On Saturday, I helped cut the ribbon on a new bridge in St. Louis that spans the Mississippi River. It’s called the Stan Musial Veterans Memorial Bridge--named in honor of our nation's heroes and after one of the Midwest’s greatest sports legends--and with good reason.
Early in his career, Stan Musial was a pitcher who’d injured his throwing arm. And, as legend has it, the St. Louis Cardinals were going to release him until the team’s legendary GM, Branch Rickey heard about it.
“Don’t let him go,” Rickey said, “Put him in the outfield, and let’s see if he can hit.”
Twenty-two seasons and more than 3,600 hits later, Branch Rickey had his answer. Stan “The Man” Musial could hit.
In no small measure, what Rickey did for Stan Musial gets at the heart of what this new bridge will do for the people, and the companies, of the St. Louis area: It gives them a chance to succeed...
Today could be the day your dreams take flight. For the next two weeks, the Federal Aviation Administration is accepting applications for new Air Traffic Controllers for positions across the United States.
A career in this field is more than just a paycheck. It's a chance to save lives through proactive approaches to aviation safety, to reduce aircraft exhaust emissions, and help bolster our economy by enabling more cost-effective air travel.
It's also an exciting time to join the FAA. The next generation of aviation innovation is happening now as we shift to smarter, satellite-based, digital technologies to manage our national airspace. We're making America's flying experience more convenient, more predictable, and safer than ever...
Yesterday, I had the pleasure of riding Amtrak from Washington, DC, to Philadelphia with the president of the Amtrak Fan Club. Of course, that title is unofficial and it comes with very few responsibilities because Amtrak's number one fan, Joe Biden, is already very busy as our nation's Vice President.
As Vice President Biden knows, it’s a good time to be in the Amtrak fan club. And it's not just because Amtrak has broken ridership record for ten of the past eleven years, reaching nearly 32 million riders in 2013.
It's because yesterday in Philadelphia--thanks to DOT support--Amtrak put into service the largest fleet of new electric locomotives built in the United States since World War II.
Photo courtesy Philadelphia Inquirer, Tom Gralish
Three weeks ago, the Maritime Administration (MARAD) held a three-day National Maritime Strategy Symposium, where more than 200 maritime stakeholders came together to discuss and respond to the issues our industry faces.
To build on that initial effort, MARAD is engaging regional leaders in all segments of the industry, and this week's Great Lakes Waterways Conference in Cleveland was a terrific opportunity to have a conversation with some of those leaders. Who better to inform the Maritime Administration about current waterborne commerce conditions, issues, and productive maritime strategies on the Great Lakes than the educated and experienced individuals from Great Lakes ports, ship operators, shippers, and shipbuilding and repair as well as other maritime stakeholders?
Yesterday, I was proud to represent DOT at an infrastructure conference, "America on the Move," hosted by Bloomberg Government (BGOV) and Building America's Future. It was my pleasure to join such other advocates for faster, stronger, and safer American transportation as U.S. Representative Bill Shuster, Chair of the House Transportation Committee; former Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell, and my dear colleague--and former boss--former U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. I was there to share the priorities of U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx, an equally staunch champion of improving the way we move our nation forward.
The most compelling thing I noticed at yesterday's meeting of the transportation minds was something that has been increasingly rare here in Washington, DC: general agreement. That's right; from both sides of the aisle, from the public and private sector, there is a strong consensus: America’s infrastructure deficit is real, and it’s growing...
From office equipment and furniture, to single-family homes, the U.S. Government periodically auctions property it no longer needs. In doing so, it makes money from aging Federal assets that can be used to better serve the American people. So what does the Government do with a 450-ft long, 10,000 ton, federally-owned, commercial ship that has reached the end of its operational life? How do you ensure that a vessel that is longer than a football field is disposed of in an environmentally responsible way that also benefits our nation?
The answer is, "You recycle it.” And since 2001, the Maritime Administration (MARAD) has worked with domestic steel recyclers to turn more than 200 obsolete ships into steel that can be used again. Valuable metals can also be reclaimed, and oils onboard can be recycled.
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.
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.
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...
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...
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.