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2013 DOT Year in Review: 2013 achievements promise even more progress for 2014

2013 DOT Year in Review: 2013 achievements promise even more progress for 2014

During the past week, we've been looking at the 2013 accomplishments of some of the agencies within DOT. Today, we're wrapping up our retrospective with a look at some of what we achieved across multiple modes of transportation.

2013 was a year of big changes at DOT. We operated under the first full calendar year of MAP-21, the current national surface transportation law, including its expanded Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act loan program, or TIFIA. We also launched our National Freight Advisory Committee to help guide the Department's freight improvement efforts. And of course, we welcomed aboard our current Secretary of Transportation, Anthony Foxx, while saying goodbye to outgoing Secretary Ray LaHood. But as you’ll see below, one thing that didn’t change is our commitment to safety.

Photo of the front of D.O.T. headquarters in Washington, D.C.

Innovative Approaches to Investment

In the first full year of the expanded TIFIA program under MAP-21, the rolling application process took off, to date the Department has received 37 letters of interest seeking almost $18.5 billion in credit assistance in 20 states. But that's not the big TIFIA story. The big story is that those funds will be leveraged to finance more than $51 billion in infrastructure investment. Almost a quarter of these projects are in states that have never received a TIFIA loan, and approximately 25 percent of the letters of interest are for transit or multimodal projects. And the 9 loans we closed in 2013 for a total off $4.3 billion in credit assistance will support infrastructure investment of more than $13 billion. Further, we have committed funding for 22 projects that are advancing through the TIFIA review process. By the end of the year, we had committed or obligated $800 million in credit subsidy, which includes all of the FY 2013 funds and some of the FY 2014 funds.

Also in 2013, we awarded our fifth round of funding from our Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) program. In all, 52 projects from 32 states were selected for a total of $474 million in grants. These TIGER grants will help get innovative, multimodal projects off the ground that would otherwise struggle to find support from traditional funding sources. Awardees faced stiff competition; for this one round of funding, we received 585 applications requesting more than $9 billion. That's an indication of the strong demand for innovative transportation investment across the nation.

National Freight Advisory Committee

Safe and efficient freight movement plays a key role in President Obama's plan to strengthen the middle class and grow the economy by making America a magnet for jobs and manufacturing. So at DOT, we're taking the lead on improving our nation's freight movement to help keep America's businesses competitive. We announced the establishment of a National Freight Advisory Committee (NFAC) to help guide our freight improvement efforts. That includes the states, the freight and logistics industries, businesses, consumers, and others--we wanted representatives from across the transportation spectrum to help us improve the way we move freight. In June, the newly formed NFAC kicked off its first meeting, and everyone at DOT is excited to see this important effort continuing to move forward. After all, our ability to move freight plays a vital role in our ability to grow the American economy.

Distracted Driving

Last year was a critical turning point in our fight against distracted driving. From the new in-vehicle technology guidelines released by NHTSA in April to the revised Teens And Trucks curriculum announced by FMCSA in May and the stakeholder summit hosted by the Secretary just last month, DOT remains a leader in this important safety campaign. And we are proud to see that 41 states, DC, Puerto Rico, Guam, and the US Virgin Islands have all banned text messaging while driving. Our efforts will continue in 2014, and we look forward to continued support from the industry partners as well as safety advocates across the country.

Looking Ahead

2013 brought both change and continuity to DOT, and one event that combined both of those qualities was the arrival of Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. Secretary Foxx is a leader who understands from his experience as mayor of Charlotte, NC, the importance at the community level of solving transportation challenges, and in the Secretary's office his documented track record of leadership continues apace.

From innovation in infrastructure investment to freight to distracted driving, Secretary Foxx is keeping DOT and our national transportation system moving forward. So please stay tuned right here to the Fast Lane blog to see the transportation developments 2014 offers.

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