alternative transportation


With shared bikes and e-scooters cropping up across California, state lawmakers are debating whether to give cities more power to collect ride data. Capital Public Radio’s Scott Rodd reports.

Adrian An [AHN] loves zipping through downtown Sacramento on e-scooters. But sharing data with the city about his rides? That’s a different story.

SCOOTERDATA-1-AN: “Then they’ll be tracking where I’m at all the time…I don’t know it’s like an invasion of privacy.” (:05)

The idea of phasing out California's 25-thousand polluting diesel school buses will have to wait another year before it could become law in California. Capital Public Radio’s Ezra David Romero reports.

There are very few electric school buses in the state and diesel school buses emit around 5.3 million tons of greenhouse gases ever year nationally.

San Francisco Assemblyman David Chiu's bill to help begin to phase them out was recently tabled until 2020 for revision. Chiu's reason for authoring the bill is personal.


A number of west coast power utilities say they will collaborate to help convert the trucking industry from fossil fuels to electric power.  The goal of this collaboration is to clean up air pollution caused by the diesel trucks.  More from Capital Public Radio's Randol White.

Electric Car Sales Surge In California

Apr 15, 2019
Don McCullough /

Electric car ownership in California is growing faster than ever according to a new report.  Capital Public Radio's Randol White has more.

The first quarter of 2019 saw a year-over-year sales increase of 13 percent.

Gennet Paauwe [jen-et pow-ee] is a spokeswoman for Veloz, a non-profit organization that tracks and promotes the electric car industry.

She says for years ownership numbers languished around one-to-two percent, then edged up around 2012 to four or five percent. But recently, sales have seen a surge.

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More than a thousand students from throughout the Americas are competing this week in California to see who can design the most energy-efficient vehicle.  As Capital Public Radio's Randol White explains, a record number of girls and women are participating this year.

[Natural sound - working on car]

On the Sacramento State campus last week, students put the final touches on their entry for this year's Shell Eco-Marathon at Sonoma Raceway.

Microgrid Knowledge

California is on pace to surpass its target of 1.5 million zero-emission vehicles by 2025.  Capital Public Radio's Ezra David Romero has more on a new report.

Leonardo Sá via Flickr

Governor Jerry Brown has issued an executive order to boost the number of zero-emission vehicles on California roads.  Capital Public Radio's Ezra David Romero reports.

California could soon allow companies developing autonomous vehicles to test them on public roads without a driver or even a steering wheel.  And as Capital Public Radio's Daniel Potter reports, new proposed rules also set a path for driverless cars coming to the public.


Californians tend to buy larger, gas-guzzling vehicles, IF their other car is a fuel-efficient model.  As Capital Public Radio's Randol White explains, researchers compare the trend to the diet soda effect.

As ever-smarter cars hit the road in California, one tech question car manufacturers face is how they'll talk to each other. Capital Public Radio's Daniel Potter reports on the future of vehicle-to-vehicle communications.

California lawmakers are mulling the state's rules for self-driving cars.  Currently, 20 companies have permission to test autonomous vehicles on state roads.  Last month, one that's not on that list - Uber - picked up and took it's self-driving cars to Arizona, after a spat with California regulators.  Capital Public Radio's Daniel Potter reports.

California officials are updating their plans to regulate self-driving cars.  Although companies have been testing such vehicles on state roads for years, Daniel Potter reports the Department of Motor Vehicles is now getting ready for them to be used by the public.

The California High Speed Rail Authority has changed its plans for the first route the train will operate.  In a new draft plan announced yesterday (Thursday), the Authority would build the northern section of the rail line first.  Capital Public Radio's Ben Bradford reports.

The California High Speed Rail Authority is again defending its estimates of the project's $68 billion cost... this time to lawmakers.  Capital Public Radio's Ben Bradford reports on an oversight hearing at the Capitol yesterday (Wednesday). 

New Study Rates California Mass Transit Systems

Oct 13, 2015

UC Berkeley and the non-profit "Next Ten" have released a study rating commuter rail systems across California.  KVCR's Matt Guilhem has details on the report, and on mass transit's impact on creating walkable neighborhoods.

Relatively few of the cars on the road in California are responsible for most of the pollution.  Now the state is trying to do more to get them off the road.  Capital Public Radio's Katie Orr reports on a pilot program announced yesterday (Wednesday).

Mandatory Bicycle Helmet Bill Dead

Apr 20, 2015

A California lawmaker's proposal to require all bicyclists -- including adults -- to wear helmets is dead.  Capital Public Radio's Ben Adler has more.

Ben Adler, Capital Public Radio

The market for electric skateboards is growing -- but it's against California law to ride them.  A bill at the state Capitol would change that... and even allow them in bike lanes.  Capital Public Radio's Ben Adler has more.

Driverless cars are coming to California.  But before they get here, the state must make sure they're safe.  Capital Public Radio's Katie Orr reports on a public hearing held in Sacramento yesterday.

State Backtracks On Lyft, Uber Regulations

Jan 27, 2015

In an abrupt U-turn, California Governor Jerry Brown's administration has rescinded a regulation that required drivers for ride-hailing companies like Lyft and Uber to get commercial licenses for their vehicles.  Capital Public Radio's Ben Adler explains what happened.

Caltrans Puts Focus on Alternative Transportation

Dec 9, 2014

As more Californians do more bicycling and walking, the California Department of Transportation has begun increasing its focus and attention on accommodating non-automobile transportation.  Capital Public Radio's Katie Orr reports.