TheCityFix Picks, August 20: Atlanta Mass Transit Tax, Moscow Train Surfing, London's Camping Commuters
The federal government in the United States is considering mandating that seat belts be installed in large motorcoaches. Photo by

The federal government in the United States is considering mandating that seat belts be installed in large motorcoaches. Photo by

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.


The New York Times follows up with the Chinese “straddling bus” inventor, who claims the behemoth vehicles “could reduce traffic jams by 25 to 30 percent.”

CNN showcases the $8 billion investment in establishing a national network of high-speed rail in the United States.

Atlanta is considering a one percent sales tax that will directly fund mass transit projects. More than half of the region’s total tax revenue would go to transit, under the proposed guidelines.

Quality of Life

The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is considering a proposal to require motorcoaches (large tour-style buses) to install new buses and retrofit old oneswith seat belts. According to the NHTSA, 65% of trips on such buses are made by children and seniors.

A deadly trend has arisen during Moscow’s peak commuting hours: train surfing. Some desperate commuters avoid the crush of the packed-to-the-brim rail cars by riding on top or in between cars, but others do it for the thrill. No matter, there are lethal risks, according to The Moscow News.


Canadian cities are implementing different strategies to make themselves greener. From additional bike lanes to widened sidewalks, sustainable transportation solutions are predominant.

The Chinese government stated recently that it plans to invest billions of dollars in the development of electric and hybrid vehicles in the coming years.

Public Space

India’s Planning Commission states that $1 trillion need to be spent on transportation and utilities infrastructure improvements for the sub-continent to “accelerate economic growth.” Bloomberg looks at the current budget situation and the outlook.

The Guardian looks at London commuters who have decided to park themselves in area campsites to avoid the high house prices of the English capital.

Technology and Innovation

A new traffic management system could be a solution to traffic jams on British roadways. The Financial Times highlights the “smart traffic” technology that makes use of real time data.

German rail operator Deutsche Bahn will begin frieght operations to transport Audi vehicles under a new carbon-free scheme using only renewable energy.

Last week it was butter; this week, it’s whisky. Scottish scientists have been studying the possibility of using by-products from distilleries to create a clean fuel that could be used in typical gas-powered vehicles.

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