In 2005, Hurricane Katrina left tens of thousands of residents of New Orleans stranded in the city. In 2012, Hurricane Sandy shut down 40 percent of the nation’s public transportation trips in a single blow. And last year, and in years past, transit employees in cities like San Francisco have died on the job while working on train tracks.
What these tragedies have in common is this lingering question: What more could have been done to help prevent or lessen their impact on people and their communities? To answer the public transit part of that question, the Federal Transit Administration is providing 13 organizations in 9 states a share of $29 million in grant funding to help us better prepare for natural disasters and prevent future accidents.
FTA’s Innovative Safety, Resiliency, and All-Hazards Emergency Response and Recovery Demonstration initiative is funding a wide range of innovative projects that will develop and showcase promising technologies, methods, practices, and techniques to improve the operational safety, infrastructure resilience, and all-hazards emergency response and recovery capacities of transit agencies...
When I took an eight-state bus trip last year from Ohio to Texas, it was great to see that the folks I talked with were able to connect the dots between the federal government’s role and what’s happening in their own home towns. They understood how gridlock in Washington, DC, was creating gridlock on Main Street in their communities. They understood that the infrastructure deficit I spoke about was affecting their lives and the lives of their neighbors.
But as we know from the thousands of questions that poured in for yesterday’s #StuckInTraffic Twitter Town Hall, that infrastructure deficit hasn’t gone away, and it's not going to go away...unless we do something.
So I'm going on the road again next week to highlight the importance of investing in America’s infrastructure, and to encourage Congress to act on a long-term transportation bill. Our four-day GROW AMERICA Express bus tour will begin Tuesday in Tallahassee and visit five states –Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina and Virginia– ending at Union Station here in the District of Columbia...
Just a reminder to Fast Lane readers that Transportation Secretary Foxx and House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee Chairman Shuster will cohost a Twitter Town Hall question-and-answer session today at approximately 12:00 noon (EST).
If you have questions for these leaders --and we know you do-- please tweet them using the #stuckintraffic hashtag.
Then, tune to Twitter to see what they have to say!
Progress in roadway safety—measured in lives saved and injuries prevented—is achieved through the work of thousands of National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) professionals who wake up every day and strive to better protect us all when we drive, ride, and walk. Today, we'd like to highlight one of those individuals who has made a tremendous difference in our field, and who has just been recognized with one of our community’s greatest honors.
Dr. Richard Compton, director of the NHTSA Office of Behavioral Safety Research, will soon receive the National Safety Council’s (NSC) 2015 Borkenstein Award in recognition of his more than 35 years of research on human factors and programs to reduce injury and death caused by alcohol and drug-impaired driving...
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...