Plebe candidates begin their path to leadership, service
Last week, the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy was proud to welcome the Class of 2017 to Kings Point, where 238 plebe candidates took their first steps toward a lifetime of leadership and service.
The new candidates make up one of the most diverse classes in Academy history, and I look forward to seeing the entire class learn, grow and serve their country.
To get agricultural and manufacturing products to world markets, producers need to transport them in shipping containers that are standardized for trucks, trains, and ships. Unfortunately, businesses in Montana can't ship or receive containerized international cargo effectively because the state lacks an inland port capable of accepting and delivering intermodal unit trains.
That's where DOT's TIGER program comes in. This competitive grant program was designed to support transportation solutions that also generate economic growth. And today the program continued its track record of doing exactly that with a grant of $10 million for the Port of Northern Montana Multimodal Hub Center to expand the capacity of Montana’s producers.
“The Multimodal Hub Center will provide Montana with an inland port that will help increase trade and create economic opportunities for its residents and businesses,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx.
FHWA emergency relief funds enable first visitors to Statue Of Liberty since Sandy
I'm happy to write that--eight months after being shut down by Hurricane Sandy--the Statue of Liberty reopened to visitors on the 4th of July.
Last October, the superstorm destroyed Liberty Island's passenger docks, making it impossible to ferry visitors to the island. In February, our Federal Highway Administration provided funding to the National Park Service for repair of the roads, bridges, ferry docks and pedestrian walkways damaged by the storm.
On Saturday, U.S. Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx and Federal Aviation Administrator Michael P. Huerta released the following joint statement in response to the crash of Asiana Flight 214:
"The Department of Transportation and the FAA are working closely to assist the NTSB with its investigation. Our thanks go to today's first responders and our thoughts and prayers go out to the passengers and crew of Asiana Flight 214 and their families."
TIGER-funded project improves transit service for Kansas City area riders
Earlier this week, the Federal Transit Administration celebrated the opening of the new Mission Transit Center that will significantly enhance Johnson County Transit service--known as The JO--and connect thousands of daily riders to jobs and other destinations in the Kansas City region. DOT helped fund the project as one part of a $50 million TIGER grant to revitalize key neighborhoods in Kansas City’s urban area and improve access to jobs throughout the region.
For Fast Lane readers, we've got a 2011 video from before construction by the Kansas City area's Mid-America Regional Council showing MARC's plans for the center; follow the jump to compare the plans to images of the newly opened center!
This newly sworn-in Secretary of Transportation has been thinking a lot about America, mostly about the tremendous opportunities our nation offers. And, with the 4th of July holiday here, I hope you'll have occasion to celebrate not only our more than 200 years of independence, but the promise that the future holds for us and for future generations.
But, if those of us who will be driving this holiday weekend don't give also some thought to road safety, too many Americans won't be able to enjoy that future.
When those who served us overseas return home and begin seeking career opportunities, we owe them a fair shake. And with the Bureau of Labor Statistics indicating that commercial trucking is a high-growth field--with more than 300,000 additional positions expected by 2020--connecting America's Veterans and their families with career opportunities in trucking makes good sense.
So today, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration announced almost $1 million in grants to six colleges that will help increase enrollment in commercial motor vehicle training programs and provide job placement assistance for veterans and their spouses. That will make it easier for veterans and their spouses to obtain Commercial Driver's Licenses and find jobs.
Devore Interchange project latest in DOT support to improve freight movement
California's Devore Interchange is a critical freight link serving 21,000 trucks each day. It links Interstates 15 and 215; and it connects freight traffic from the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach with critical points east. It also carries more than one million drivers per week and can back up as far as five miles due to excess volume.
A bottleneck like that doesn't just slow down San Bernardino County; it slows down our nation's economy. So we're pleased to see that California has broken ground on a modernized Devore Interchange that will relieve freight congestion through this critical corridor.
Deputy Federal Highway Administrator Greg Nadeau was on hand to help state and local officials celebrate the start of this important project. And he offered three terrific reasons for the $245 million federal investment to see this work through...
Today, I am thrilled to begin serving as the 17th U.S. Secretary of Transportation. In my first official blog post, I wanted to tell you more about myself and my goals for leading DOT.
I believe in safe, effective transportation, and whether it is a bus, road, train, plane, or ship, our transportation system --at its best-- connects people to a better quality of life.
This morning I wrote that solving our nation's transportation challenges, "requires vision--men and women who can develop innovative solutions, and champions who...have the fortitude to see them through." This afternoon, I want to share with you my thoughts about what it takes to be one of those champions.
Cross-posted from The Chicago Tribune.
I'm a lifelong Republican who served seven terms in Congress. When President Barack Obama called on me to serve in his historic administration, I knew it was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for truly bipartisan public service. Sure, we had our differences. But we shared a passion for public service — and that's what mattered.
As I close the last chapter in my book of service, I'm taking stock of the Washington I see today. Sadly, I see a town that is increasingly distracted by political sideshows and name-calling, which are hurting its ability to effectively address our most pressing issues.