Will New Tolls Kill Casual Carpooling in San Francisco?

About a year ago, we covered the awesome phenomenon of "casual carpooling" in the San Francisco Bay Area. Basically, it works like this: If you...

About a year ago, we covered the awesome phenomenon of "casual carpooling" in the San Francisco Bay Area. Basically, it works like this: If you drive into San Francisco with three or more people in the car, you get to use the faster carpool lane and skip the toll. If you want to get into the city, no matter whether you're driving or need a ride, it makes sense to find people to carpool with. So informal pick-up spots have sprung up in the bedroom communities outside San Francisco and strangers carpooled with strangers. Super efficient.Now one of the critical incentives that made this wonderful situation possible is being tweaked.
Last month, as it was jacking up the trans-Bay bridge toll for single motorists to $6 (it was $1 before the construction got underway) the cash-strapped Bay Area Toll Bridge Authority also voted to impose a $2.50 toll on the more than 10,000 car pool vehicles that head into San Francisco during each morning's commute.There's real concern that the tolls will kill the casual car pool as it now exists. It almost certainly will reduce the incentive for motorists to stop for riders.
It would be a shame if the new toll kills casual carpool, but I don't think it will. Splitting a $2.50 toll is much cheaper than going solo and paying the whole $6. And people who participate in casual carpooling are interested in marginal savings.The real question is this: Given that most casual carpool cars end up with three people in them, why set a $2.50 toll? Make it $2.25, or even $3. Just something you can split three ways.Image from Wikimedia Commons.
Ottawa Humane Society / Flickr

The Trump Administration won't be remembered for being kind to animals.

In 2018, it launched a new effort to reinstate cruel hunting practices in Alaska that had been outlawed under Obama. Hunters will be able to shoot hibernating bear cubs, murder wolf and coyote cubs while in their dens, and use dogs to hunt black bears.

Efforts to end animal cruelty by the USDA have been curtailed as well. In 2016, under the Obama Administration, the USDA issued 4,944 animal welfare citations, in two years the numbers dropped to just 1,716.

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via I love butter / Flickr

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People often dream about their significant others and studies show it actually affects how we behave towads them the next day.

"A lot of people don't pay attention to their dreams and are unaware of the impact they have on their state of mind," said Dylan Selterman, psychology lecturer at the University of Maryland, says according to The Huffington Post. "Now we have evidence that there is this association."

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via Real Time with Bill Maher / YouTube and The Late Late Show with James Corden / YouTube

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At the end of the September 6th episode of "Real Time, " Maher turned to the camera for his usual editorial and discussed how obesity is a huge part of the healthcare debate that no one is having.

"At Next Thursday's debate, one of the candidates has to say, 'The problem with our healthcare system is Americans eat shit and too much of it.' All the candidates will mention their health plans but no one will bring up the key factor: the citizens don't lift a finger to help," Maher said sternly.

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There is no shortage of proposals from the, um, what's the word for it… huge, group of Democratic presidential candidates this year. But one may stand out from the pack as being not just bold but also necessary; during a CNN town hall about climate change Andrew Yang proposed a "green amendment" to the constitution.

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Me Too Kit

The creator of the Me Too kit — an at home rape kit that has yet to hit the market — has come under fire as sexual assault advocates argue the kit is dangerous and misleading for women.

The kit is marketed as "the first ever at home kit for commercial use," according to the company's website. "Your experience. Your kit. Your story. Your life. Your choice. Every survivor has a story, every survivor has a voice." Customers will soon be able order one of the DIY kits in order to collect evidence "within the confines of the survivor's chosen place of safety" after an assault.

"With MeToo Kit, we are able to collect DNA samples and other tissues, which upon testing can provide the necessary time-sensitive evidence required in a court of law to identify a sexual predator's involvement with sexual assault," according to the website.

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