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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.

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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

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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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Last week, street artists repainted much of Denver with a Back to the Future theme, commemorating the day that Marty McFly and Doc traveled to in their time machine. But, at the "Transportation Matters" Colorado DOT summit today in Denver, I had to break the news that, no, we do not have hover-cars yet, or flyways.

Soon however, we are likely to have cars that talk to each other and even drive themselves. In fact, we could see automation completely transform how we travel and how we move freight.

Secretary Foxx with Governor Hickenlooper and Colorado Transportation Secretary Shailen Bhatt

The potential innovations we see on the horizon aren't just fun and games. If we're going to continue moving the dial on transportation, and if we want to avoid being overwhelmed by the growth we’re going to experience as a country, we will absolutely need these technologies...

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Report highlights challenges and opportunities uncovered in multimodal assessments.

Over the course of the last year, more than 1,500 people walked or got on bikes to take part in bicycle and walking safety assessments hosted by dozens of DOT field offices in every state.  And while the assessments identified physical barriers such as missing curb cuts or crosswalks, they also made significant progress in identifying ways Federal, State, and local agencies can all work together to ensure pedestrian and bicycle safety.

Today we're releasing our report on what we did, what we found, and what we learned.

Image of report cover page

The Assessments were launched as part of the ongoing Safer People, Safer Streets Initiative.  Each entailed collaboration between Federal, State, and local agencies and partners to identify ways to make walking and bicycling safer and easier.  Assessments were conducted in each State as well as the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico...

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The Freight Analysis Framework (FAF) is considered the most comprehensive and widely used freight transportation data source in the United States.

Every 5 years, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and the Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) update the FAF based on numbers from BTS’ Commodity Flow Survey. And this month, we updated the FAF once again.

The new FAF includes 2012 dollar value and tonnage of freight shipments by mode of transport: truck, rail, water, air and pipeline.  Projections through 2045 will be available in the upcoming months...

Freight containers await shipping

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Last month, Secretary Foxx announced BATIC 2.0 – a staffed up Build America Transportation Investment Center. BATIC serves as the single point of contact and coordination for states, municipalities, and project sponsors looking to harness federal transportation expertise, apply for federal transportation financing programs, and explore ways to access private capital in public private partnerships.

Our goal is simple: to help projects move from the drawing board to real-life transportation solutions.

This month, we are delighted to launch another tool to help achieve that goal, the BATIC Institute: An AASHTO Center for Excellence. The Institute kicks off its programming on November 4 with a dynamic webinar featuring the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation’s Rapid Bridge Replacement Project...

Photo of a Pennsylvania bridge before and after replacement

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No electronic cigarettes in checked baggageDOT is determined to keep travel on our nation’s airlines the safest in the world.  Today, it is with that thought in mind that the Pipelines and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA), in coordination with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), issued an interim final rule prohibiting the carriage of battery-powered portable electronic smoking devices (e.g. e-cigarettes, e-cigs, e-cigars, e-pipes, personal vaporizers, electronic nicotine delivery systems) in checked baggage. 

This rule also prohibits the charging of such devices and their batteries aboard aircraft. 

This interim final rule does not prohibit airline passengers from transporting other devices containing batteries for personal use (such as laptop computers, cell phones, cameras, etc.) in checked or carry-on baggage. Nor does it restrict a passenger from transporting batteries for personal use in carry-on baggage...

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Over the last 7 years, this Administration has done a lot to change the mindset of how we think about transportation.   Instead of just helping people connect from point A to point B, we’re also thinking about how to make point A and point B better from a new transportation connection.  We’re talking more about things like transportation equity, sustainability, and economic development than we ever have before. 

And another aspect of transportation is the connection that it plays in fostering music and the arts.

As I told participants at yesterday's Music Cities Convention here in Washington, DC, transportation has obvious associations with music.  Transportation allows us to get to concerts, rehearsals, and auditions.  It enables artists to collaborate and ideas to be shared.  Less obviously, our transportation policies often shape how communities are built and how music is created and shared...

Peter Rogoff at Music Cities event

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As drivers and pedestrians alike have become increasingly distracted by their handheld devices, crossing the street safely is not as straightforward as it used to be. So at DOT, we've been thinking, "What if?" What if, while we may not be able to keep pedestrians from using their phones, we could find ways to keep them safer...even while distracted?

What if your smartphone could alert you when it's unsafe to cross the street? And what if it could alert approaching drivers that you were in the crosswalk? That technology would transform your smartphone from a safety detriment into a pedestrian safety asset.

Distracted male pedestrian in intersection

With the growing numbers of pedestrian fatalities in mind, the Federal Highway Administration, through DOT's Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program, awarded a contract to Savari Inc. to develop a traffic signal interface app for smartphones called SmartCross...

Continue Reading Small Business Innovation ››
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