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TheCityFix Picks, November 12: Hot Sprawl, Biofuel Brings Carbon, Les Abribus Montréalais
Montréal is set to replace 400 bus shelters by 2013. Rendering by Leblanc + Turcotte + Spooner.

Montréal is set to replace 400 bus shelters by 2013. Rendering by Leblanc + Turcotte + Spooner.

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

As demand for public transportation rises yet budgets are cut, cities are turning to bus rapid transit over rail, as profiled in the Future of Transportation series on Marketplace.

After receiving a federal grant, Austin is spending nearly $50 million on the acquisition of 40 bus units and the creation of two BRT corridors by 2013 in the Texas capital.

Women in Delhi will be able to ride public transportation without charge this Sunday in the Indian capital in honor of the Festival of Bhai Dooj.

Quality of Life

Cities with high levels of urban sprawl have more than twice as many days with extreme heat than cities with more compact growth patterns, leading to increased air pollution and public health issues.

Americans could save on average over $9,500 annually by utilizing primarily public transportation, according to the American Public Transportation Association.

A recent analysis of data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration found that 17% of road deaths were related to drowsy driving in the United States.

New research by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare reveals that indigenous people are nearly three times more likely to die in road accidents than non-indigenous Australians.

Environment

In an effort to convert half of its global fleet to electric vehicles by 2015, GE has announced plans to buy 25,000 electric vehicles.

A report on the European Union’s biofuel policy revealed increased production of the alternative fuel will lead to emissions of an extra 27 to 56 million tons of greenhouse gas emissions per year.

The Federal Transit Administration announced that five major urban transit agencies across the nation will receive a share of $25 million to purchase fast charge battery electric transit buses and electric vehicle charging stations

Public Space

Finding inspiration from the freeway, London’s busy shopping district — Oxford Street — may soon have an express-lane for those in a hurry, reports The Wall Street Journal.

Montreal transit authorities seek to make public transportation “cool” through the installation of $16,000 designer bus shelters. The city will replace 400 shelters by 2013.

Pedestrians and cyclists in Billings, Montana no longer have to cross over a seven-lane highway. Now, they just go under it thanks to a newly inaugurated tunnel specifically for those on bike or foot.

Photographer Christoph Gielen takes to the sky to capture the suburban landscapes of the United States, that is one defined by sprawling housing developments and “careless use of new land,” in the artist’s words.

Technology and Innovation

The Taxi of Tomorrow competition was held recently in New York City to explore what needs to happen to transform the iconic vehicle of the city for the 21st century.

Looking for new sources of funds, the Chicago Transit Authority is considering selling to the highest bidder the naming rights of train stations, lines, and bus routes.

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