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Posted at 10:11 AM ET, 03/ 7/2011

Today's transportation roundup

By Luke Rosiak

It's another week, and another five days of navigating the roads, rails and skies to get business done. Monday began inauspiciously for me, with a Metro farecard machine eating my $20 bill and then becoming unresponsive. Has this happened to you? Did you recover the funds? (Because I'd really like to know how.)

A Maryland Assembly committee is attempting to adjudicate history rather than finding a willing and capable operator for MARC's Camden and Brunswick lines, Baltimore Sun columnist Michael Dresser writes. CSX wants out of commuter rail, and Keolis America is interested, but lawmakers want information about its parent company's role transporting Holocaust victims in occupied Europe. Neither MARC or the Maryland Department of Transportation, or any MARC riders, testified last week on behalf of riders, according to Dresser.

Since the Libyan uprising began, gas prices have risen an average of 39 cents per gallon. Experts say that the Libya's daily shipments of more than 1 million barrels will likely be cut off for some time to come. With transportation costs one of the largest items in a household's budget, gasoline prices can be the difference between being able to pay the bills or not for some families.

Twenty-one airlines were fined in a price-fixing scheme, the AP reports. The scheme involved inflating fuel charges, at a cost of hundreds of millions of dollars to passengers, largely on international flights, and businesses. The airlines have coughed up more than $1.7 billion in fines; no major U.S. carriers have been charged in the massive criminal antitrust investigation.

The Supreme Court declined to take up a case involving New York City's cab fleet, leaving intact a ruling that the city can't penalize cab companies for not using hybrid vehicles, according to the New York Times. Lower courts held that the city's plan amounted to regulating emissions, which only the federal government can do.

What else is going on? Chat with Dr. Gridlock live at noon, email us at, or leave a comment below.

(This post has been updated.)

By Luke Rosiak  | March 7, 2011; 10:11 AM ET
Categories:  Airlines, MARC, Transportation News  
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"The Supreme Court ruled that New York City can't penalize cab companies for not using hybrid vehicles, according to the New York Times. The court upheld lower rulings saying the city's plan amounted to regulating emissions, which only the federal government can do."

This paragraph is potentially misleading, but the Times article is a bit unclear as well. The Supreme Court didn't rule on the merits nor affirm the lower court decisions; rather, they denied certiorari, meaning they declined to hear the case. Supreme Court precedent is very clear that a denial of cert is not a comment either way on the merits of a case, such that the matter could perhaps wind up before the Court in the future. (The Times article is unclear as to the exact issues presented in the cert petition. The questions presented can often be a major factor in whether the Court takes the case.)

Posted by: 1995hoo | March 7, 2011 11:27 AM | Report abuse

Metro ate a $20 of mine once. I didn't try to do anything about it. I was already late for work.

Posted by: DOEJN | March 7, 2011 6:15 PM | Report abuse

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