KPCC's weekly series on personal transportation
Hosted by Susan Carpenter and Alonzo Bodden

Labor Day Special: Amtrak as an office, Siri, crazy car colors, biking in bad air

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It's Labor Day weekend, and according to our unofficial estimates, every person in the entire country will be driving on the freeways.  And they'll all be in front of you.

Labor Day is also a big weekend for car sales. Alonzo and Sue mull over the state of the auto biz. And even though summer is officially ending, it's still pretty hot in much of the country. Which can lead to tragedy. Every eight days a child dies after being left in a hot car. Now, GM is launching a new feature in some of their cars–it's a backseat reminder. If you've left a child (or a pet) in the backseat, a warning will alert you when you get out of your car. Right now it's only available on the GMC Acacia, but expect to see the feature on other models, soon.

Our transportation reporter, Meghan McCarty, is a little embarrassed. She got two parking tickets in a single day. Beyond the shame, there's the pain in her pocketbook. The fines for the two tickets total almost $150. We talk with her about the byzantine nature of parking regulations, and she shares some good news. Some cities are considering revamping the fine structure for errant parkers, offering a lower fine for first timers, with ever-steeper fines for frequent violators.

Taylor Orci is probably best known for Bitchy Resting Face. Her comedy video has more than 7 million views on YouTube. But Taylor is also a writer. She contributes to publications that include Cosmo, The Atlantic and McSweeney's. More recently, she's been writing for television. Like many writers, it's sometimes hard for her to find a place to work. So, rather than parking herself in a coffee shop, or renting an office by the hour, Taylor hopped on a Amtrak train. It's not clear she got a lot of work done, but she enjoyed a glass of wine in a plastic Amtrak cup while admiring the ocean view.

Finally, you wouldn't know her if you saw her. But if she spoke to you, she'd sound oddly familiar. Susan Bennett is the original voice of Siri, and she shares some insight into what its like to be the person so many turn to when they are lost.