Urban planning

Expert Voices

AVs could improve transportation access in "transit deserts"

Illustration of a road with a middle section highlight in red, with a red car speeding on it
Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

More large U.S. cities are seeing their outer reaches turn into transit deserts, where demand for transportation vastly exceeds supply.

The big picture: Economic inequality and urban sprawl have contributed to the problem, which generates barriers to health care access, employment and even everyday shopping. Connecting public transit systems with automated vehicles — whether in ride-sharing or shuttle services — could offer one solution.

America's rat renaissance

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

One not-fun consequence of booming cities is the scourge of rats, well fed by trash, warmed by climate change, and bringing new health threats and general grossness with them.

The big picture: “Everywhere I go, rat populations are up,” scientist Robert Corrigan tells the NYT.