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Last week, in his State of the Union address, President Obama spoke about creating “ladders of opportunity,” ways to connect all Americans, and especially those reaching for the middle class, with a better life.

Two of those “ladders” are being built right now in Florida. And on Friday, I traveled to the Sunshine State to visit them.

Photo of Secretary Foxx aboard Lynx

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Communication is a key ingredient for success: in business, in personal relationships, and even in sports—as we saw in last night’s Super Bowl. Soon, it will also become an essential factor in automotive safety due to a technology known as vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) communications.

Rendering of a vehicle braking abruptly and sending a signal to vehicles behind it via V-2-V technology

V2V allows cars to “talk” to one another—exchanging basic safety-relevant data, such as speed, direction, and relative position—10 times per second. When cars share this information at such a fast rate, they can "see" all of the vehicles around them, sense the possibility of a crash, and warn drivers to avoid the crash.

Today, I was proud to announce another big step in V2V: After years of research and unprecedented coordination between industry and across government, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is announcing its decision to begin taking the next steps toward implementing V2V technology in all new cars and trucks...

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In his State of the Union address Tuesday night, President Obama said that we need to help upgrade America's transportation system because, "in today’s global economy, first-class jobs gravitate to first-class infrastructure."

It's no coincidence that the President explicitly included our nation's ports in the list of resources we need to revitalize to ensure "opportunity for all." Because our ports are truly opportunity multipliers. In addition to the direct employment America's ports sustain managing the critical economic activity of moving freight to and from ships, our ports are economic engines, fueling good jobs--not just on our coasts, but across the country--from manufacturing jobs on land to skilled crew at sea...

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Today, I want to share news of a big change at DOT's Research and Innovative Technology Administration: as part of the Omnibus bill President Obama signed into law earlier this month, RITA was elevated into the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology.

While our name has changed, our mission remains the same. And now that we have been integrated into what we at DOT call OST--the Office of the Secretary of Transportation--we hope to have even more opportunities to collaborate with all modes of transportation on research, innovation, and technology.

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In his State of the Union address Tuesday night, President Obama said that, " The best measure of opportunity is access to a good job," and at the Department of Transportation, we couldn't agree more strongly.

That's why we work around the clock and through the calendar to ensure that American transportation connects people and communities more safely, reliably, and conveniently every day. Because we know that every minute you're stuck in highway traffic is a minute you can't be with your family after work, and every bus that is out of service for maintenance on your transit route is a challenge to your ability to get to work on time.

This week, two innovative examples of how we're working to keep the American people connected to opportunity went into service, and we're proud to share them with you. Austin, Texas, celebrated the grand opening of the first of two new MetroRapid bus rapid transit (BRT) lines. And in Mississippi, the new Choctaw Regional Maintenance Facility for transit vehicles opened its doors. Both projects connect their communities to opportunity by improving residents' access to jobs, and both projects were funded in part by our Federal Transit Administration.

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Today, the Obama Administration is hosting the first-ever virtual "Big Block of Cheese Day," during which dozens of White House officials will take to social media for a day long 'open house' to answer your questions in real-time.

And we're happy to announce that U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx will participate with a Twitter townhall on "Rebuilding America's Infrastructure" from 4:30 to 5:00 pm (ET).

As a former mayor, Secretary Foxx knows transportation from the most local level of serving citizens and connecting communities all the way to the national level of innovative financing and freight policy. So, if you're interested in transportation, opportunity, and moving America forward, @SecretaryFoxx is the place to be.

That's today, from 4:30 to 5:00 pm. And you can start asking questions now using the hashtag #AsktheWH.

It's only a short time from now, so tell your friends, your family, and your fellow commuters to join us online today!

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Last night, I had the privilege of sitting in the well of the House of Representatives and listening to President Obama deliver his State of the Union address to the nation.

Video Capture of Secretary Foxx congratulating President Obama after the State of the Union address

Depending on the channel you were watching, you may have even seen me applauding when the President struck the theme of opportunity–and applauding extra hard when he later talked about the opportunities created by transportation. The road to opportunity can take many forms as the President told us; it can be quality pre-school for young children, or it can be access to health care for those with pre-conditions.

But, as President Obama also reminded us last night, sometimes the road to opportunity can literally be a road. Or, for that matter, it can be a transit system that connects a community to new jobs or a port that helps businesses sell to more markets. All of these types of transportation can be what the President calls “ladders of opportunity,” ways for all Americans to connect to a better quality of life.

Continue Reading The road to opportunity: ››
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If you’ve been thinking about this evening as just another Tuesday night, we wholeheartedly encourage you to reconsider.

Because tonight is “State of the Union night,” a night when the President of the United States gathers both houses of Congress, his Cabinet, and an audience of millions of Americans to share his view of where the nation stands today, where we can go in the future, and how we can get there.

For those of us at DOT, it means an opportunity to hear the President assert his priorities for the coming year. So, many of us are looking forward to tuning in tonight and hearing what President Obama has to say. And if you have an interest in transportation, we encourage you to tune in as well.

Photo of Transportation Secretary Foxx with President Obama at the Port of Jacksonville

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As Director of the DOT Office of Civil Rights (DOCR), it is my honor to help mark the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the 20th Anniversary of the Executive Order on Environmental Justice. The Civil Rights Act and the Executive Order are not ideas lost to history, only to be remembered with the passing of significant milestone anniversaries. Nor are they noteworthy only to Civil Rights professionals.

Every day, here at the DOCR, we work to ensure that all Americans benefit from a transportation system that is fair and just.

And next week, we’ll host a Virtual Civil Rights Symposium to discuss the best ways to help make that happen...

Graphic advertising the DOT Civil Rights Symposium

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In 1959, if you happened to be driving in San Bernardino, California, a new freeway there could have provided you with a modern transportation route. Unfortunately, it also kept one part of town separated from the other.

But not anymore.

Last week, I traveled to California and joined officials from Caltrans, the San Bernardino Associated Governments (SANBAG)  and the City of San Bernardino at a ribbon-cutting for the I-215 widening project. This was a big undertaking and a special endeavor for a lot of reasons.

Photo of ribbon cutting for I-215

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