In early December we had the distinct privilege of participating in the 3rd Annual Maritime Administration ship recycling town hall meeting in Brownsville, Texas. The venue brought together federal ship disposal programs, government safety and environmental agencies and domestic ship recycling industry representatives with direct involvement in the disposal of U.S. Government-owned obsolete ships into a forum where the current issues impacting federal agencies and ship recycling industry are addressed and discussed.
MARAD provided to the domestic recycling industry an overview of existing and future planning for federal ship recycling activities, including ship disposal forecasts, vessel downgrades for disposal, potential budgetary impacts and safety and environmental concerns. The meeting offered an opportunity to listen to industry concerns, issues and suggestions related to ship disposal activities, including the impact of scrap steel prices, future price trends, vessel disposal solicitations and safety and environmental issues.
I had the privilege last week of presenting Beyond Traffic – Looking Forward to Innovation in an Era of Rapid Change, which served as the culmination of Beyond Traffic: DOT’s 30 Year Framework . Two years ago, USDOT extended an invitation to the American public to open up and have a frank discussion about the shape, size and condition of our transportation network. Beyond Traffic enabled us to see – at a high level – how our system is working, where it is deficient and what it will take to meet the needs and goals of our nation for decades to come.
I delivered the presentation at the Transportation Research Board’s Annual Meeting. This year’s meeting – the Transportation Research Board’s 96th – once again succeeded in peeling back the layers of the intricate web of our nation’s transportation system and addressing the need for transportation innovation. More than 13,000 transportation professionals from more than 70 countries came to see roughly 5,000 presentations and 800 sessions or workshops covering all modes of transportation.
Across the country, 35,092 people died on our nation’s roads in 2015. That is a 7.2 percent increase over the previous year.
To address this serious issue and begin working toward making roadway fatalities a thing of the past, Secretary Anthony Foxx, the Federal Highway Administration, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and partners in the transportation community joined forces, enlisted the support of one of the nation’s most influential safety groups – the National Safety Council – and launched the Road to Zero Coalition.
At the Federal Transit Administration (FTA), our mission often involves bringing brand-new trains, buses, and infrastructure to communities looking to create a new transit system or expand a current one. However, a growing issue nationwide is a backlog of important repair and reconstruction work to revamp older public transportation systems expand capacity and accommodate growing ridership.
That’s the thinking behind the Core Capacity program, which was added to FTA’s portfolio of Capital Investment Grants (CIG) in 2012 to address capacity needs of heavily-used transit infrastructure. Senator Dick Durbin was instrumental in creating this new program. I was pleased to join him, Congressman Mike Quigley, Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky, and Mayor Rahm Emanuel in Chicago to announce $1.07 billion in federal funding for the first phase of the Red and Purple Modernization Project. This is the first-ever construction grant agreement under the Core Capacity program.
Looking back nearly eight years ago, President Obama signed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (Recovery Act) into law, as part of a series of bold actions to help revive the country during one of the worst economic crises in its history – which included the Recovery Act as well as measures to strengthen financial institutions and save the American auto industry.
As described in a new report by the U.S. Department of Transportation, and introduced by Vice President Biden, roughly $48 billion of investments in our transportation system, through the Recovery Act, were part of a historic economic turnaround.
The Denver Union Station Area Redevelopment Project -- the Recovery Act grant of $28.4 million was used to help fund the $487.7 million innovative project in downtown Denver.
When people think of Los Angeles, they often think of the glitz and glamor of Hollywood – but also of crippling traffic, delays, and pollution in the nation’s car capital.
In recent years, LA’s citizens and leaders have come together around a new vision. A new vision that includes new subways, light rail, rapid buses, and other multimodal transportation investments.
This week, Secretary Foxx took to Reddit to answer questions about the future of transportation.
During the “Ask Me Anything,” Secretary Foxx answered questions on a range of topics — including the impact of technology and innovation in transportation, his dream transportation project, and what he enjoys most about being Secretary of Transportation.
You can see all of the responses on Reddit, or check out the Q&A below.
Today at 5:00pm ET, Secretary Foxx will answer your questions live on Reddit:
A little over one year ago, we launched our Smart City Challenge, asking mid-sized cities across America to share their ideas for the creation of an integrated, first-of-its-kind smart transportation system using data, applications, and technology to help people and goods move faster, cheaper, and more efficiently. Over 75 cities competed for the resources to connect and deploy new technologies, and now those applications and a wealth of data is available to the public in a new comprehensive report, Smart City Challenge: Lessons for Building Cities of the Future. New Smart City web tools, including an interactive map that links to information in the cities’ applications, can be used to identify trends and to share knowledge.