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Japan adopts guidelines to cut long work hours in construction, transport sectors

The Japan Times

The government adopted guidelines on Monday aimed at addressing long work hours in the construction and transport industries. Workers in the two sectors work longer hours than in others amid serious labor shortages. The guidelines call on construction companies to secure two days off a week for workers. For the transport industry, the guidelines seek tougher administrative penalties, including longer business suspension orders, on operators having drivers work illegally long hours. The guidelines also call for support to transport companies that aim to mechanize their operations, including by introducing forklifts for cargo loading and unloading, in an effort to help shorten work hours.


The intraflagellar transport train

Science

Assembly of the cilium requires bidirectional intraflagellar transport (IFT) of building blocks along microtubules to and from the site of assembly at its tip. Dynein-1b motors are required to power retrograde transport and are believed to reach the ciliary tip by kinesin-2–driven anterograde IFT. It is unclear which mechanism prevents a tug-of-war between these oppositely directed microtubule motors. Jordan et al. used cryo–electron tomography to examine the architecture of IFT trains in Chlamydomonas cilia in situ. Their findings revealed the relative positions of IFT motors on anterograde versus retrograde trains.


E-scooters should be legalised says Transport Committee

BBC News

E-scooters should be legalised on roads but riding on pavements should be prohibited, the Transport Committee of MPs has said. Currently, privately-owned e-scooters are banned to use in the UK anywhere except on private land. The committee argues the vehicles, which usually travel 9-15mph, could offer a green alternative to the car. Official trials of rented e-scooters have already been announced in some places in England. While supporting the introduction of e-scooters, the Transport Committee said the government should use trials to monitor the numbers and types of collisions that take place.


Canberra stands up AU$9.7m Transport Office to prep for autonomous vehicles

ZDNet

Transportation is about to get a technology-driven reboot. The details are still taking shape, but future transport systems will certainly be connected, data-driven and highly automated. The federal government has announced it will be establishing an Office of Future Transport Technologies, charged with the responsibility of preparing for the arrival of automated vehicles. For a cost of AU$9.7 million, the new office will sit underneath the Department of Infrastructure, Regional Development and Cities, which is headed up by Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack. "Automated vehicles are on the verge of becoming commercially available here and the Australian government is taking proactive steps to manage the associated challenges and opportunities within that evolving and future transport landscape," McCormack said in a statement, noting the Australian future transport and mobility industry is expected generate more than AU$16 billion in revenue by 2025.


Japan considers law requiring local governments to fill transport gaps in rural areas

The Japan Times

The transport ministry is considering a new system to help maintain public transport services in nonurban areas at a time when the country's population has been declining. The system will call on local governments to create plans for securing means of public transportation and seek new service providers in case existing bus and railway operators face difficulties offering their services, ministry officials said. Through early engagement by local authorities, the ministry hopes to prevent public transportation services from disappearing in rural areas. To introduce the system, the ministry will submit a bill to revise the regional public transport service revitalization law to next year's regular session of the Diet, the officials said. The falling population has led to a decrease in bus and railway service users in the countryside.