Jeff Wood
Urban Reads

Chicago Adapting Electric Buses for Winter

All the city news you can use.

By - Mar 13th, 2023 02:29 pm

Electric bus. Photo by Ryanmirjanic [CC BY-SA 4.0 (].

Electric bus. Photo by Ryanmirjanic (CC BY-SA 4.0).

Every day at The Overhead Wire we sort through over 1,500 news items about cities and share the best ones with our email list. At the end of the week, we take some of the most popular stories and share them with Urban Milwaukee readers. They are national (or international) links, sometimes entertaining and sometimes absurd, but hopefully useful.

Obscure transit rule could improve safety: In areas where bus stops are further apart, some transit agencies have rules on the books that allow riders to request stops in between. Many drivers and riders aren’t aware of them and agencies are worried too many requests would slow down service. Agencies with the rule also limit stops on certain streets and corners but the idea would be to let people stop late at night on less traveled routes for a bit more safety getting home. (H. Jiahong Pan | Next City)

Water cut off for 2,000 homes: Rio Verde Hills Arizona, developed by “wildcat developers”, is dependent on trucks to bring water to homes without wells from Scottsdale. But truck access to the supply from the Colorado River was cut off after Scottsdale began implementing more rules around shortages from drought. A two year solution from the city is on the table, but longer term access needs to be addressed. (Wyatt Myskow | Fast Company)

Chicago adapting electric buses for cold weather: Chicago has been experimenting with electric buses for almost nine years, and has been focused on figuring out how to make sure they work in colder winter weather. Most of battery drain goes to heating in winter, so recharges are necessary to keep the buses running. Drivers are told to top off at charging stations if batteries get to 50%, but the agency has found operating electric after capital costs is much cheaper overall; $2/mile vs $3 for a diesel bus. (Tom Krisher | Associated Press)

“We Buy Houses”, everyone else loses: Commercials or billboards saying “We Buy Houses” for cash are ubiquitous in cities all over the country. But a new report from Drexel Metro Finance in Philadelphia found that homes sold to investors were valued at 50% less than those sold to individuals outside the Multiple Listing Service. These findings call into question whether the “We Buy Houses” world is taking homeowners for a ride. (Bruce Katz, Ben Preis, Kevin Gillen | Philadelphia Citizen)

French cities banning billboards: Cities all over France are moving to ban large billboards and flashy advertising in an attempt to reduce visual blight and create a calm urban environment. The City of Nantes in Western France has banned billboards and took down 110 over the course of one night. While advertisers seem to be upset with the loss of space to sell goods and services, local residents are happy with the resulting lack of annoying pitches. (John Laurenson | Marketplace)

Quote of the Week

If this project is built through the center of our city this racist past will carry its racist impacts into our future.

Ann Burruss whose complaint about a highway expansion in Lafayette Louisiana led to a civil rights investigation by the Federal Highway Administration.

This week on the podcast, we’re going to the Rail~Volution (Now MPact) Conference in Miami. Daniel Gibson, Regional Vice President of Miami Dade Allegany Franciscan Ministries moderates a panel featuring LA Metro CEO Stephanie Wiggins, Philadelphia’s SEPTA CEO Leslie Richards, and Diana Stanley, CEO of homeless services provider The Lord’s Place to talk about homelessness and public transportation.

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Categories: Urban Reads

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