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At the Department of Transportation, we’ve been talking for months –if not years– about America’s infrastructure deficit. If you've been reading this blog, then you’ve heard me talk about 100,000 bridges old enough for Medicare, billions of dollars in backlogged transit projects, and the growing costs of waiting as cities and states put their transportation plans on hold. And you've seen our highway trust fund ticker and know how close we are to running out of money altogether.  

But a week ago, that all changed. Because last Wednesday, President Obama laid out his vision for a four year, $302-billion-dollar transportation plan to modernize this country’s infrastructure and put us on the path to solving this problem...

Graphic from D.O.T.'s 2015 Budget Highlights document

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If you're like most people, when you think about air traffic control and aviation safety, you probably picture an airport tower jutting into the sky with controllers inside focusing intently on their radar screens and the aircraft flying in and out of that airport. And while that's not an inaccurate picture, there's more to the story. The Federal Aviation Administration also has regional Terminal Radar Approach Control centers--aviation insiders call them TRACONs--and a Command Center where traffic management experts look at the big picture of our national airspace system...

Photoof Secretary Foxx at Command Center

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The good news? Thanks to the Obama Administration's unprecedented Recovery Act transportation investments, travel on American roads in good condition rose from 46.4 percent in 2008 to 50.6 percent in 2010. That's the highest two-year jump since we began using that metric.

The other news? We still have a lot of work to do. The same report that showed the increase in good condition roads, "2013 Status of the Nation's Highways, Bridges, and Transit: Conditions and Performance," confirms that this nation needs greater investment to maintain and improve our highway and transit systems...

Photo collage of bridges in need of repair, courtesy of Business Week

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The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration announced today that its annual "Be Ready. Be Buckled." student art contest has been extended for an extra two weeks!

Originally scheduled to end today, young artists now have until March 15, 2014, to submit their entries.

Continue Reading Calling All Entries: 2014 ››
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In January 2011, President Obama outlined a plan to improve regulation and regulatory review. He challenged agencies across the federal government to review rules already on the books and remove those that are out-of-date, unnecessary, excessively burdensome, or in conflict with other rules.

The Department’s 2011 final plan listed 79 existing rules for which the Department had already undertaken or proposed actions that promise significant savings in terms of money and time. In addition, we identified 56 other rules with potential savings.

Today, even as the first round of reviews is being completed, DOT is launching a second round of retrospective review to save our partners even more. But, because we know that meaningful review requires meaningful input from those affected by the Department’s regulations, we need your help...

Photo of President Obama talking about making it easier to do business in America

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President Obama knows that transportation means opportunity. Five years ago, when he signed into law the Recovery Act, the President gave the Act an extra roar in the form of DOT's popular TIGER grants--the Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery competitive grant program. Since then, over five rounds of awards, TIGER has invested in transportation projects that have revitalized communities across America.

Photo of President Obama and Secretary Foxx at the Metro Transit shop

Today, I traveled with the President to Union Depot Station in St. Paul, Minnesota, one of the recipients of our initial TIGER awards. Thanks to that TIGER I grant, the once-shuttered historic station is now open to the public for the first time in 40 years as the Union Depot Multi-Modal Transit Center.

The Depot is a perfect location for President Obama's announcement today that $600 million will be made available to fund transportation projects under a sixth round of TIGER...

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Founded in 1909, the Aero Club of Washington, DC, has had a consistent mission for more than a century: the advancement of aviation. So, when I addressed the club yesterday—with members from airlines, airports, manufacturers, labor, and government--we had that interest in common. In fact, the federal commitment to the aviation industry is considerably stronger today than it was when aviation was in its infancy and the Aero Club first opened its doors.

And the reasons for that are clear: civil aviation contributes $1.3 trillion to the American economy. But the industry's role as an economic engine doesn't end there. Air travel is critical to business, to the expedited delivery we take for granted, and to tourism. Because of that, our use of airports and airplanes will grow in the coming years.

Aero Club web banner

Unfortunately, we cannot magically expand our skies, and we can't expand our airports and runways fast enough to keep pace. According to the American Society of Civil Engineers, congestion and delays at airports will cost the economy $63 billion per year by 2040. How can we accommodate the anticipated increase in aviation demand?

We can manage our airspace more efficiently with the Federal Aviation Administration's Next Generation Air Transportation System --NextGen...

Continue Reading At the Aero Club, noting a ››
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On your next visit to FAA.gov, you’ll notice that the Federal Aviation Administration’s website has received a “FAAcelift” with a new homepage and redesigned look and feel. These upgrades give pilots, mechanics and the flying public improved access to the most popular web content, while improving usability, readability and visual design.

Users can quickly look up an aircraft's registration- or N-Number, check for airport status and delays, and easily search for FAA policies and  regulatory guidance. The latest aviation news and agency updates are featured at the top of the page, and a new dedicated area for NextGen puts the future of aviation at your fingertips.

The new page is WCAG 2.0 Level AA compliant, which means you will see larger font sizes and color contrast levels that make the page easier on the eyes. These readability features have been standardized across FAA.gov to provide one of the highest accessibility ratings in government today...

Screen capture of www.faa.gov

Continue Reading Federal Aviation ››
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You've seen the apps. The commuter at the bus stop is using one. The father shopping for a safe car is using one. The student booking spring break bus travel is using one. I'm not talking about Plants vs. Zombies or Candy Crush 2; I'm talking about the apps that put useful transportation information --real-time transit arrivals, 5-star car safety ratings, motorcoach safety records-- in the palms of our hands.

Although good transportation apps have been created, we also know that a nation like ours can do more.

That's why, today, we're launching our Data Innovation Challenge.

Graphic advertising DOT data challenge

Continue Reading DOT turns to you with Data ››
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When most people talk about Black History Month, transportation is probably not the first topic that comes to mind. But being able to move from Point A to Point B is at the very core of our nation’s historical emphasis on mobility—whether social, economic, or geographic.

Access to transportation means access to family and friends, employment, health care, and education. It means access to opportunity.

1973 photo of a Chicago Transit Authority bus
Continue Reading American Transportation and ››
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