Here are your transportation headlines for Dec. 24, 2013. Want to submit a headline or have a question, comment, or concern? E-mail me.
On this day in transportation history:
1801 – Richard Trevithick introduces his “Puffing Devil” steam-powered passenger vehicle.
Houston’s New Northside Light Rail Line Opens with Free Rides [Houston Chronicle]
Metropolitan Transit Authority spent four years and $756 million building the line, one of three new light rail lines set to open in the next 12 months.
In the newest twist on responsibility advertising, beer and liquor brands are increasingly partnering with transportation apps like Taxi Magic and Uber to give away discounts on rides. This being marketing, there is a small catch, however: In most cases users must engage with the brands digitally before they get deals.
As travelers increasingly see the train as a sort of mobile office, free Wi-Fi becomes less of an amenity and more of an essential service. Until travel times themselves improve, Amtrak’s ability to offer more productive travel time, at least compared with driving or flying, represents one of its chief competitive advantages.