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News Digest

Test Results Show Potential for Cleaner, Renewable Marine Fuel.  The Maritime Administration announced today its analysis of a test conducted with algae-based biofuel on one of its large commercial-size vessels. This cutting-edge research used marine engines aboard the Great Lakes Maritime Academy training ship, the TS State of Michigan, to measure emissions reduction impacts.  The project is part of a joint effort by the Departments of Defense and Transportation to reduce the nation’s dependence on petroleum. The fuel, which was provided by the Navy, was tested in one of the vessel’s engines for more than 400 hours. Researchers measured the fuel’s emissions, efficiency and effect on engine performance. Detailed results of the test and a complete report on the study is available online for review or downloading at www.marad.dot.gov.  Contact:  Kim Riddle, (202) 366-5067.

TSI Announces 1000th Student for Distracted Driving Online Course.  The Transportation Safety Institute (TSI) announced today that it has registered the 1,000th student for its on-line instructional course aimed at reminding transit workers about the dangers of distracted driving.  “Curbing Transit Employee Distracted Driving” was developed jointly by TSI, the Federal Transit Administration, the Florida Department of Transportation and the Center for Urban Transportation Research.  The course is optional, but the Federal Transit Administration strongly encourages transit systems to incorporate it into their existing employee safety and training programs.  Pamela Vasquez, the 1,000th student, works for Mountain Rides Transportation Authority in Sun Valley, Idaho.  To find out more about the course, click here.  TSI, part of the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Research and Innovative Technology Administration, was established in 1971 and provides safety, security and environmental training to both public and private sectors, supporting itself through user fees.  Contact:  Nancy Wilochka, 202) 366-5128.

U.S. Transportation Secretary LaHood Announces Availability of Funding to Train and Place Transit Workers. U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood today announced the availability of $5 million from the Federal Transit Administration for programs that provide career development for transit workers, as well as training and placement for those seeking jobs in the transit industry. The purpose of FTA’s Innovative Workforce Development Program is to build a well-trained workforce essential to the continued safety and reliability of the nation’s transit systems. Applicants for Innovative Workforce Development funds may be public transit providers or institutions of higher education/nonprofit organizations in partnership with a public transit provider. To see the Federal Register notice detailing requirements for Innovative Workforce Development Program applications, click here. Applicants are due by July 6, 2012. Contact: Paul Griffo, 202-366-4064.

Friday, June 1, 2012