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Projects support President Obama’s call to create ladders of opportunity, ‘Fix it First,’ and support economic growth

I am proud to announce that DOT's TIGER is back. In this latest round of our Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery competitive grant program, 52 transportation projects in 37 states will receive a total of $474 million. 

The projects TIGER supports ensure a stronger transportation system for future generations by repairing existing roads, bridges, rail, and transit; connecting people to new jobs and opportunities; and contributing to our nation’s economic growth.  These projects are the best argument for increased investment in America's transportation infrastructure.

Map of U.S. showing locations of TIGER 2013 projects

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Energy production is booming in the United States. The volume of crude oil moving by rail has quadrupled in less than a decade, and most of that movement occurs safely and without incident. Over the past decade, train accidents have declined by 43 percent and accidents involving a hazardous materials release are down 16 percent.

But at the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, we know there is always more we can do.

That is why today we are asking for public input on how to enhance the safe transportation of hazmat by rail, including changes to the DOT 111 tank car.

Photo of tank cars at Bakken range

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It's "Back to School" time, the season when the daylight hours grow shorter and our roads grow busier.  It's also time to get street smart.

Fewer daylight hours can make it harder for motorists to see young students. So, whether your kids are walking, riding a bicycle, or catching a school bus or other public transportation to travel to and from school, please take a few moments to talk to them about safety.

Collage of photos from NHTSA Parents Central website

On its Parents Central website, our National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) offers a wide range of safe transportation practices for kids on the move. 

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Springfield, MO, transit riders will benefit from renovated facility

If you lived in Springfield, Missouri during the early 20th century, chances are that you might have relied on a mule-drawn streetcar to get to work, purchase goods at the market, or visit family.

Historic photo of mule-drawn streetcar

And while many Springfield residents today use a more modern form a public transportation –transit buses– the need for a safe, reliable, and efficient way to get around remains the same.

Continue Reading Upgraded Bus Maintenance ››
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Last Friday, I had the opportunity to visit the Oklahoma DOT's I-235/I-44 Interchange Reconstruction project. Thanks to my hosts U.S. Senator James Inhofe, Governor Mary Fallin, and Oklahoma Transportation Secretary Gary Ridley, I learned a lot about the cutting-edge work that’s changing how the state delivers roads, bridges, and other projects.  And it's clear that Oklahoma is a hotbed of highway high-tech.

At the I-235/I-44 interchange project, the Oklahoma Department of Transportation (ODOT) is using two innovative technologies from the Federal Highway Administration's Every Day Counts toolkit.

Photo of Secretary Foxx on site at Oklahoma City interchange reconstruction project
Photo courtesy The Edmond Sun, James Coburn

Asphalt Safety EdgeSM is installed during paving or resurfacing projects and allows drivers who drift off highways to return to the pavement safely.  Warm-Mix Asphalt (WMA) is a building material used to create more durable pavement at less cost and with fewer emissions. Oklahoma's use of WMA isn’t just a fad. From 2009 through September 2012, Oklahoma placed 329,100 tons of it, and 65 of the state’s 73 asphalt plants have been modified to take advantage of the technology.

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At the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, we are proud of our long history of supporting Emergency Medical Services across the country.

Since the early 1970s, NHTSA has published education standards for EMTs and paramedics. The Freedom House Ambulance Service, recently honored with a NHTSA's Public Service Award, has a special connection to that history.

The young men and women of this service--trained by Dr. Peter Safar, the father of CPR--were some of the nation’s first advanced life support paramedics. More importantly, they provided emergency medical care to an underserved part of Pittsburgh.

Photo of Freedom House Ambulance crew working with a doctor

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As schools gear up to teach students reading, writing, and arithmetic, transit agencies across the country are preparing to educate Americans about another vital subject: rail safety.

In partnership with Operation Lifesaver, the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) awarded eight transit agencies almost $194,000 for programs to educate the public about how to be safe on and around the rails.

Graphic warning that transit safety is a shared responsibility

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The 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington

The 50th anniversary of the March on Washington is quite a moment. A moment to reflect on what it took for those men and women to come together. A moment to think of where we are today.

Today, we honor so many who achieved so much, demanding fairness and equality in the face of hardship, discrimination, and violence. 

As Secretary of Transportation, I can’t help but think of the historic connection between transportation and the civil rights movement. Literally or figuratively, transportation has played a role throughout the history of our nation’s progress toward civil rights. And it still does.

Photo of Rosa Parks seated on a bus

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Strike Force inspections protect passengers and the motoring public from coast to coast

Federal, state and local commercial vehicle inspectors across the country have begun an intensified safety crack-down to protect bus passengers and the motoring public by removing unsafe vehicles and drivers from our nation’s highways and roads. Over the course of the next two weeks--in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and U.S. territories--specially trained investigators will inspect motorcoaches, buses, and 9-to-15-passenger vans for overall vehicle maintenance and safety equipment condition.

Inspectors will also verify commercial driver qualifications and driver compliance with federal hours-of-service requirements. Vehicles and drivers found to be violating critical safety regulations—and thereby needlessly endangering passengers and other motorists sharing the road with them--will be put out-of-service on the spot.

Photo of investigator inspecting motorcoach wheels

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The U.S. Department of Transportation has been working on our strategic plan for FY 2014 to FY 2018 since early this spring.  Developing and implementing our strategic plan is an important step in helping the Department address key priorities that represent the diverse interests of our stakeholders across the country.

So we want to ensure that all of our stakeholders have an opportunity to read the plan and weigh in. And that means you. For the next few weeks, you can review the plan and submit your ideas and comments at the DOT Strategic Plan Online Dialogue.

Screen capture of the DOT Strategic Plan Online Dialogue website

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