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Skip-Descant

Skip Descant

Staff Writer

Skip Descant writes about smart cities, the Internet of Things, transportation and other areas. He spent more than 12 years reporting for daily newspapers in Mississippi, Arkansas, Louisiana and California. He lives in downtown Sacramento.

Research has shown that the Citi Bike bike-share program in New York City is predominantly used by men. How can local areas ensure a public transit system serves everyone? Experts weigh in.
A survey of transit riders illustrates some of their concerns around the cleanliness of vehicles, on-time performance and the technology that seeks to improve engagement and the overall experience.
A six-mile traffic technology testbed in Tennessee will utilize some 300 high-definition cameras to analyze and understand traffic flow. The project will include researchers from major universities as well as automakers.
Detroit will be one of three cities to launch autonomous delivery programs using Kiwibots. The small, electric devices will travel on city sidewalks and partner with businesses to explore automated deliveries.
The COVID-19 pandemic laid bare the essential yet complex role public transit plays in the lives of citizens. Experts say this is the moment to make it physically and financially more accessible to everyone.
The Whitby Autonomous Vehicle Electric project is a nearly 4-mile autonomous electric shuttle route in Whitby, Ontario. The project integrates with local public transit and smart city technologies in the region.
The Mobility Data Collaborative, in partnership with the Future of Privacy Forum, has created an assessment tool to help cities and other organizations protect the data collected within the transportation sector.
The Legislature approved SB 500, which would require that autonomous vehicles be emissions free by 2030, nudging an industry that has been clearly trending toward electric. The bill awaits the governor’s signature.
The Natural Resources Defense Council has announced three cities will receive grants as part of the Delivering Zero Emissions Communities program — a move toward 100 percent zero emissions commercial vehicles by 2030.
Transit systems in New Orleans, San Diego, Miami and other cities have responded to the COVID-19 pandemic with a variety of new approaches, ranging from reduced fares to redesigned networks.
Pay-by-the-minute electric and hybrid car-share operations are becoming a regular part of the transportation mix in large cities as they seek to expand mobility options and reduce the need for car ownership.
SWITCH Maritime is set to launch the Sea Change, a hydrogen fuel cell-powered electric ferry in the San Francisco Bay. The zero-emission vessel is designed to accommodate around 75 passengers.
Ridership on commuter rail declined as much as 90 percent for some services during the COVID-19 pandemic. Operators are now exploring options to bring back not only riders who sat out the pandemic, but new customers as well.
Pittsburgh has launched two transportation innovations to make multimodal trips easier to book and navigate, and a program to make a package of transportation options more accessible for low-income workers.
A commuter bus service along the California Central Coast installed the tap-to-ride fare payment technology on all of its buses, with other transit services in other parts of the state doing the same. The pilot project is part of a state effort to increase convenience for transit riders.
The $1 trillion infrastructure bill moving through Congress has the potential to be a game-changer for cities as they consider projects in areas like broadband connectivity and other urban technology projects.
Transit agencies are turning to data and data analysis tech firms to plan future developments, like route changes or service upgrades, as transit tries to regain ridership lost during the pandemic and improve services.
The first phase of the Autonomous Vehicles Colorado program took to the streets in Golden, home to the Colorado School of Mines, where nine of the self-navigating shuttles will serve three routes.
A traffic signal upgrade project in San Diego will involve 26 intersections around the University of California, San Diego. The project will use adaptive software to improve mobility throughout the region.
The region will use a $1.4 million grant from the National Science Foundation for establishing the Smart Corridor+ project in the downtown area to study transportation. The project will involve a range of stakeholders.
Cities like New York and Columbus, Ohio, have made significant headway in converting their fleets to electric vehicles, helping to push along the industry toward electrifying more than just cars and trucks.
Six technology providers were selected as part of the challenge for solutions in areas like transportation and economic development to assist cities in the Denver region with their recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.
During a recent press briefing hosted by the American Public Transportation Association, transit leaders highlighted the industry’s ability to launch on-demand transit programs, which flourished during the pandemic.
La Quinta, Calif., in the lush Coachella Valley, has turned to an AI-powered solution that mines real estate transactions and other data to zero in on the homes that are operating as unpermitted vacation rentals.
A partnership between Electrify America and Valley Clean Air Now in California has led to thousands of rural households trading in their gas-powered cars for electric autos. Will other parts of rural America follow suit?
The Lower Mississippi River SmartPort and Resilience Center project will collect crowdsourced sediment and shoaling data from eight ports along the Mississippi River to gain insights into obstacles affecting river traffic.
Planned development communities like New Haven in Ontario, Calif., are highlighting urban technology applications and features as signature amenities as consumer expectations reach well beyond standard pools and parks.
Research by Michigan State University and Ford Mobility examined connected vehicle data to gain insights into driving styles and incidents, potentially allowing for safety problems to be addressed before a crash occurs.
States like Arizona and Texas have positioned themselves as hubs for autonomous vehicle testing and deployments, in part, by creating regulatory landscapes that are easy for new companies to navigate.
The personal self-driving car has been derided as little more than whimsy by many transportation watchers, who see fleet vehicles and public transit as the real beneficiaries of autonomous vehicle technology.