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This week, we celebrate the anniversary of the Federal transit program, which was created on July 9, 1964.

Over a half a century ago, shortly before the U.S. Department of Transportation was created, the Urban Mass Transportation Act (UMTA) established the program that is today managed by the Federal Transit Administration (FTA). Since then, growing numbers of people have hopped on subways, light rail, buses, bus rapid transit systems and ferries to travel to work, school and other important activities.

On the program’s birthday, the FTA has reason to celebrate. As the agency works to improve public transportation for America’s communities, FTA grants, technical assistance, research and oversight activities provide safe and efficient travel options for millions of people every day.

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At the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), we work diligently every day to reduce crashes, injuries and fatalities involving large trucks and buses on our roadways. Today, we continue to prioritize this important mission through a newly formed partnership under a national safety campaign – Our Roads, Our Safety.

FMCSA is proud to partner with public and private sector entities to educate pedestrians, bicyclists, passenger vehicle drivers and commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers on how to better share our roadways and improve safety for all. In collaboration with the American Bus Association (ABA), the American Automobile Association (AAA) and the American Trucking Associations (ATA), we have developed a video that informs people about CMVs’ blind spots. We welcome other organizations to partner with us and join this important safety effort.

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Today, National Air Traffic Control Day, and by Presidential Proclamation, “we thank the hard working men and women of the Federal Aviation Administration as we unite behind our shared commitment to safe and efficient management of our skies.”

More than 14,000 highly trained and ever-vigilant FAA air traffic control specialists provide a vital public service to guide pilots, their planes and 2.2 million daily passengers from taxi to takeoff, through the air and back safely on the ground. These certified professional controllers work every hour of every day to keep aircraft safely separated in the sky through the most complex and voluminous airspace system in the world.

air traffic controllers in the Charlotte, NC airport tower

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Happy July 4th!  Hope you, your families, friends and loved ones have a safe and happy Independence Day!  

44 million Americans traveling 50 miles or more for celebratory activities make this among the most traveled July 4th weekends ever!  The U. S. Department of Transportation has the important responsibility of helping to keep the traveling public safe in every mode of transportation.  We thank the professionals working in the Department for their dedication and hard work. 

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If you plan to fly or drive to visit family and friends to celebrate Independence Day, please help us keep you and your fellow travelers safe:  leave the fireworks at home. The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) and Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) want you to arrive at your destination safely.

Fireworks are fun and part of many of our July 4th weekends, but even the smallest firework novelty items such as sparklers, bang snaps, and black snakes are considered explosives and pose a safety risk to airplanes.

Whether in your pockets, carry-ons, or checked baggage, there’s a risk that friction can cause fireworks to ignite during flight, putting you, your fellow passengers, and the crew members at high risk of fire. Because of this, passengers are prohibited from boarding airplanes with fireworks and firework novelty items.

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As our communities become more connected, Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) play an important central role in our cities, towns, suburbs, and rural communities, between regions and across state lines. Transportation system managers can best serve vital needs by applying cohesive ITS technology and effectively “connecting the dots” of information from various factors that affect transportation operations, such as  weather, congestion, accidents, and unanticipated emergencies.

A flagship effort of the USDOT ITS program is the Connected Vehicle Pilot Deployment Program, funding large-scale Connected Vehicle system implementation efforts led by the New York City Department of Transportation (NYCDOT); the Tampa Hillsborough Expressway Authority (THEA); and the Wyoming Department of Transportation (WYDOT). Similar, interoperable technologies are being used differently at three pilot sites to improve safety in environments as diverse as dense urban grid networks and isolated high-plains interstates.

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If you’re traveling by air this summer, or any time of year, DOT wants you to be aware of the airline passenger protections in place that will ensure that you are treated fairly.

DOT has launched an airline passenger microsite to make it easy for travelers to understand their rights.  The site includes information on tarmac delays, ticketing, fees, bumping, and more.  And if you have an issue before, during, or after your flight, you can file a complaint with the Department here.

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The Paris Air Show has attracted aviation enthusiasts from around the world since it began in 1909. This year, Secretary Chao and I were lucky enough to be among them.

As the eyes of the aviation world once again turned to Le Bourget, countless manufacturers were on hand to unveil their latest and greatest aircraft. It was fantastic to see so many American companies represented, with Boeing and Lockheed Martin making headlines for their most recent innovative jet designs.

But the Paris Air Show isn’t just about innovative technologies. It’s also a unique opportunity for international aviation leaders to come together and discuss the 21st Century challenges we face.

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States that operate rail transit systems have less than two years to certify their state safety oversight (SSO) Program or risk the withholding of millions of dollars in Federal funding. Federal public transportation law requires that each state obtain SSO Program certification from the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) by April 15, 2019. If a state fails to obtain certification for its SSO Program by the deadline, FTA is prohibited by transportation law from obligating any funds to all public transportation agencies throughout that state until certification is achieved.

With the certification deadline now less than two years away, the FTA urges states to act quickly to enact any necessary legislation, statutes and regulations, particularly those states whose legislatures meet only part-time or biennially. The 30 states affected by this requirement need to act now. By law, the deadline cannot be waived or extended.

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President Dwight Eisenhower is widely known as the “Father of the Interstate System,” due in part to his experiences with highways in World War II and his years’ of work with Congress to fund a national highway system. With Father’s Day around the corner, it is an important legacy to remember. 

In 1919, just after the end of World War I, young Lt. Col. Eisenhower led the U.S. Army’s Cross-Country Motor Transport Train – a mission to send a convoy of six dozen trucks and other military vehicles across the country. The convoy would take the most famous road of the day – the Lincoln Highway – which ran between New York City and San Francisco, Calif. The Army needed to know if motor vehicles, which had been used in combat on since 1916, could stand the trip. The convoy also included a speaker who would talk about the importance of good roads at each stop.

Infographic with picture of President Eisenhower

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