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Across the country, thousands of employees are forgoing their comfortable car ride to work in favor of a healthier, greener alternative—their bicycle. Let’s help keep our colleagues safe today, and every day.

In 2015, America endured a large and significant spike in motor vehicle fatalities, with 818 bicyclist deaths, accounting for 2.3 percent of all traffic fatalities during the year. Seventy percent of these cyclists were in urban areas, like Washington, D.C. These tragic statistics are an urgent reminder that drivers behind the wheels of cars and trucks do not enjoy sole right to the road. The road is a shared space where everyone has rights and responsibilities. Check out NHTSA’s tips on staying safe on the road on this Bike to Work Day.

Photo of Secretary Chao and DOT employees

Secretary Chao celebrates National Bike to Work Week with DOT bicycle commuters.

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With endless new vehicle safety technologies coming to market, one safety technology remains a constant in every vehicle: the seat belt. This basic foundation of safer driving saved 13,941 lives in 2015, alone. However, 2,804 additional lives could have been saved if everyone had buckled up. That’s why NHTSA remains committed to convincing every American to always buckle up—every trip, every time.

Between 1960 and 2012, seat belts saved 329,715 lives, more than all other vehicle technologies combined. Thanks to a combination of the enforcement of seat belt laws and public awareness campaigns, seat belt use reached a record high of 90 percent in 2016, up from about 83 percent a decade ago. That’s progress—but it also means that, every day, millions of people put their lives at risk needlessly because they don’t buckle up.

graphic - seat belts save lives

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Buses make up the backbone of every public transportation system in America, transporting people to work, school, health care, and other destinations. They’re also the most widely used form of public transportation in the United States, with as many as 48,000 buses on the roads in any given rush hour. This week, the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) held its annual Bus and Paratransit conference in Reno, Nevada, where more than 1,000 transit providers shared their knowledge and learned more about operations, maintenance, and transformative technologies. Matt Welbes, the Federal Transit Administration’s (FTA) Executive Director, helped kick off the conference on Monday by providing remarks and showing an educational video, Keeping America on the Move, about transit bus services that are intended to help viewers understand how FTA uses federal tax dollars to support these vital services.

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National Train Day was created in 2008, as a way to promote rail travel and its rich history in the U.S.  It has been observed annually on or around May 10, the anniversary commemorating completion of the transcontinental railroad in 1869 when the Golden Spike was ceremonially driven at Promontory Summit in Utah.  This year, National Train Day is May 13.

Railroads are vital to our nation’s intermodal transportation network and economy.  Passenger trains connect people to work, school and family.  So naturally, every day is National Train Day at the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA).  While this day is usually marked by celebrations of railroad history, we think it’s a good time to emphasize the importance of railroad safety—the Department of Transportation’s top priority.

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The Fiscal Times today praised Secretary of Transportation Elaine L. Chao’s approach to infrastructure spending. Below are excerpts from that article, which is titled “The Biggest Barrier to Rebuilding America’s Infrastructure Is Red Tape.”

“Given the overwhelming (and rare) bipartisan enthusiasm for infrastructure spending, it’s tempting for the Trump White House to charge ahead, on the assumption that this is one project that could move quickly through the legislative thicket.

“Elaine Chao, Secretary of Transportation, is not going to make that mistake. Instead, she is focused on two objectives: streamlining the cumbersome red tape that drives up the costs of building our tunnels and rails and pushing for new financing models to ease the burden on the federal government. In the long run, attaining those goals will prove more important and enduring than a quick infusion of spending.

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The two-wheeling event of the school year is finally here. Today, thousands of communities will be kicking it into high gear to celebrate the fun and value of pedaling to school.

Each year, participation in Bike to School Day grows and it’s thanks to the enthusiasm and commitment of students, families, school administrations, departments of transportation, elected officials and community leaders nationwide. Already, over 2,500 schools and communities across the country are signed on to participate today and the number is expected to grow as celebrations continue throughout May, which is National Bike Month.

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In San Francisco, riders of Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) commuter rail are all too familiar with the challenge of finding a parking spot at transit stations on weekdays. With thousands of people – 35,000, at last count – on waiting lists to purchase limited monthly permits for BART parking lots, local officials are encouraging transit riders to carpool to maximize potential for daily parking.

At an Federal Transit Administration-hosted mobility workshop in April, 11 transit agencies reported on their progress after receiving Mobility on Demand (MOD) Sandbox grants to test technologies that could improve situations like the one in San Francisco and find better ways of doing business.

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Buy a new suit for the new job. Make sure the kids are enrolled for the next school year. Find a new doctor. These are all items that might be on your to-do list when planning a move.

If you are one of the approximately 35 million Americans who are planning to move this year, let me add one more item that should be at the top of the list: Check out the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s “Protect Your Move” website.

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Residents of cities and towns across the country deserve clean air and efficient transit options.  America’s entrepreneurs and forward-thinking transit manufacturers have the knowledge and innovative spirit to make both a reality.

To help local transit agencies connect with American companies that can help them better serve their residents, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Transit Administration (FTA) announced in April that $55 million in competitive grant funds will be available through FTA’s Low or No Emission (Low-No) Bus Program. The Low-No program supports projects sponsored by transit agencies to bring advanced, American-made bus technologies such as battery electric power and hydrogen fuel cells into service nationwide.

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It’s National Bike Month, a time when everyone who rides a bike should refresh their cycling safety knowledge and spend time thinking about ways to stay safe when riding. It’s also a time when parents and teachers should teach young people the safety basics when using roads and sidewalks, and a natural part of that conversation includes staying safe when on foot.

To help parents and teachers begin that conversation, the Federal Highway Administration provides a video series, the Pedestrian Safer Journey, which is a suite of resources available for educators and parents to use in sparking conversations with children and youth about pedestrian safety.

These conversations are important because in 2015, for example, America endured a 9 percent jump in pedestrian deaths. A total of 5,376 pedestrians were killed in motor vehicle-related crashes that year.

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