On-Air Highlights

Commuting on Morning Edition

Written by Fred Vigeant, Director of Programming and Promotions for TV and Radio | Oct 11, 2013 4:00 PM
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Grab your bike, kayak, bus pass or car keys -- Morning Edition is gearing up for some commuting stories this fall.

After death and taxes, the next thing on the list of what's undesirable yet unavoidable may be -- commuting. It's something everyone who works outside the home tries to spend as little time doing as possible. National, regional, and local governments are working hard on new initiatives. But in many parts of the country, commutes are still getting longer. Morning Edition looks at how to fix a broken commute, from national, regional, and local trends, to what individuals do on a very personal level to make their commutes bearable and even enjoyable.

The reports begin Monday, October 21 on Morning Edition on witf. Here is what is planned:

As Good As It Gets? Morning Edition; Monday, October 21
Ask an urban planner where the best public transportation in the U.S. is and the answer might be Arlington, Virginia. It may come as a surprise to the riders of the Washington area's Orange Line, but the Rosslyn-Ballston corridor is considered the gold standard for suburban transit. Decades of ahead-of-its-time planning have resulted in a decrease in traffic while the numbers of residents and commuters doubled. But is this the best commuting experience we can hope for? Host David Greene has the story.

Traffic Morning Edition; Tuesday, October 22
By far the most popular way to commute to work is alone in an automobile. But can the roads and commuters themselves continue to handle it? NPR's Sonari Glinton talks with carmakers about existing technology that could make the daily commute quicker and easier.

The Reverse Commute  Morning Edition; Monday, October 28
In many communities, the reverse commute from downtown to the suburbs has become worse than the traditional commute. The public transit options don't work well, because newer jobs are often in newer exurbs without train lines, and some companies end up running van lines for their employees. NPR's David Schaper reports from Chicago on keeping up with changing commuting habits.

The O-Line Morning Edition; Tuesday, October 29
We're not the only primates who commute! The National Zoo has an O Line, an overhead series of ropes that orangutans use to travel from one area of the zoo to another. Some of the principles involved could work for human commuters -- a transit designer in Austin is contemplating this. NPR's Richard Harris reports. And, NPR's Shankar Vedantam discusses the behavioral science behind commuting habits.

The Public Transit Puzzle Morning Edition; Monday, November 4
Lower-income people without cars often have to piece together long and complicated commutes using multiple forms of transit. It's getting harder and more expensive post-recession, as communities cut back services and raise rates. NPR's David Schaper reports from a city in the Midwest.

Fairer Bikes Morning Edition; Tuesday, November 5
Lower-income people without cars often have to piece together long and complicated commutes using multiple forms of transit. It's getting harder and more expensive post-recession, as communities cut back services and raise rates. NPR's David Schaper reports from a city in the Midwest.

The Last Mile Morning Edition; Monday, November 11
People are usually happy to travel long distances via public transportation, but the closer they get to home, the less useful it is -- how do you stop at the grocery, pick up your child from day care, etc.? One solution is the Bay Area's Emery-Go-Round, a free shuttle paid for by local employers. NPR's Richard Gonzalez has the story.

The Last Mile Via Trolley Morning Edition; Tuesday, November 12
A surprising number of cities are investing in old-fashioned trolley lines to solve the Last Mile problem. But is this the best way to spend limited transit dollars? NPR's Kathy Lohr reports from Atlanta, where they are laying down trolley tracks with an expected opening of 2014.

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