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By now, it’s a familiar story – residents of thriving urban neighborhoods displaced and disconnected by the construction of a major interstate highway.

In Minnesota’s Twin Cities, that highway is Interstate 94. Built in the 1960s, I-94 divided several established and diverse communities in both cities, including Prospect Park in Minneapolis and the Rondo neighborhood of St. Paul, which in the 1950s accounted for 85 percent of that city’s African-American population. 

Photo collage of Minnesota workshop – Photo credit Minnesota DOT

Continue Reading A New, Connected Vision for ››
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I’m pleased to let the entire transportation and research community know that Anne Aylward has been named the new director of Volpe, The National Transportation Systems Center.

Anne is a nationally recognized expert in intermodal transportation with decades of experience in planning, policy, and research management. She has served at Volpe for over 20 years, where she has made substantial contributions to DOT priorities in leading Volpe’s research and technology staff – 490 analysts, economists, engineers, planners, scientists, and system developers.  

Picture of Anne Aylward

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This week, the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) issued a final rule that requires FTA grantees to develop management systems for their capital assets such as vehicles, facilities and equipment. Transit asset management (TAM) is an essential practice for providing safer, more reliable transit service nationwide.

The rule was designed to ensure that transit infrastructure remains in a state of good repair, which is so important to the success of transportation systems everywhere. TAM’s strategic approach will help transit operators maintain and improve assets based on careful planning and improved decision-making.

Image of rail car - Courtesy New York MTA

Continue Reading Managing Assets will Lead ››
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Last week, DOT and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS)’s Blue Campaign  jointly hosted an event on human trafficking in transportation. Along with more than 100 representatives from different transportation sectors and representatives from DHS and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), we reviewed and renewed our efforts to stop human trafficking in transportation, which can unfortunately serve as an enabler to this inhumane practice.

Identifying and ending human trafficking has been a priority for the Obama Administration from the start, culminating in the launch of the Blue Campaign in 2010. Since then, we have worked to add industry-specific initiatives to better combat human trafficking in transportation.  

Picture of Jenny Rosenberg at podium

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At the Federal Transit Administration, we’re always looking for ways to encourage innovation in transit. New technologies are not just the latest shiny new toys; when tested and demonstrated properly, they can help solve critical issues facing our communities, our nation, and even the world.

Our years of work researching low or no-emission buses have paid off, providing the basis for FTA this year to oversee an annual grants program with dedicated funding for new technology buses, the Low or No-Emission (Low-No) Bus Competitive Grant Program.

King County All Electric Bus

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Twenty-six years ago today, President George H.W. Bush signed into the law the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). This landmark civil rights legislation prohibits discrimination and guarantees equal access to opportunity for persons with disabilities.

As Secretary Foxx has said, “The heart of the Americans with Disabilities Act is access to transportation.” At the Department of Transportation, we are committed to building a 21st century transportation system that is accessible for all Americans.

Picture of ADA Rally
Photo courtesy of Tom Olin

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If you’ve been following all of the recent exciting developments in aviation, you’ll remember that in December, I was proud to join Mexico’s Secretary of Communications and Transport Ruiz Esparza to sign a new, modernized, highly unrestricted air services agreement between the United States and Mexico.

And I’m thrilled to announce that on Friday morning, the United States and Mexico exchanged diplomatic notes, ensuring that this agreement will enter into force next month. 

Continue Reading A New Era for U.S-Mexico ››
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How do we connect communities? 

How do we get there from here?

These are questions that Philadelphians ask themselves every day—how do I get from home to work, to school, to the park? But it’s also a question that we ask as a City and an administration: how do we build something that brings people together, and makes Philadelphia a place to be, not just a place to travel through?

I’m proud that Secretary Foxx and his team chose Philadelphia as the third of four Every Place Counts Design Challenge cities. The Vine Street Expressway (I-676) was built 25 years ago to connect I-95 on Philadelphia’s east with I-76 on our west.  While the Expressway does that, this sunken highway also sliced through the heart of our city, dividing Philadelphia’s Chinatown and Callowhill neighborhoods. 

Vine Street Philadelphia Graphic

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This week, the Federal Highway Administration invited state and local officials nationwide to nominate routes in their areas where drivers can charge up electric vehicles and those that run on other alternative fuels. These “zero-emission” and “alternative fuel” corridors will help to ensure drivers have the information they need to make their travel plans.

These vehicles are a growing segment of the transportation network. Secretary Foxx and I know that making sure low-emission vehicles aren’t limited only to cities will help their drivers enjoy more of our nation’s network of roads and bridges. It is the next step in ensuring our transportation system meets the 21st century needs of communities nationwide.

Picture of electric vehicle charging station - photo credit Rgaenzle

Continue Reading Signs of Things to Come ››
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Today, Secretary Foxx announced the tentative selection of four airlines to provide five daytime scheduled passenger flights to Tokyo’s centrally-located Haneda airport as early as this fall.

The availability of these new daytime slots is the result of a successful negotiation earlier this year between the U.S. and Japan to amend our bilateral Open Skies agreement. The amendment provides that, effective October 30th of this year, the four existing U.S. nighttime slot pairs at Haneda will be transferred to daytime hours. In addition, one new daytime flight opportunity and one new nighttime flight opportunity will become available for U.S. carrier scheduled passenger services. DOT launched a proceeding to award the new opportunities in March. 

Plane taking off at Haneda Aiport - photo credit Alex Len

Continue Reading DOT Proposes U.S. Airlines ››
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