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In its first full year of operation, the TGV extension to Bordeaux has been quite successful. SNCF is now looking at expanding the service to Belgium and perhaps even to London:

A new report on the Paris-Bordeaux high-speed train line has confirmed that 25% of the line’s traffic now comes from SNCF’s low-cost TGV (train à grande vitesse) service, Ouigo; and that the number of passengers was higher than initial estimates had predicted (3.7 million in 2018, compared to the 3.5 million estimated).

It is 18 months since the line, which is operated by concessionary group Liséa, was launched, offering journey times of just two hours and four minutes between Bordeaux and Paris.

TGV use in France has also grown by 15% over the same time, SNCF said.

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Of course BMW trained its AI to drive like an asshole:

Because riding in 100+ degree desert heat with a helmet is so comfortable:

Assembly Bill 187, which was introduced on the Assembly Floor on Monday, would require that anyone 17 years old or younger to wear a helmet while riding a bicycle, scooter, roller skates or something similar. The bill is sponsored by Assemblywoman Ellen Spiegel, D-Henderson, and is co-sponsored by four Assembly Democrats from Las Vegas: Shannon Bilbray-Axelrod, Bea Duran, Ozzie Fumo and Connie Munk.

One of the things that differentiates children from adults is that children don’t have the ability to make these decisions for themselves. So I want to make sure that they’re safe,” Spiegel added.

Apparently, Spiegel does not believe parents have the ability to make decisions for their kids either.

Amtrak wants to replace its ancient Amfleet cars:

Amtrak has released a Request for Proposals today, for a new fleet of single-level passenger rail vehicles to replace Amfleet I cars, providing new equipment with contemporary rail amenities to better serve Amtrak customers. Amfleet I cars are used primarily on the Northeast Corridor (NEC) and adjacent State Corridor routes. The new trainsets will replace Amtrak’s fleet of 470 Amfleet I and ex-Metroliner railcars. Amfleet I railcars are over 40 years of age, while Amtrak’s fleet of ex-Metroliner equipment entered service 50 years ago

The new railcars and trainsets will include all necessary equipment for Positive Train Control technology and meet recently updated federal Tier I safety standards for equipment operating at speeds of up to 125 MPH.

Now that the FRA has modernized regulations to permit the use of light-weight, off-the-shelf designs — will Amtrak take advantage of the new rules? Or will it turn into another procurement fiasco?

In all seriousness, this is a real problem with faregates. They can cause injury, especially to young kids who may not know when to proceed through gate. My son’s first visit to BART ended badly when a faregate smashed him in the head.

Traffic fatalities are going up in the US, while they keep going down in Japan:

The number of traffic deaths nationwide in 2018 fell by 162, or 4.4 percent, from the previous year to 3,532, hitting the lowest level since data became available in 1948, the National Police Agency said Friday.

The decrease reflected police efforts to step up traffic safety education programs and crack down on traffic offenses, the agency said.

On per-capita basis, Japan traffic deaths in 2018 was 2.79 per 100,000 population. By comparison, it is around 11.40 in the US (as of 2017). If the US were to achieve the same level of road safety as Japan, 28,000 lives would be saved per year.