Let's start with a confession: here at DOT, we love data. Miles of freight rail, number of bridges, on-time flight arrivals, transit passenger trips, port economic activity--all of it. Those facts and figures help us tell the story of how American transportation affects each and every one of us.
Some numbers are staggeringly high: the value of goods shipped in the US in 2012? More than 13$ trillion. Some are impressively low: the number of extended tarmac delays in the US for domestic and international flights in December 2014? Exactly zero.
All of that data is compiled by our Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) in DOT's Office of Research and Technology. And this week, BTS released what we think is a real treat: State Transportation by the Numbers Profiles. If you're curious about how your state is moving or what your state is moving, these easy-to-read profiles have a lot to offer...
With America's population expected to grow by 70 million during the next three decades, there is no question that we will have to find ways to get more out of our transportation networks. Figuring out how to do that is one of the key goals of our "Beyond Traffic: Framework for the Future."
And thanks to a two-city pilot program --in San Diego and Dallas-- we know that one useful solution is Integrated Corridor Management or ICM. With ICM, the separate data systems that monitor road congestion, incident reports, pavement conditions, and rail and transit operations are combined into a single, powerful tool.
It is hard to overstate America’s reliance on a safe and efficient freight network. This network is the circulation system that fuels our economy health and helps secure our Nation, and the Obama Administration has consistently emphasized the importance of improving our infrastructure.
That is exactly what brought me to Quincy, IL, earlier this month. With $12 billion in goods transported to global markets each year through Quincy by road, rail, or river, this community is a domestic and international economic hub.
Because our population will grow by 70 million during the next 30 years --and to support that population our freight volume will have to increase by 45 percent-- community leaders in Quincy are working with DOT's Build America Transportation Investment Center (BATIC) to develop a port that can support the region’s expected freight growth...
Last Friday afternoon, our GROW AMERICA Express bus tour pulled into Washington, DC's, Union Station after a 1,100-mile journey through five states. We had gone on the road four days earlier for one reason: to encourage Congress to act on a long-term transportation bill.
In Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, and DC, I saw great examples of the kind of investment in transportation infrastructure that can help communities grow, help businesses compete, and help people get more safely and reliably to jobs and other opportunities.
We also visited places where strong projects that would achieve those same goals were stuck perpetually on the launch pad.
Many thanks to everyone who turned out to welcome us back to DC!
When you're making the case for stable investment in American passenger rail, it helps to have with you the nation's greatest champion for passenger rail --Vice President Joe Biden.
The Vice President and I have been traveling up the East Coast this week as part of the GROW AMERICA Express to focus America’s attention on our infrastructure, and to remind the American people that we are at a crucial crossroads. And as we consider our options for moving forward, Vice President Biden knows well that passenger rail is an important piece of the transportation puzzle...
Owen Steel in Columbia, SC, is a great success story. For nearly 80 years, every time a city has made a choice about their future –and decided to build a bridge or an office building or a hospital– Owen Steel has rolled out steel fabrications to help build those structures. This company has produced some of the largest steel towers in the US and has had a hand in some of our greatest infrastructure. For example, 1,500 tons of Owen steel holds up the St. George Ferry Terminal in Staten Island.
But a few miles away, where I-26 and I-20 meet, we saw a highway where a massive infrastructure project ought to be--but isn't. Known locally as “Malfunction Junction,” this intersection poses a constant bottleneck to motorists and truck drivers.
Reworking “Malfunction Junction” is one of South Carolina’s top transportation improvement projects; it would reduce the traffic jams that slow freight movement and frustrate thousands of drivers each day. Unfortunately, that solution is years away from starting for a pretty simple reason: inadequate funding...
It's a great privilege to have Vice President Biden join me on the GROW AMERICA Express today and tomorrow. Together, we'll try to focus America’s attention on our infrastructure and remind the American people that the future is a choice.
And few communities understand that better than our first stop this morning, the Port of Charleston, South Carolina. Because Charleston has already decided what future they want to have when it comes to transportation...
This afternoon, Secretary Foxx closed out Day One of the GROW AMERICA Express bus tour with a visit to Savannah, Georgia's Brampton Road Connector project. When completed, the Connector will speed the movement of freight into and out of the Port of Savannah via both rail and road. But, as of right now, the project is still in search of funding.
Last year, the port moved record tonnage and --recognizing the increasing demands of the future-- the ports leaders are hard at work expanding its operations.
Unfortunately, without upgrades in nearby transportation infrastructure, the Port's efforts to move more cargo in and out will only confront bottlenecks in the surrounding freight network...
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...
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...