In the US we have varying notions of what a train “is” in this day and age. Taking a look at the trains rolling across the country’s rails, you’ll see locomotives pulling endless trails of transport boxcars, silver Amtrak trains carting pedestrians to-and-fro, and sleek commuter trains plowing through metropolitan areas.

We’ve come a long way from the steam engine that shaped the country throughout the 19th century and a good chunk of the 20th century. So what is specific about trains in the 21st century—the trains of today? Here are some fast facts to get you in-the-know.

  • Despite the decrease in trains being used during the latter half of the 1900s, trains still play an integral role in moving large or heavy goods across the country in an economical, environmentally sound manner.
  • Steam locomotives are still being used in the 21st century for transport...

Quite a few of Metropia’s staff call Austin, Texas, their home. While people in other parts of the country might associate Texas with big trucks plowing through long stretches of open highway, this town in the near-middle of the state defies such stereotypes.

Sure, there are big vehicles on the roads, and there is plenty of highway driving around. But Austin is also on the progressive edge of refining city traffic in the southern half of the country.

The state capitol and home to one University of Texas site, Austin has seen massive growth over the past few years. It is the fourth largest city both in Texas and in the South, as well as the second largest state capitol in the US. (Only Phoenix, Arizona, is larger.)

Private Modes

In order to keep a large number of people moving in and throughout the...

It may be an unseasonably warm autumn across much of the country, but it is still fall. Changing seasons mean new risks on the road, no matter where you live.

Here are four seasonally specific driving hazards to watch out for this October and November.

Tire Pressure

Daytime temperatures might still be leaving you in short sleeves, but fall nights bring ever cooler temperatures. The fluctuation between day- and nighttime temperatures can affect the air pressure levels in your vehicle’s tires.

The temperature-induced expanding and contracting happening to the air inside your tires can lead to lesser tire pressure. This puts you at a higher risk of getting a flat tire—or of accidentally popping one with a curb check too hard.

Keep a vigilant eye on your tires and make sure they stay aired up all season long.

Wind Gusts...

Although we know that alternative modes of transportation are easier on the environment and cut down on traffic congestion, sometimes you just need to drive to work. On those days, you might get caught in an unexpected gridlock despite the best of planning.

For those days and every day, here are some measures to take that will help you get the best gas mileage possible surrounding your workday, whether it be a 9-to-5, a 10-to-7, a graveyard, an early morning shift, or something in between.

  • Let your engine warm up.

Old cars aren’t the only ones that need to warm up before you start driving. Although you can certainly get into a newer car and go without letting the engine heat up, your car will run more efficiently if you give it some time to get properly pumping.

  • Don’t drive too fast....

The US doesn’t get a lot of good recognition around the world—or even at home—for being a great place to be a commuter. In the absence of country-wide high-speed trains or even well-maintained highways, we don’t seem to have much room to brag.

But there are indeed some shining gems throughout the country that prove the United States can innovate and succeed in matters of transit. In fact, one of the best public transportation systems in the world is located in the United States.

Its subways may get a bad rap, and its car traffic may be legendary, but this place may just be the best place in the country to commute to work. Here are 10 things to know about commuting in New York City.

  1. The subway system has the most stations out of any system in...

Let’s pretend for a moment that New York City and Chicago don’t have two of the best public transit systems in the world. Despite the connectivity offered by those and other regional transit hubs, most US cities struggle to support their bus and highway systems, not to mention subway, train, and tram lines, where they exist.

The best transit systems in the world by far exist in Europe and in Asia. Not only do they offer travelers an easier time of getting around while on vacation or business trips, but they can also provide lessons that American cities can learn from as they build future infrastructure.

Here five of the places in the world that are easiest to get around in, thanks to their excellent transportation systems.

1. London, England The most famous fixture in London’s transportation web is the Tube, the city’s subway system. One of the...

As the weather begins to cool down across much of the US and fall approaches, many people will consider biking to work until it gets too cold to do so. This is a great alternative to driving, reduces traffic congestion and pollution, and is good for your health.

While there are many risks to driving or riding as a passenger in a car, there are heightened risks to being a bicyclist. This shouldn’t deter you from taking a ride on your daily commute.

As long as you follow bicycle safety on your route and practice awareness, you shouldn’t run into any problems.

  • Use designated spaces.

Bicycles are supposed to follow the same traffic rules as car drivers. That said, it can be very intimidating as a bicyclist to enter into the same traffic as other vehicles.

Whenever possible, turn to bicycle boulevards and bicycle paths to...

To help you get a jump on your back to school checklists and add some much-deserved cushion to the old checking account, Metropia is hooking you up with a whole month of free giveaways!

We’re making the start of the semester a little bit easier with tons of gift cards from, Starbucks, Fed by Threads, RBar...

There are certain times of the day when there is always going to be a lot of traffic. While this can’t be avoided with the number of people working 8- or 9-to-5 shifts, there are ways your own driving habits can help minimize the magnitude of congestion in your area.

Even if other drivers are causing or contributing to the problem, your choices can get things moving starting from where your car stops. Here’s how.

  1. Easy on the brakes.

It’s not hard to stop every time you see other drivers’ red lights come on in traffic. In fact, it’s good to pay attention to the cars in front of you and know when they are braking, slowing down, or speeding up.

But hitting your brakes frequently helps create a traffic accordion as drivers behind you replicate your movement. This slows everybody down in the long run and makes congestion worse....

Every now and then, hypermiling will pop up in a news article somewhere. This usually happens whenever gas prices spike, because hypermiling is meant to be a way for your car to achieve maximum efficiency—especially at the gas pump.

But what is hypermiling, exactly? And is it something you should try?

What it is

Hypermiling is a set of tactics drivers can use to get the most mileage out of each ounce of gas they put into the car. Some people claim you can improve your car’s fuel economy by as much as 37 percent if you use some of the techniques.

Yet many police officers and driving experts would point out that some hypermiling methods are illegal or dangerous—which may be one reason why hypermiling hasn’t surged in popularity so much that everybody does it. Another reason why hypermiling only pops up every now and then is that people are...