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In 1789, our nation’s very first Congress passed legislation to encourage growth and activity for U.S. shipbuilders and use of American ships. To do this, they enacted a 10 percent tariff rebate to all imports and exports shipped on American-made vessels.

Why were American shipbuilders and ships such a high priority that Congress would go out of its way to boost domestic shipbuilding activity?

With the world’s largest oceans at our coasts and the planet’s biggest freshwater lakes on our northern border, being able to build and maintain our own ships meant independence. Shipbuilding meant having the freedom to trade with whoever we wanted, whenever we wanted. It meant that we could defend our coasts, hold our own on the oceans, and support our allies overseas. And shipbuilding meant jobs for thousands of hardworking Americans in our fledgling nation.

The situation 226 years later isn't much different. Everything that shipbuilding meant in 1789, it still means today.

Great Lakes Shipyard

American shipbuilders ensure that our nation can build and maintain the vessels our military needs to keep our nation secure. They also provide essential commercial vessels. Vessels that enable domestic commerce on our inland waterways and link our domestic energy supply chains. In 2013, U.S. shipbuilders directly employed 110 thousand Americans nationwide and produced $37.3 billion in gross domestic product.

That’s according to the Maritime Administration's 2015 Shipbuilding Economic Impact Study, a current look at the industry that MARAD Administrator Chip Jaenichen and I released yesterday...

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By now many Americans are familiar with the Takata air bag recall, which involves 12 vehicle manufacturers and approximately 19 million vehicles. Tragically, the inflators used in these air bags can explode or rupture and hurtle jagged metal fragments at vehicle passengers. Seven people have been killed and nearly 100 injured in the United States.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s first concern is the safety of the public, which is why, today, NHTSA has taken further action to protect Americans most at-risk, to halt production of similar air bags and prepare for their recall unless they are proven safe, and to hold Takata accountable for failing to abide by the law that protects Americans from unsafe vehicles...

Crash-test dummy with exploding airbag and schrapnel

Continue Reading Takata Air Bag Update: ››
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In partnership with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), DOT has launched a new online Transportation and Health Tool.

This tool provides a single site for transportation decision-makers, health officials, and the public to understand how state and local transportation options and performance affect health outcomes. The site will also offer data on how states and communities are performing in comparison to their peers on a range of health-related transportation indicators.

T.H.T. bar indicator for State of Maryland
This bar situates the State of Maryland above the 75th percentile for transportation/health performance.

For example, walking and bicycling are two healthy transportation alternatives, and the tool lets users see what percentage of people are using these methods to get around. Transportation also has a major impact on air quality, so the tool includes indicators that relate to how much people drive and how close people live to roads with heavy traffic. Many other indicators in the tool give policy makers an immediate understanding of the important relationships between transportation investments and health.

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The U.S. Department of Transportation has announced that the City of Birmingham will receive a $20 million TIGER grant for an estimated $40 million project to extend bus service to some of our most vulnerable communities. The project is one of 39 transportation projects in 34 states selected to receive funding from TIGER 2015.

I am proud to have worked closely with the Department on this critically important project. Birmingham is a city on the rise, and this project will support our efforts to improve our public transportation and revitalize the Magic City...

Birmingham MAX transit bus

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Volpe, the National Transportation Systems Center's Beyond Traffic 2045 speaker series continues this Thursday, November 5, as MIT's John Heywood talks about promising options for reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

In September, Secretary Foxx and Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology Gregory Winfree launched Volpe's Beyond Traffic 2045: Reimagining Transportation speaker series. And last month, we posted video of the first talk by MIT's Andrew McAfee.

Today, we've got the next video from the series, a talk by Edward Bolton, assistant administrator for the Department's Next Generation Air Transportation System --or NextGen...

Continue Reading Volpe Center's Beyond ››
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America's trucking community, the men and women who travel our nation's highways carrying the goods that fuel our economy and support our daily life, know that safe truck parking is a necessity. They also know it's not easy to find.  With a little help from TIGER, we're hoping to change that. 

Nearly six million commercial motor vehicle drivers are out on our roads each day, a number that is expected to increase dramatically by 2045.  That’s why --in one of our most innovative TIGER grants ever-- DOT awarded $25 million to the Regional Truck Parking Information and Management System (TPIMS). 

The Kansas Department of Transportation is the lead in this, but the important regional project includes seven other states: Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, and Wisconsin.  Funding will help selected key freight interstates in the region get parking information to truckers, who can then plan safe rest stops...

road sign indicating upcoming truck parking availability

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Shorter days and cooler evenings remind us that Halloween is just around the corner. With our littlest neighbors dressed up and on the streets to trick or treat, let's work together to keep them safe. In 2013, more than 1/5 of children 14 and younger who died in traffic crashes were pedestrians.

If you’re an adult Halloween reveler who might celebrate with alcohol, then make a plan to stay safe and keep an eye out for the safety of others. From 2009-2013, on Halloween night 43 percent of all fatalities in motor vehicle crashes were due to drunk drivers.

This weekend also brings the end of Daylight Saving Time, and in the early hours of Sunday, November 1, most of America will officially set our clocks back one hour. That means changing light conditions for afternoon and evening driving...

Kids are trick-or-treating

Continue Reading With Halloween and the end ››
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When Secretary Foxx rolled out this Department's 2015 TIGER projects, he talked about safety, economic competitiveness, quality of life, and opportunity. He talked about the need to solve transportation problems and face the mobility challenges that are heading our way.

Yesterday in Los Angeles, I saw firsthand the challenges communities face; and I saw firsthand the LA County Metropolitan Transportation Authority's innovative solution for some of those challenges.

The TIGER-funded Rail-to-Rail Active Transportation Corridor Connecter project will create a 6.4-mile bicycle and pedestrian, multi-use corridor through several historically disadvantaged South Los Angeles communities...

Deputy Secretary Victor Mendez in L.A.

Continue Reading This TIGER transforms ››
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As we continue to roll-out our 2015 TIGER grants, I want to let you know what I’ve been doing to celebrate TIGER Day.

This morning, I was in Baltimore, MD, to announce our TIGER award of $10 million to support infrastructure improvements for the Southeast Baltimore Port Industry Freight Corridor Plan. This project will help the Port of Baltimore be a better neighbor to area residents even while it positions the Port for future growth.

In the early afternoon, I held a conference call with reporters nationwide about our TIGER projects, specifically the projects we funded in rural communities. I can’t emphasize enough how important it is that DOT has a program like TIGER to help these often-overlooked and often-isolated communities get access to the transportation resources they need.

Finally, I found my way home. Not to Washington, DC, home of our DOT Headquarters, but to Charlotte, NC, my real hometown. There, I announced a $25 million TIGER grant to build the Gateway Station, a multimodal transit hub in Uptown Charlotte...

Secretary Foxx in Charlotte

Continue Reading Talking TIGER ››
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You call it October 29; here at DOT, we’re calling it “TIGER day.”

Earlier in the year, I announced the availability of $500 million in funding for the seventh round of our Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) competitive grant program. Within a few months, we reached out to State, County, and local governments; transit agencies; port authorities; metropolitan planning organizations; and other project sponsors with pre-application instructions, benefit-cost analysis guidelines, a best-practices webinar, and other resources to ensure that communities across America with unfunded transportation needs had a fair shot at a TIGER grant.

The applications rolled in --627 eligible applications in all, from 50 states, several U.S. territories, and Tribal governments. Applicants requested a total of $10.1 billion for needed transportation projects, 20 times the program's available funding.

And today, we're announcing the 39 projects selected...

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