transportation enhances the overall quality of life of an individual and a community.”

The London Underground has installed an air-conditioned train for the first time. Oddly, it was on an open-air line.

Environment

A report released this week from the Carbon Disclosure Project, reveals that the global transport industry is lagging in its reporting of environmental impact and any plans to reduce its carbon footprint.

According to a retiring Senator from Ohio, increasing the national gas tax in the United States would help close the federal budget deficit and increase investment in infrastructure projects.

Public Space

The Transbay Transit Center broke ground this week in San Francisco. The space will host more than 10 different transit agencies and be the northern terminus for the California High Speed Rail Network.

Los Angeles will be using a city parking lot equipped with bathroom and waste facilities to help homeless people transition from RVs and motor homes to more permanent housing.

Technology and Innovation

Spread the butter beyond the table. Buttery biodiesel may be a key fuel amongst various biofuels in the future, according to the New York Times.

The future of cars may be small. With fuel prices on the rise, vehicle size in the U.S. is catching up to the rest of the world with a rise in smaller cars.

Iceland, Norway, Israel, and Japan have them already; now the U.S. states of Arizona, Washington, Oregon, California, and Tennessee will be installing electric car charging stations in the near future.

Speaking of Iceland, Forbes foresees the tiny island nation as the future capital of electric cars. Best of all the majority of the energy to fuel the vehicles will be harvested from clean, renewable sources.

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