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One of the things I appreciate about the national holiday honoring Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., is not the day off, but the day on.

Yesterday, across the country, millions of Americans came together to celebrate the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., through a specific kind of action: service.

Dr. King

One of the enduring lessons of Dr. King's life is that Americans can effect incredible change if only we are willing to stand up, speak out, and take action. And on Martin Luther King Day, we heed that lesson by volunteering our services and working together for at least this one day to make something better...

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This is a very exciting time for the auto industry. And I don't just mean the 2016 North American International Auto Show taking place in Detroit. 

Yesterday, I announced DOT’s efforts in 2016 to support the safe deployment of autonomous vehicles that carmakers have been developing. And that includes President Obama's proposal to invest $4 billion in pilot programs to make sure we get it right. Next week, the President will visit Detroit to celebrate a history-making year of record auto sales.

And today, DOT and 18 automakers are taking a strong stand --together-- for a new proactive, collaborative approach to safety...

Secretary Foxx speaking at Detroit Auto Show

Continue Reading DOT, Automakers Agree on ››
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There is nothing like the annual North American International Auto Show in Detroit. With all of the latest vehicles and automotive technologies on display, it's true hotbed of innovation.

Which makes it a good place for me to announce some terrific news about the Obama Administration's ongoing effort to see connected and automated vehicles developed, deployed, on the market, and available to US drivers.

Secretary Foxx at the N.A.I.A.S.

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In his remarks at the Transportation Research Board's Annual Meeting, known affectionately as TRB, Secretary Foxx acknowledged that there were a lot of "transportation nerds" in the room, including himself. It wasn't an insult; it was a point of pride.

In addition to the hundreds of presenters from all facets of the transportation community, many members of the DOT family were also active at TRB this week...

Twitter pic from USDOT Research

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Last night, President Obama delivered the final State of the Union address of his Administration, and --to start at the end-- he made it clear that, "the State of the Union is strong."

I couldn't agree more. And I am proud of the role this Department has played in helping make it strong.

Economic Progress

In early February, 2009, just weeks after President Obama took the oath of office, First Lady Michelle Obama visited DOT and set the tone for the Administration by reminding us that, “There isn’t a day that goes by that the work of the Department of Transportation doesn’t touch the lives of every single person in America.”

Continue Reading Together, We Make Change ››
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In its very first year, the Obama Administration asked senior leaders across Federal Agencies to establish 2-year Agency Priority Goals in key areas where agencies were focused on accelerated performance improvement.

Recently, the White House closed the books on the goals for Fiscal Years 2014-15, and we’re pleased to say that, for two of DOT’s goals –Improving Efficiency through ERAM at Air Route Traffic Control Centers (ARTCCs) and Reducing Aviation Accidents– we’ve achieved a status of “Above Target.”

ERAM at Air Route Traffic Control Center

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In a new year, people often resolve to take action to better themselves: learning a new language, or parking a few blocks away from work to get in a little extra exercise. At Volpe, The National Transportation Systems Center, we are always trying to better our transportation systems, but we're excited to be taking action on six emerging issues this year.

These six issues will be priorities for our staff of technical researchers, engineers, economists, statistical and policy analysts, community planners, and communications professionals as they work to improve mobility across all transportation modes.

We're also pleased to announce a national search for the next Volpe director. We welcome all qualified applicants to apply for the director position by Friday, February 19...

graphic array of transportation modes Volpe engages in

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Opportunity belt logoTo increase outreach with minority serving institutions, Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation (SLSDC) Deputy Administrator Craig Middlebrook met with officials from the Milwaukee Area Technical College (MATC) in downtown Milwaukee back in June 2015.  The discussion focused on opportunities for the SLSDC, the Port of Milwaukee, and others to engage with area students and raise awareness about career opportunities in maritime transportation and waterway logistics.

The effort was part of our strategic vision and ongoing commitment to highlight the Great Lakes region as an Opportunity Belt for economic growth and job creation.  

From these early discussions, we embarked upon an exciting new initiative: SLSDC would host a marine transportation forum at MATC featuring local employers and others associated with marine transportation and waterway logistics.  And last November, we did exactly that...

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Today at CES 2016, I announced another key partnership for our Smart City Challenge: the winning city's public bus system will get installation of Mobileye's Shield +TM on every bus. This driver assistance safety technology helps bus drivers avoid and mitigate imminent collisions and protect road users including bicyclists, pedestrians, and motorcyclists.

This technology and support award is in addition to DOT's award of up to $40 million to create an integrated first-of-its-kind city that uses data and technology to shape how people and goods move…and an award of up to $10 million from the Challenge’s launch partner, Vulcan Philanthropy, to support infrastructure for electric vehicles.

Secretarty Foxx at C.E.S. 2016

The Smart City Challenge is an exciting opportunity for cities that want to improve their transportation networks through innovation, and today’s announcement makes it even more exciting. The winning city will be able to collaborate with DOT and with partners like Mobileye and Vulcan to implement bold, data-driven ideas to make transportation safer, easier, and more reliable.  The outcome promises to be a model of what we can achieve when public and private entities work together using leading-edge data and technological tools...

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If you’ve made a New Year’s resolution to get healthier in 2016, here’s some advice: in addition to eating better and getting more exercise, try transit.

Sitting on a bus or a train may not strike you as being especially active, but, in fact, researchers have found that people who regularly use public transportation actually walk a lot more than those who don’t. The Centers for Disease Control recommends that adults take a minimum 10-minute brisk walk three times a day, five days a week, and choosing transit as part of your everyday activities can help you get closer to that ideal. Innovations like modern streetcars, urban circulators, and bikeshare services give more people the option to choose a healthier – and less expensive – way to travel short distances than hopping in a cab.

Passengers walking to and from transit in Hoboken, NJ

Taking transit can also be good for your mental health. Last year, researchers in England found that commuters reported feeling better after traveling by public transportation compared to driving. The researchers attributed that to the fact that transit gives you more opportunity to relax, read, and socialize, while the short walk to and from transit stops also contributes to well-being. Not surprisingly, they found that the more time people spend commuting in cars, the worse they feel; they also found that regular walks have the opposite effect...

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