Most of you are familiar with the high cost of congestion and its impact on our nation’s roadways, our economic competitiveness, the environment, and the time commuters needlessly lose stuck in traffic each year. According to the Texas Transportation Institute, the total financial cost of congestion in 2011 was $121 billion. Of that total, about $27 billion worth was wasted time and diesel fuel from trucks moving goods on the system.
So what to do?
I’ll tell you what Northern California has done. Just recently, I joined Congressman Jerry McNerney and other state and local officials at the Port of Stockton for the dedication of M-580, an important Marine Highway project known as the “California Green Trade Corridor.”
At DOT, we believe that all airline passengers deserve to be treated fairly when they fly. And we’ve been hard at work introducing consumer protections to ensure equal access to hassle-free transportation for all air travelers.
Today as part of that ongoing effort, we announced a new rule requiring airline websites and automated airport kiosks to be accessible to passengers with disabilities.
In addition to raking leaves, one thing many of us can also look forward to this weekend is setting our clocks back one hour. And in addition to checking the batteries on your smoke detectors, the end of Daylight Saving Time should also mean a change in your safe driving habits.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reminds us that the seasonal combination of increasingly less sunlight and a return to Standard Time means that darkness falls at least an hour earlier.
Tonight, we advise you to be less concerned about that eerie howling in the woods. There's something scarier on Halloween that we can actually prevent: pedestrian and drunk driving fatalities.
The traffic statistics for Halloween tell a frightening but all-too-true story.
And that's why the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration urges motorists and pedestrians to use extra caution on Halloween night.
Congratulations are in order this week to Greg Winfree, who was sworn in on Monday as the new Administrator of our Research and Innovative Technology Administration (RITA).
Though prior to Monday, the sign on his door read "Deputy Administrator," Administrator Winfree was very much prepared on his first day. After all, he had already been at RITA's helm in an "Acting" capacity since October 2011.
President Obama nominated him for Administrator in July of this year, and he was confirmed by the Senate earlier this month.
Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx administers the oath of office to new RITA Administrator Greg Winfree while his wife, Frances, looks on.
The Federal Aviation Administration is allowing airlines to expand passengers' use of Portable Electronic Devices (PEDs) during all phases of flight--yes, that means while your aircraft is taxiing, taking off, and landing.
Now, expanded use will not happen overnight. But eventually, passengers will be able to read e-books, play games, and watch videos on their devices during all phases of flight, with very limited exceptions.
At DOT, we’re committed to ensuring that everyone who needs a ride to earn a paycheck, attend school, see the doctor, or buy groceries has that opportunity – whether they live in an urban center, a rural community, or on tribal land.
That’s why I was pleased to speak to the National Tribal Transportation Conference in Prior Lake, Minnesota, about the Obama Administration’s strong commitment to improving tribal transportation resources and safety.
Transportation recovery continues moving forward with DOT support
In the year since Hurricane Sandy, we have worked closely with our state and federal partners to help restore transportation systems in affected states, while also working to ensure that new infrastructure is built to withstand future storms.
Rebuilding damaged roads, bridges, tunnels, and transit lines is no easy task. And this Department has worked hard to speed relief and recovery funds to the state and local agencies doing the heavy lifting. That lifting is the real work, and the men and women doing it deserve our thanks.
Hurricane Sandy provided a devastating reminder of how much we depend on our transportation systems.
When it’s time to take your car in for a tune-up, you want a shop that’s got the right equipment and can turn the job around quickly so you can get back on the road. America's transit agencies need the same qualities in their bus maintenance facilities.
That's why the Federal Transit Administration helps transit systems modernize their bus shops and keep their fleet in a state of good repair.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is adding to our road safety message this week (see the October 24 post on Teen Driver Safety Week) with Operation Safe Driver, an all-out effort to combat the number of deaths resulting from crashes involving large trucks, buses and passenger vehicles.
During Operation Safe Driver, our safety partners are stepping up commercial vehicle and non-commercial vehicle traffic enforcement; safety belt enforcement; and driver roadside inspections. They're also increasing commercial driver safety education efforts.
But an equally important part of this campaign is the effort to raise awareness among the public about safe operations around commercial motor vehicles.