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TheCityFix Picks, December 2: Chicago BRT, Cycling Subsidies, My Healthy Arequipa

Arequipa Mía Saludable (“My Healthy Arequipa”) was recently launched in Arequipa, Peru to support healthy and sustainable active transport. Photo by Francesco Muratori.

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: integrated transport, urban development and accessibility, air quality and climate change, health and road safety, and communications and marketing.

Integrated Transport

Houston, Texas received $900 million in U.S. federal grant money for the city’s light rail project.

Amtrak set a Thanksgiving holiday week ridership record with an estimated 720,000 passengers taking the train service between Tuesday, November 22 and Monday, November 28.

Controversy recently sprung up surrounding the legitimacy of Chicago’s forthcoming bus rapid transit (BRT) system with the publishing of a Chicago Tribune op-ed that denounces the transport option as a “undeclared war on the automobile.”

The International Trade Fair of Mass Transport was recently held in Bogota, Colombia. The event was supported by EMBARQ, the producer of this blog, and among its featured speakers was EMBARQ’s Latin America Strategic Director Luis Gutierrez.

Urban Development + Accessibility

GIZ in collaboration with 11 authors from Brazil published “Ecomobilidade para o Brasil,” a 102-page document providing specific tools to support sustainable transport initiatives in Brazilian cities.

EMBARQ transport experts hosted a panel discussion titled “Cities and the Third Sector: EMBARQ Partnership Model for Sustainable Mobility” at last week’s 10th Metropolis World Congress in Porto Alegre, Brazil.

A girls bicycling subsidy program, Mukhyamantri Balika Cycle Yoina, in the Indian state of Bihar, has helped purchase bicycles for 871,000 school-aged girls.

Several Indian states are amidst debates regarding proof-of-parking laws, which would require individuals to prove they have a parking space before being able to register a vehicle.

Air Quality + Climate Change

It is feasible to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions by 2020 to a level that would keep a global temperature rise below 2 degrees Celsius, according to a new study by the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP).

A new study by the Mexican Finance Group asserts that Mexico’s current budget for climate change adaptation and mitigation will be insufficient in meeting the country’s 2012 targets.

The United States government should increase its annual investment in Energy Research, Development, Demonstration and Deployment (ERD3) by 92 percent over the FY 2009 levels to $10 billion, a new study by the Harvard Kennedy School of Government finds.

Health + Road Safety

New York City is on track this year to achieve its lowest amount of traffic fatalities in a century.

The non-motorized transport program Arequipa Mía Saludable (“My Healthy Arequipa”) was recently launched in Arequipa, Peru. Supported by EMBARQ Andino, the program periodically closes city streets to motorized traffic, embracing healthy, sustainable active transport.

Communications + Marketing

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s “One Text or Call Could Wreck It All” campaign combating distracted driving is expanding to movie theaters and gas stations through new partnerships with Regal Entertainment Group and Outcast’s PumpTop TV.

California’s Amtrak trains now offer free WiFi for passengers thanks to funding contributions from Amtrak’s partner California state passenger rail agencies.

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