The federal government has reduced funding for Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development, or BUILD, grants by $600 million for this fiscal year. The grant's allocations for fiscal 2019 are now at $900 million, and the funding must be divided equally between urban and rural areas.
Hertz and San Francisco have agreed to settle a lawsuit filed by the city regarding the car rental company's fees for processing Golden Gate Bridge tolls. The company will pay $3.65 million to resolve allegations that it inadequately disclosed such fees to customers.
Recycling company TerraCycle is launching a shopping service called Loop that would deliver consumer products in recyclable, reusable packaging. The service has 25 consumer product-makers signed up for the spring launch of its zero-waste platform, but whether it works depends on if consumers buy into it.
Walmart beat forecasts for the fourth quarter as its investments in e-commerce and other efforts fueled a 4.2% same-store sales increase and a 43% jump in online sales, the retailer reported. The retailer has grown its digital sales over the past two years through both acquisitions like Jet.com and expansion of programs including grocery delivery and click-and-collect.
Amazon has committed to cutting the carbon footprint from half its shipments to carbon neutral by 2030 and will share details for reaching that goal later, the company said. Amazon, which has dubbed the new effort "Shipment Zero," has several other programs with a sustainable focus, including solar and wind farms, and efforts aimed at minimizing packaging.
China continues to outdistance the rest of the world in electric-vehicle sales, including battery vehicles and plug-in hybrids, with 1.2 million in 2018, according to data from Germany's Centre for Solar Energy and Hydrogen Research Baden-Wurttemberg. China's total represents more than half of global EV sales with the US next at one-fifth of sales totaling 360,000.
Israel-based Eyesight Technologies has unveiled its CabinSense in-car Occupancy Monitoring System that recognizes the desires of passengers as well as tracks their safety features. Via an onboard camera, the system could recognize and respond to the placement of passengers in a car, their age, gender and the presence of any child seats, and monitor safety options such as whether passengers are properly wearing their seat belts.
An estimated 1,700 people have jumped to their death from San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge, but a new barrier under construction is intended to help address that issue. The project's estimated cost is $200 million, and its scheduled completion date is early 2021.
Tolling is an effective mechanism for funding highways in heavily traveled states such as Connecticut, writes International Bridge, Tunnel and Turnpike Association Executive Director and CEO Pat Jones, who commends Gov. Ned Lamont's support for tolling cars and heavy trucks. Tolls represent a user fee, which "is important because many who drive through Connecticut pay no fuel taxes and pay nothing to support the state's roadways," Jones writes.
Tolls on the Ambassador Bridge between Detroit and Ontario have been lowered for commuters. The lower rates are in effect at all times and in both directions, while a third lane will open for commuters during peak weekday hours.