In 2009, the last full year before DOT’s domestic tarmac rule went into effect, airlines reported 868 domestic flights with tarmac delays longer than three hours at U.S. airports. By 2013, that number was reduced by 90 percent, with only 84 domestic flights experiencing tarmac delays longer than three hours.
And with today's release of our Air Travel Consumer Report, Secretary Foxx announced that, last year, the number of extended tarmac delays declined even further. In calendar year 2014, airlines reported the fewest tarmac delays longer than three hours on record --just 30 domestic flights. Also in 2014, only 9 international flights were delayed longer than 4 hours at U.S. airports.
In the busy holiday travel month of December 2014? Zero flights --domestic or international-- stuck on the tarmac at U.S. airport for what our rules call an extended period.
We call that a win for consumer protection...
This Wednesday, Secretary Foxx and House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee Chairman Bill Shuster will jointly host a Twitter town hall on reauthorizing U.S. surface transportation; strengthening the Nation's highways, bridges, and transit infrastructure; and the future of transportation in America.
Now, this is not just the first time the U.S. Transportation Secretary and the House T&I Committee Chair will cohost an event like this; it's actually the first time that any sitting Cabinet Secretary and House Committee Chair have cohosted such an event. Ever.
It's no wonder that Washington Post reporter Ashley Halsey wrote, "In an era when Twitter is omnipotent, tweeting a digital meeting harbors far greater significance as a display of rare bipartisan camaraderie in pursuit of a common goal."
Secretary Foxx and Chairman Shuster building a bridge of their own?
In the introductory video for Beyond Traffic: Trends and Choices, our draft 30-year transportation framework, the narrator says, "We've got a lot to think about; we need a new approach." And she's right.
The good news is that DOT researchers have been thinking; they have been imagining new approaches. And one new approach, Connected Vehicles, offers the possibility of improved safety and improved mobility...
Earlier this week, we opened up our Beyond Traffic: Trends and Choices website and asked people to share their ideas on what transportation challenges we’ll face during the next 30 years and how we should meet those challenges.
What do Louisville, Kentucky; Duluth, Minnesota; and Stockton, California, have in common? They're all on their way to new zero-emission transit buses with some help from Federal Transit Administration "Low or No Emission Vehicle Deployment Program" grants. (Here at DOT, we call it "LoNo.")
FTA's LoNo program aims to help put a new generation of advanced, non-polluting transit buses on the road in communities nationwide. We're talking about the cleanest and most energy-efficient US-made transit buses available. Grants from the LoNo program will help transit agencies integrate more of these cutting-edge, pollutant-reducing buses into their fleets...
Through our Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act program (TIFIA), DOT fills market gaps leveraging Federal financing alongside private dollars to increase the funding available to invest in transportation infrastructure. With TIFIA, each dollar of Federal funds can provide up to $10 in credit assistance and support up to $30 in investment.
Today, for example, we’re bringing that power to the Chicago Transit Authority’s (CTA) Blue Line with a $120 million loan for track and station upgrades. It’s all part of CTA’s “Your New Blue” program to improve service to the more than 80,000 riders who use the Grand-O’Hare segment of the “L” each day. And, as Transportation Secretary Foxx said, “Going forward, we want to bring opportunities like this one to other parts of the country.”
That’s why, earlier today, we also unveiled a new TIFIA website. If you’re interested in how TIFIA can help a project you’re involved in, the new site is the place to start...
Earlier this week, I was in the Bay Area for a download on the latest in transportation innovation, including a ride in Google's self-driving car. And yesterday, I was back in Washington, DC, at the 18th Annual FAA Commercial Space Transportation Conference with leaders from government, science, and business.
But from autonomous vehicles to commercial space travel, my message was the same: In our 30-year draft framework –Beyond Traffic: Trends and Choices– we’re incredibly bullish about new technology and new business models, and their ability to revolutionize how we travel and how we move freight.
And --yes-- that includes the big thinkers and innovators from a community that once sounded like science fiction: commercial space transportation...
For more information on Licensed Launches, visit www.faa.gov
Yesterday, I joined Secretary Foxx to announce 25 local transit projects that we’re recommending for Capital Investment Grants in the President’s budget for 2016. Those grants include our New Starts, Small Starts, and relatively new Core Capacity programs.
Together, the recommended projects would commit $3.2 billion to help build and expand public transportation in thirteen states. That includes subways, light rail, bus rapid transit, commuter rail, and streetcar –all projects begun at the local level to meet the challenges of the future and connect people to opportunity...
Last night's commuter rail accident on Metro-North's Harlem Line claimed six lives and is a terrible tragedy; our thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families.
As of last night, Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) investigators are on the scene, and this Department will conduct a thorough investigation to determine the factors contributing to this accident.
Safety is DOT's absolute top priority, and it must be every railroad's absolute top priority...
As you might have heard, yesterday I had the opportunity to visit with some outstanding innovators in the Bay Area.
The day built up to a Virtual Fireside Chat with me and Google CEO Eric Schmidt, where we launched “Beyond Traffic: Trends and Choices,” the Department’s 30-year draft framework on the future of transportation.
But before that, I also had the good fortune of visiting with Autodesk and the Mineta Transportation Institute —both of them the kind of innovators we will need to engage with if we’re going to face the challenges we expect in the next three decades...