Transportation & Aviation | KERA News

Transportation & Aviation

Southwest Airlines planes are loaded Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2019, at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport in Seattle.
Associated Press

Southwest Airlines is now lashing out at the union representing its mechanics, suggesting that they may be grounding planes to gain leverage in stalled contract negotiations. This comes on the heels of an FAA investigation into faulty baggage weight estimates at the airline and a financial hit from the government shutdown.

The San Antonio City Council has approved tighter rules for dockless vehicles like electric scooters throughout the city. They're in addition to an existing pilot program.

Kiichiro Sato / Associated Press

Fort Worth-based American Airlines plans to add 700 flight attendants to its Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport hub, an airline spokeswoman confirmed.

The reason goes back to the airline's merger with US Airways in 2013: American Airlines flight attendants could only fly on original American Airlines planes, not US Airways. 

Germany's Lufthansa Group Airlines is suing a passenger who found a cheap way to travel between several cities in Europe and the U.S., saying the customer broke its rules when he skipped part of his return flight on a round-trip ticket from Oslo to Seattle. Now it wants him to pay more than $2,000 to make up the difference.

The man used a method to book his multistop trip that's known as "hidden city" ticketing — where travelers find layover cities on an airliner's route that are cheaper than a direct flight from one city to another.

The introduction of dockless electric scooters to Austin's streets has come with its share of growing pains. Nine months since they were first introduced, you can see hundreds of scooters parked on the side of the street — especially in Central Austin.

But what exactly are the rules for riding scooters in the City of Austin?

A crash last week killed a 21-year-old scooter rider, the Austin Police Department says. The department says it's the first death related to a rented scooter in Austin.

Associated Press

Southwest Airlines will drop service to Mexico City this spring and use the financial resources to bolster other routes.

Like a mirage on a sun-beaten West Texas highway, the future of autonomous vehicles in Texas isn't altogether clear. A new state effort hopes to remedy that.  

Associated Press

As many as 200 federal workers at Dallas Love Field have been treated to hot dogs and hamburgers donated by members of the city's aviation department during the partial government shutdown.

Department spokesman Chris Perry says Friday's free lunch was meant to help federal workers on duty at the Dallas-owned airport but not getting paid. The lunch benefited TSA, Federal Aviation Administration and Customs and Border Protection employees.

Another dockless scooter company plans to enter the market in Austin – but its users will get to sit down.

OjO Electric, LLC, a California-based company, is launching the first sit-down electric scooter rideshare in the capital. One hundred scooters are expected to hit city streets by Feb. 1 and grow to 250 later in the spring.

TexRail Is Finally Here — Here's How It Works

Jan 10, 2019
TexRail, D/FW's newest train line, runs from downtown Fort Worth to DFW International Airport.
Trinity Metro

TexRail — the brand-new commuter rail line from Fort Worth to DFW International Airport — opened in January to more than 11,000 passengers. In the first 12 days of service, nearly 55,000 passengers have used new commuter rail service, according to Trinity Metro. Ready to take your ride? Here is what you need to know.

Road deaths in Austin dropped slightly in the city’s second full year of a campaign for traffic safety.

Seventy-four people died on city streets in 2018, according to numbers from the Austin Police Department. That's two fewer deaths than the year before.

Trinity Metro

TexRail — the brand-new rail line from Fort Worth to DFW International Airport — is now scheduled to open on Thursday.

In Austin, and elsewhere, 2018 was the year of the scooter. Love them or hate them, they're all over the city's streets (and sidewalks) and they're here to stay – at least for now.

Now, a snapshot from the city gives more insight into where users rode scooters in 2018.

The Associated Press / Rex C. Curry

Southwest Airlines co-founder Herb Kelleher, the colorful character who built an upstart Texas carrier into a high-flying powerhouse, died Thursday, the airline announced. He was 87.

DART light rail
Associated Press

A driver died and a passenger was hurt Thursday when their vehicle collided with a DART train in Richardson.

DART

The holiday season tends to be less safe for drivers, and the early hours on New Year's Day are no exception.

Shizuo Kambayashi / Associated Press

For those traveling from Dallas to Houston, high-speed rail could make the trip a lot faster. The proposed project by Texas Central would take passengers from one city to the other in just 90 minutes.

In a 6-0 vote, Austin's transit agency advanced its vision for getting a rapidly growing population around town as fast and easy as possible. But there are several more hoops for the Project Connect plan to jump through before you'll actually see it go into effect.

Austin trail-goers may encounter more electric scooters starting next month.

The Austin Parks and Recreation Department is launching a pilot program that will allow the e-scooters and e-bikes to ride on certain trails to better determine how riders can share trails with runners and cyclists in the future.

General Motors has some major restructuring plans underway, announcing that it will lay off up to 14,000 factory and white-collar workers in North America and potentially shutter five plants. 

Plants in Detroit, Michigan and Lordstown, Ohio (which make vehicles like the Chevrolet Impala and Chevrolet Cruze) are potentially on the chopping block, reflecting the company's move away from cars sales in the U.S. and toward SUVs and trucks. 

There are enjoyable ways to walk or bike across Lady Bird Lake, but the Pleasant Valley Bridge is not one of them. A narrow sidewalk, a chain-link fence and low guardrails are features that make the East Austin crossing unsafe

Dockless electric scooters have been for rent on Austin streets legally since May. Love them or hate them, they present some interesting legal questions for city officials, police and insurance companies.


Over the past year, companies have been rolling out electric scooters by the thousands in cities across the country — from Milwaukee to Washington, D.C., to Lubbock, Texas. People download the app, find a nearby scooter and then just unlock and ride. But as these shared scooters have spread, so have concerns about safety.

Shutterstock

Trying to figure out the future transportation habits for millions of people in a metro area isn't easy; cities often play it safe and go with what's worked before. 

The North Central Texas Council of Governments adopted Mobility 2045, its $135 billion blueprint for the region's transportation needs, earlier this summer.

Over the past year, dockless electric scooters have descended on city sidewalks almost as if they fell from the sky. From Austin, Texas, to Denver to Cambridge, Mass., these compact two-wheelers are leading what researchers are calling the "micro-mobility revolution."

But their arrival has not been without controversy.

Courtesy of Drive.ai

Arlington has approved a contract with Drive.ai for a one-year pilot program to operate autonomous vehicles within the city's entertainment district.

The pilot begins Oct. 19 with three self-driving vans that will provide residents and visitors on-demand transportation around AT&T Stadium, Globe Life Park and nearby venues.

The U.S is on pace to record close to 40,000 roadway and highway deaths for the third consecutive year, according to preliminary figures released Wednesday by the National Safety Council. The silver lining in those dark numbers is that the number of people dying each year in traffic collisions nationwide appears to be leveling off after two years of sharp increases.

John Locher / AP

The future of transportation seems jam-packed with high-tech gizmos, like bullet trains, self-driving cars, flying taxis and Hyperloop.

And yet, the future in North Texas still belongs to cars, at least if you dig into "Mobility 2045," the long-term transportation roadmap for the area.

When Adam Stephens walked into his office in Milwaukee one morning in late June, he found messages complaining about the Birds. The deputy city attorney was not amused.

He went for a walk. "Within a couple of minutes, I found one parked on a sidewalk and was able to visually examine it and kind of figure out what it was," Stephens says.

Bird is the name of an electric scooter company. Unannounced, it dropped off somewhere between 70 and 100 rental scooters throughout Milwaukee, where it's illegal to ride motorized scooters in public.

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