You've read the headlines: Uber is being valued at $18 billion. And as a mom of two toddlers living in New York, I think that sounds about right. Why, you ask? The popular car-sharing service just launched UberFamily, which means getting around the city just became a lot easier (anything to avoid a schlep on the subway). For a $10 surcharge, your vehicle will pick you up with fully-installed car seats. This is a major game-changer, especially for city parents without wheels, and the company plans to roll out to other US destinations later this year. For info on downloading the app, go here.
Need to know where your FIFA World Cup seats are in relation to the nearest caipirinha vendor? Take a virtual tour of the twelve stadiums hosting this month’s soccer extravaganza thanks to Google Street View. Google has also beefed up its transit coverage in Brazil to help fans find the easiest routes to the goal.
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Ann Shields is a senior digital editor at Travel + Leisure. You can find her on Twitter at @aegisnyc. Get the Daily Transporter newsletter in your in-box.
Photo: Robert Whitman
Biking will meet air travel this September in Seattle, when the Pronto! Emerald City Cycle Share program launches with Alaska Airlines-branded wheels. The airline contributed $2.5 million to the program; in exchange, its name will appear on the first 500 green-and-blue bikes, which will initially be available in the U District, South Lake Union, Capitol Hill, and Downtown. The price structure is $8 for a 24-hour membership, $16 for three days, or $85 for a year, and every station will have a kiosk to rent or buy helmets.
Brooke Porter Katz is an Associate Editor at Travel + Leisure. Follow her on Twitter at @brookeporter1.
Photo courtesy of Pronto Cycle Share
If a fear of international flights has long kept you from exploring China's Great Wall or visiting Xi’an’s famed terracotta soldiers, it's time to reconsider your boycott on traveling abroad—a high-speed railroad may soon connect Beijing to the United States.
The Bejing Times reports Chinese officials are currently in talks to construct an 8,000-mile railway connecting north-east China to the United States. The proposed route would cross Siberia, and then cut through Alaska and Canada before entering into the continental US. With trains traveling 220 miles per hour, it would take passengers approximately two days to complete the full trip.
The rideshare service Lyft—which debuted last year exclusively in San Francisco—recently launched in 24 new markets. Now, the app connects the world’s largest network of on-demand rides with people who need a lift.
Last month, the TSA debuted its first Precheck enrollment center at the Indianapolis Airport—with 300 more to open by spring—making an expedited security process more accessible than ever. Meanwhile, Canada’s Montreal-Pierre Elliott Trudeau International airport is testing another strategy to alleviate waits: a free, timed reservation system called SecurXpress. Here’s how it works: Enter your flight number and phone number on the airport website. Then, you’ll receive a text message, which acts as a ticket, with a reserved time for a specific SecurXpress checkpoint. Think of it like Disney’s FastPass. One text message is good for up to five people traveling together, and it’s up to you to get there on time. Unfortunately, the system only works on domestic and some international flights within Canada—but if it’s successful, maybe we’ll see it cross the border one day soon.
Brooke Porter is an Associate Editor at Travel + Leisure. Follow her on Twitter at @brookeporter1.
Photo Courtesy of Montreal-Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport
If you’ve ever gone around and around the block looking for a free spot, you know what a nightmare parking in the city can be. For the visitors and residents of Westminster, this takes an average of 15 minutes.
Fortunately, navigating London’s congested Westminster district just became much more simple—and high-tech.
Thanks to a successful trial of infrared sensors on five main thoroughfares, drivers can now use the ParkRight app on their smartphone to detect a vacant space as they approach their destination.
New York’s new mayor, Bill de Blasio, often bemoans a “tale of two cities”—one rich, one poor. But lately he has been lamenting a different kind of tail—the ones on the horses that for decades have pulled the iconic tourist carriages through Central Park. De Blasio plans to ban the horse-drawn hansoms because, like many New Yorkers, he thinks the horses are undernourished, mistreated, and overworked, not unlike your typical Manhattan freelance fact-checker. And so, to keep the tourists coming back to the Big Apple, here are my alternatives to the Central Park horse-drawn carriages.
Traveling around Europe just got faster with the new TGV train linking France and Spain. On Sunday, the inaugural journey began at 7:15 a.m. in Paris, and concluded less than six and a half hours later in Barcelona. That’s less than half the time it used to take.
The new line—which gives the world's fastest trains a run for their money—also links Lyon, Marseille, and Toulouse, and was celebrated by both French president Francois Hollande and Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy as a milestone for international relations between the two countries.
Turkey opened its new tunnel connecting Europe and Asia yesterday. For the first time, travelers can cross the Bosporus Strait (and continents) in roughly four minutes, via the world’s deepest sub-sea tunnel.
This underwater tunnel between the European and Asian shores of Istanbul is the realization of a Sultan’s dream 150 years ago. Now, on the 90th anniversary of Turkey’s independence, it is truly united.
Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan inaugurated The Marmaray Rail yesterday, after nearly 10 years and $2.8 billion dollars. The project is far from over, however. The tunnel is only a quarter of what Erdogan calls “a project for whole humanity.”