This week the White House is celebrating the work of American Heroes across the country. Here at the U.S. Department of Transportation, we also want to honor the courageous and inspiring work of our transportation heroes.
Transportation reaches every corner of the country, and so do the transportation professionals who keep our infrastructure running safely and efficiently. From air traffic controllers and first responders to safety technicians and engineers, these heroes are saving lives and creating bold innovations throughout every mode of transportation.
American manufacturing jobs are getting a boost thanks to the Federal Transit Administration’s (FTA) Buy America provisions. Grounded in federal law, Buy America ensures that when U.S. taxpayers invest in public transportation, American workers in communities big and small benefit. The law requires that when federal taxpayer dollars are used for public transportation projects, the iron, steel, and manufactured products used must be “Made in America.” For instance, all rail cars and buses must be assembled in the U.S., and more than 60 percent of a new transit vehicle’s parts by cost must be American-made. Next year, the percentage of U.S. content required increases to 65 percent, and by FY 2020 it will rise to 70 percent. Many manufacturers already exceed that minimum, creating and supporting jobs at suppliers across the country. Just think of all the parts that go into a typical bus: besides the chassis and engine, there’s also wheels, brakes, seats, auxiliary power systems, air conditioning, windows, doors, instrumentation, and much more.
For years, brave souls have taken to the skies with wingsuits, human-powered aircraft, and rocket-propelled devices. But for most of the traveling public, aviation doesn’t mean strapping on a jet pack. It means getting on an airplane with dozens or hundreds of other passengers.
Now, concepts that a decade ago might have seemed at the outer limits of aviation are closer than ever to reality.
“It’s an exciting time,” said Seamus McGovern, an engineer at U.S. DOT’s Volpe Center. “For a long time, from the Wright brothers, to the moon landing, to the Concorde, it seemed something new was happening every year in aviation—but then there was a lull, where technology advanced incrementally. Now there’s a lot happening again with things like private space travel, and a lot of evolution in personal flight mobility.”
At the Department of Transportation, your safety is our first priority. We understand the urge to get outside in the summer sun and tackle your home improvement projects. But before you jump in to expanding that flower bed, planting that shrub, or redoing the deck, remember to call 811 before you dig.
When you call 811, the federally designated call-before-you-dig number, you protect yourself and others from unintentionally hitting underground utility lines. There are millions of miles of buried utilities beneath the surface of the earth that are vital to everyday living like water, telecommunications, electricity and natural gas.
Vehicle theft was a $5 billion dollar crime in the United States in 2015, with nearly three-quarters of a million vehicles stolen. With numbers like that, it’s obvious that vehicle theft prevention is absolutely necessary. July is Vehicle Theft Prevention Month, so NHTSA is reminding you of a few simple yet important tips that can help you avoid being a victim of vehicle theft.
Vehicle theft is serious business. Did you know?
- Passenger cars make up about 75 percent of all stolen vehicles.
- About 42 percent of all stolen vehicles are never recovered.
- About 707,758 vehicles were stolen in 2015. The nationwide rate of motor vehicle thefts was 220.2 per 100,000 people.
- A vehicle is stolen about every 45 seconds in the United States.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.