Franken Not Satified with Uber's Non-Answers About Privacy Policy

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screenshot of MSNBC
Franken is still hammering Uber over its privacy policy

Last month Sen. Al Franken took Uber to task over the tech giant's vague privacy policy, which was reportedly being abused by both employees and executives.

Franken used his position as chairman of a Senate subcommittee on privacy and technology to ask Uber a series of pointed questions, and yesterday he posted Uber's response, which answered none of them.

See also:
Al Franken Grill Uber Over Privacy Policy

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Southwest Light Rail Might Need More Local Dollars

Categories: Transportation

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Mulad, via Creative Commons
Obstacles continue to pile up in SWLRT's pathway to approval

Now it appears the federal government is pushing for a 60/40 local/federal split on funding for major transportation projects rather than splitting costs down the middle, which could create more problems for the Southwest Light Rail project.

A clause buried on page 1,461 of the 2015 federal budget bill passed by the House and Senate last week declared the new preferred guidelines for "New Starts" federal transit projects funded in 2015.

Yesterday the Metropolitan Council issued a statement pointing out that the preference toward increased local funding doesn't apply to SWLRT because it's fishing for dollars in 2016, but with anti-light rail Republicans in charge of the House and Senate it seems unlikely the guidelines will change.

See also:
Mpls Approves Southwest LRT, Paving Way for Legislature to Wrangle Over Funding

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Delta Launches New Fare Classes in Ongoing Campaign of Totally Boning Twin Cities' Flyers

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Courtesy of kads6488 at pixabay
Now coming to the friendly skies: steerage class.

If bitchy flight attendants, crushing bag fees, and draconian rule changes weren't already big enough daggers, flying Delta Airlines will now suck even more.

Delta, your hometown airline based out of Atlanta, introduced a new five-tier pricing structure slated to take effect March 1. Instead of offering just first-class and coach seating, Delta, which controls 75 percent of all flights at Minneapolis/St. Paul Airport, will now be divvying seats into five classes.

See also:
Delta Airlines' quality rating keeps losing altitude

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Met Council Ignores Tunnel Drama, Presents SWLRT Bridge Designs

Categories: Transportation

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Met Council
Top right: The channel as it is today. Other three presented as future options. Click for a bigger view.

The Met Council is not taking the Minneapolis Park Board's increasingly loud requests to send Southwest Light Rail trains underneath the Kenilworth Channel very seriously.

Yesterday it released three potential designs of a new bridge spanning the channel between Lake of the Isles and Cedar Lake, despite the Park Board's recent decision to drop $245,500 on a study looking at whether a tunnel is feasible there.

See also:
Condo Residents Disappointed, But Resigning Themselves to SWLRT Agreement

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Al Franken Grills Uber Over Privacy Policy

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Uber Press Kit
Uber stores data about where you've been and Senator Franken wants to know why

Sen. Al Franken wants some answers from Uber after a BuzzFeed story quoted one of Uber's top executives suggesting the company should dig up dirt on journalists critical of the company.

Franken, the chair of a Senate subcommittee on privacy and technology, sent a letter to Uber's CEO yesterday asking 10 pointed questions about Uber's privacy policy.

See also:
Mpls Approves Lyft/UberX Regulations; Blong Yang Casts Sole 'Nay' Vote

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Minneapolis Cracks Down on Pedicabs

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Twin Town Pedicab
Minneapolis is trying to curb crazy pedicab drivers


Any time there's an event in downtown Minneapolis, traffic turns into an impatient mess of cars, buses, taxis, light rail, semis, bikes, and pedestrians all jostling for position so they can blow through the next yellow light on the way to (or away from) the action.

Now the city is trying to rein in perhaps the most unwieldy combatant in the traffic jam ecosystem: the pedicab.

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The "I hate the Pedal Pub" Facebook Page is Hilarious


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How was Metro Transit Bus Service During Winter's First Storm? [GRAPH]

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Ben Johnson
A look at Metro Transit's bus service during the winter's first storm (No data available at 9:00)


Most of the metro didn't get nearly the 6-15 inches of snow the weather terrorists meteorologists said we were getting yesterday, but that didn't stop the roads from freezing and turning traffic into the crawling hellscape we've come to expect every winter.

We know the agony of waiting at a bus stop, late and cold, wondering when (or if) your ride will ever show up. Here's a graph made using Metro Transit's frequent social media updates showing it pays to hop out of bed and get going early. (Or just hit the snooze and take a half day.)

See also: Jason DeRusha offers perfect comeback to Dan Barreiro's gripe about Snownami coverage

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CNN Says Twin Cities "Got Transit Right" with Green Line

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Michael Hicks
A Green Line train rolls through the U of M campus.
A CNN Money piece gives the Twin Cities props for getting transit right with the Green Line.

"Big projects often divide cities," the article notes. "But Minneapolis' light rail line is creating jobs and driving development in underserved areas." (The line serves St. Paul as well, of course, so CNN's way of putting things in the second sentence isn't quite right.)

See also:
Anti-LRT protest on Green Line's opening day was a bust


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Metro Transit Offers Possible Explanation for Green Line Train "Running Red"

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Shortly after this still, the train passed through the intersection while another car with a green light waited precariously for it to get through.
Yesterday, we shared the answers Metro Transit gave us to questions raised by a video that appears to show a Green Line train blowing through a red traffic signal immediately after almost hitting a vehicle that was passing through the intersection with a green light.

One of the responses, however, raised another glaring question.

See also:
Metro Transit bus driver fired after causing four accidents in less than three years


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Metro Transit Answers Questions About Video of Green Line Train "Running Red Light"

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Photo via Laura Baenen
A Green Line train in St. Paul near the Fairview Avenue stop.
:::: UPDATE :::: Metro Transit Offers Possible Explanation for Green Line Train "Running Red"

A couple days ago we featured video of a Green Line train that appeared just about poised to hit a vehicle passing through an intersection with a green light.

The clip raises questions about how train operators, um, conduct themselves as they navigate alongside automobile traffic on busy University Avenue, so we asked Metro Transit a bunch of questions on the topic. Yesterday, spokesperson Drew Kerr got back to us with some answers.

See also:
Anti-LRT protest along Green Line was a bust


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