Transportation news roundup: Airport worker saves baby, Amtrak ends no-show refunds

Here are your transportation headlines for Dec. 18, 2013. Want to submit a headline or have a question, comment, or concern? E-mail me.

On this day in transportation history:
• 1984 – The 1st Chevy Nova is introduced by New United Motor Manufacturing, Inc., a joint venture between Toyota and General Motors. This car later met with marketing trouble in South America, where its name read as “No Go” to Spanish speakers.

Airport Security Guard Makes Amazing Last Second Catch of Falling Baby [Gawker]

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“I noticed the child was sitting on the table and he looked a bit off balance, and then he began to fall forward,” hero Grzegorz Paczek, an employee of Poland’s Katowice airport, told local media. “I was standing four to five metres away and I realised I had no chance of stopping him fall so I just threw myself along the ground with my arms outstretched. It was an instinctive reaction.”

Report: Make Transportation Technology a Priority [Texas Tribune]

Self-driving cars once seemed the stuff of science fiction. But with such projects from companies like Google already being showcased in Texas, lawmakers and transportation officials see an opportunity to use new technology to relieve congestion and improve safety in the rapidly growing state.

Amtrak ending no-show refunds [The Hill]

The company has announced that beginning on March 1, passengers who do not cancel their reservations within 24 hours of their scheduled departure will be counted as “no-shows” and they will lose the value of their tickets.

Public Transit Is Underfunded Because the Wealthy Don’t Rely on It [Wired Autopia]

Another report has come out in support of Bus Rapid Transit (BRT), an innovative way to provide public transit at a low cost with dedicated bus lanes, stops, and schedules.

The study, from pro-transit group Embarq, found that BRT drastically reduced commute times, improved air quality, and cut road fatalities in congested cities like Bogota, Istanbul, Johannesburg, and Mexico City.

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