Pipelines are an important part of our transportation infrastructure. They span 2.6 million miles nationwide, moving energy products like natural gas and petroleum from wells to refineries to consumers like you.
DOT's Pipelines and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration safeguards these pipelines by, among other things, issuing and enforcing regulations. Two years ago, the Pipeline Safety Act of 2011 was signed into law. That Act gave PHMSA the ability to hold pipeline operators more accountable by authorizing the agency to double maximum penalties for violations. It also required us to meet 42 mandates to strengthen pipeline safety and oversight. By the end of 2013, PHMSA had completed half of those mandates.
Because the more you know, the safer you are, PHMSA remains committed to transparency. That's why, last year, we published a Pipeline Safety Act progress chart, where anyone can track our implementation progress section by section.
Attention Fast Lane readers: the Federal Highway Administration needs your assistance identifying the next wave in cutting-edge technologies and tools to help states save time, save money, and save lives.
Today, FHWA announced a request for help as we build EDC3, the next wave of Every Day Counts (EDC) technologies -- at www.fbo.gov.
EDC3 builds on the efforts that Victor Mendez launched in 2010 as FHWA Administrator to promote strategies and technologies that provide state and local governments with innovative solutions that can save them both time and money.
I was in San Antonio, Texas, yesterday, with Mayor Julian Castro, and while I was there I learned that one of the Alamo City's taglines is "Something to Remember." After reviewing the city's cutting edge public transit facilities, I can see several reasons why.
From the Primo Bus Rapid Transit service to the Westside Multimodal Transit Center and the planned streetcar lines, the region's VIA Metropolitan Transit truly offers something to remember.
During the past week, we've been looking at the 2013 accomplishments of some of the agencies within DOT. Today, we're wrapping up our retrospective with a look at some of what we achieved across multiple modes of transportation.
2013 was a year of big changes at DOT. We operated under the first full calendar year of MAP-21, the current national surface transportation law, including its expanded Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act loan program, or TIFIA. We also launched our National Freight Advisory Committee to help guide the Department's freight improvement efforts. And of course, we welcomed aboard our current Secretary of Transportation, Anthony Foxx, while saying goodbye to outgoing Secretary Ray LaHood. But as you’ll see below, one thing that didn’t change is our commitment to safety.
Year in and year out, DOT's Research and Innovative Technology Administration (RITA) coordinates the Department's research programs. From the Volpe National Transportation Systems Center in Cambridge, Massachusetts, to universities across the country, we're working hard to advance new technologies and push the boundaries of American transportation.
I'm happy to say that 2013 was another productive year here at RITA with:
- A new round of grants to University Transportation Centers;
- Further developments in connected vehicles; and
- A strong effort to improve safety through apps using publicly available data...
Our core goal at the Federal Railroad Administration is to ensure continuous safety improvement. Year after year, this is our measuring stick for success –and we are succeeding.
Over the past decade, train accidents have declined 43 percent, including a 41 percent drop in derailments and a 34 percent drop in accidents at highway-rail grade crossings. Meanwhile, preliminary data for 2013 shows we’re on pace for another record-setting year in railroad safety, with reductions in all categories of accidents.
In 2013 we worked to drive continuous safety improvements by:
- Advancing technical and human factors;
- Responding decisively; and
- Investing in high-performing rail...
Here at the Maritime Administration (MARAD), we continue working tirelessly to improve our marine transportation system with innovative projects across the country. As our economy rebuilds and jobs are created, we are reminded just how much the maritime industry has contributed to these growing numbers and more importantly. . . Why Maritime Matters!
That's why we spent 2013 continuing to:
- Support port infrastructure in advance of a newly widened Panama Canal;
- Invest in U.S. shipyards;
- Move more freight on our rivers, Great Lakes, and waterways, as well as through American river, lake, and sea ports; and
- Work toward a robust national maritime strategy...
Over the past year, the Federal Transit Administration has delivered on a number of goals, highlighting our ability to truly make a difference in the lives of millions of Americans each day.
In 2013, the FTA continued:
- Bringing new and expanded transit to communities nationwide;
- Developing common-sense improvements to safety and efficiency; and
- Delivering transit aid where it’s needed most...
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s dedication to saving lives is at the forefront of our daily work, and rising above the challenges we face in truck and bus safety is what FMCSA employees will continue to do each and every day in 2014.
FMCSA accomplished a great deal in the name of safety in 2013. We continued:
- Cracking down on unsafe drivers and companies;
- Implementing new safety rules; and
- Protecting consumers against deceitful moving companies...
On the Saint Lawrence Seaway, the binational waterway we operate in partnership with Canada, the end of the calendar year also means the end of the navigation season. And 2013 was another busy year on the Seaway.
The Great Lakes and Seaway system supports 227,000 jobs and annually generates nearly $34 billion in revenue. We know by the number of vessels transiting the Seaway and the volume of cargo they carry that this waterway is a vital artery for the U.S economy.
To support that economic activity this year, we:
- Continued our ambitious Asset Renewal Program for off-season upgrades and maintenance;
- Designated seven ports with increased volume for our annual Pacesetter Awards;
- Celebrated another year of environmental stewardship; and
- Welcomed a new Administrator...