Jenni Bergal

Jenni Bergal covers transportation, infrastructure and cybersecurity for Stateline. She has been a reporter at Kaiser and the Center for Public Integrity.

‘Ghost Buses’ Haunt Transit Agencies and Frustrate Riders

By: - January 31, 2023

Noah Appelbaum was freezing on a bitterly cold evening as he stood waiting at a Chicago bus stop earlier this month. He was headed to work and didn’t want to be late. The bus-tracking app on his smartphone kept showing that the next bus would be there in just a few minutes. But that time […]

With Howitzers and Helicopters, States Trigger Road-Clearing Avalanches

By: - January 20, 2023

One morning last week, after more than 31 inches of snow fell in the previous two days, Utah transportation workers opened a huge garage-like door in a building near a state highway and fired a military howitzer up a mountain in the Salt Lake Valley. The explosion triggered several avalanches that buried State Route 210 […]

Governors’ TikTok Bans Make Sense, Cybersecurity Experts Say

By: - December 21, 2022

At least 18 states, all led by Republican governors, have banned staffers’ use on government devices of the social media app TikTok over concerns about the possible security risks posed by the Chinese-owned company. They say the app can be used to collect data from users’ devices, which the Chinese government could then access. Some […]

‘Plastic Roads’ Are Paved With Good Intention

By: - December 12, 2022

Transportation officials in multiple states are testing whether roads made from grocery bags, juice cartons, printer ink cartridges or other discarded plastic can make pavement last longer, save money and reduce the amount of waste that ends up in landfills. On sections of a busy, four-lane road that cuts through the University of Missouri-Columbia, for […]

Inflation Is Cutting Into States’ Big Infrastructure Windfall

By: - November 30, 2022

When Ohio transportation officials got the bids back in spring for the next phase of an expansion of Interstate 75 north of Cincinnati, they had a rude awakening. Inflation had driven up the mega-project’s cost by about $100 million above the $171 million state engineers had estimated. Officials decided to redesign the project, break it […]

States Test an Electrifying Idea: Roads That Can Recharge Your EV

By: - November 16, 2022

On two short stretches of road near downtown Detroit, Michigan transportation officials hope to make history. Over the next two years, they plan to embed technology in the pavement that can charge electric vehicles while they’re being driven. The wireless system will be the first U.S. test of so-called inductive charging on public roadways, according […]

States Steer More Money Toward Rural Roads

By: - November 1, 2022

Locals called it “The Roller Coaster” or “Delta Dips.” The 19-mile stretch along U.S. Highway 50 from Delta, Colorado, to just south of Grand Junction, was filled with bulges and dips, making it unpleasant to drive and sometimes downright dangerous. “Some trailers lost loads because of those dips,” said Don Suppes, a Delta County commissioner. […]

Fewer City Bus Drivers Means Longer Wait Times, Limited Service

By: - October 20, 2022

Rigid scheduling requirements. Mandatory overtime. Hostile interactions with passengers, often because drivers must enforce fares or intervene in onboard incidents. Driving a public bus isn’t an easy job, and many transit agencies around the country are having trouble finding people who want to do it. Many agencies have boosted pay rates or offered bonuses and […]

Expect More EV Charging Stations as States Tap into Federal Dollars

By: - October 11, 2022

When Colorado Department of Transportation officials recently learned that their plan to expand a network of electric vehicle charging stations across the state had gotten federal approval, it was welcome news. It means that Colorado will get access to $57 million in federal money over five years to broaden its EV charging network along federally […]

Archaeological Finds Reveal Our Stories Before Highways Get Built

By: - September 13, 2022

When Julie Schablitsky’s team discovered a 19th century homestead during an archaeological dig in the path of a planned state highway project in Montgomery County, Maryland, she was thrilled. As the Maryland Department of Transportation’s chief of cultural resources, Schablitsky, an archaeologist, knew that digs often uncover interesting artifacts, but this one in 2007 was […]

Rural Roads See Nearly Half of Fatal Crashes, Report Finds

By: - September 13, 2022

Nearly half of fatal crashes in the United States occur on rural roads, even though only 19% of the population lives on them, according to a recent report by the Governors Highway Safety Association. The group, which represents state highway safety offices, found that between 2016 and 2020, 85,002 people died in crashes on rural […]

Cyclists, Pedestrians and Motorists Clash Over COVID Street Changes

By: - August 26, 2022

During the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic, cities including Boston, Chicago and Los Angeles installed dedicated bus lanes within a matter of months. To aid struggling restaurants, many cities eliminated parking spaces to allow curbside pickup zones for takeout and delivery. Communities closed off lanes or even whole streets to make space for pedestrian-only […]