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Walking in London. Photo: Frank Augstein / AP

In London, owning a car is becoming increasingly pointless. While London is far from perfect, it has been working hard to ween us off car usage.

The bottom line: As Americans rebuild cities hit by the recent hurricanes, they should do so in a way that makes owning a car unnecessary in major U.S. cities, too.

Car-share schemes allow me to find and book a car on my phone, and park it in any type of bay for free. I have a folding bike I can carry on public transport or in a taxi. We now have Cycle Superhighways – protected bike lanes running across the city. Employees get tax breaks on bicycles.

The subway in London works well, and carries 1.37 billion people per year. At rush hour, trains come every 1 minute. London buses are clean, and taken by everyone. Public transport data is open-sourced, so apps like CityMapper show me exactly how to connect all these transport options.

This is made possible through public sector investment into public transport and government-managed schemes to incentivize or discourage certain behaviors. We are discouraged from driving into Central London by Congestion Charging of $15 a day, and parking fees as high as $10 an hour. Congestion charging reduced pollutants in London's air by up to 20% in the first 1 to 2 years, and saw nearly 40% more people taking the bus.

Go deeper

The elusive political power of Mexican Americans

Data: Pew Research Center, U.S. Census Bureau; Chart: Michelle McGhee/Axios

Mexican Americans make up the nation's largest Latino group, yet they remain politically outshined by more recently arrived Cuban Americans.

Why it matters: The disparities in political power between Mexican Americans and Cuban Americans reflect the racial, historical, geographical and economic differences within Latino cultures in the U.S.

Bryan Walsh, author of Future
50 mins ago - Health

The barriers to vaccine passports

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Vaccine passports could become available soon to help people resume their livesbut they face numerous scientific, social and political barriers to being accepted.

The big picture: Reliable and accessible proof of vaccine-induced protection from the novel coronavirus could speed international travel and economic reopening, but obstacles to its wide-scale adoption are so great it may never fully arrive.

Updated 8 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Senate action on stimulus bill continues as Dems reach deal on jobless aid

Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Democratic leaders struck an agreement with Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.V.) on emergency unemployment insurance late Friday, clearing the way for Senate action on President Biden's $1.9 trillion stimulus package to resume after an hours-long delay.

The state of play: The Senate continued to work through votes on a series of amendments overnight into early Saturday morning.