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The 2015 St. Lawrence Seaway navigation season ended when the CWB Marquis passed through the US-operated Eisenhower Lock on December 30.

But, with only 2 months remaining until this important binational waterway reopens for the 2016 navigation system, there has been no slowdown in activity; only the focus of activity has changed. Instead of working to keep ships passing through the Eisenhower and Snell locks in balmy summer weather, Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation (SLSDC) crews are now working through frigid conditions on critical lock maintenance and upgrades...

Lock work begins
Continue Reading As Seaway locks close, ››
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Last December, we launched our Smart City Challenge to show what's possible when communities use technology to connect their diverse transportation assets into a single interactive network that improves lives through greater safety, ease, efficiency, and reliability. The winning mid-sized city will receive up to $40 million in Federal funding; up to $10 million from Paul Allen's Vulcan to support deployment of electric vehicles and other carbon emission reduction strategies; and fleet-wide installation of Mobileye technology aboard transit buses.

All to demonstrate what a bold, data-driven approach to transportation can achieve.

To describe interest in the Smart City Challenge as "active" would be an understatement. To date, nearly 30,000 people from Maine to Hawaii and Florida to Alaska have viewed our pages more than 63,000 times to learn about this exciting competition. We also had more than 2,000 attendees participate in informational webinars, the Smart City Forum, and/or during our challenge kick-off...

Continue Reading Smart City Challenge ››
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Last week, the Federal Highway Administration reported that, with the data from November now in, it looks pretty clear that 2015 was a record year for Vehicle Miles Traveled.

By the end of November, U.S. drivers had racked up about 2.88 trillion vehicle miles traveled, with each of the first 11 months of the year showing an increase of between 2.5 and 4.9 percent over the corresponding month from 2014. Even if the December 2015 data show no gain from December 2014, which is unlikely, that would put the 2015 total over 3.1 trillion. That's an increase over 2014 of more than 100 billion miles.

Infographic depicting that for Jan-Nov 2015, VMT was 2.88 trillion miles.

No matter how you slice it, that's a lot of miles...in terms of absolute value, and also as an indicator of what kind of volume America's roads are bearing. And, as Secretary Foxx observed on his Facebook page last Friday, that's 2.88 trillion good reasons for America to get #BeyondTraffic...

Continue Reading 2015 likely to have broken ››
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I am pleased to report that we have made very significant progress on our unmanned aircraft system (UAS) registration effort.

In the first 30 days since the registry went online, nearly 300,000 people (295,306) registered their small unmanned aircraft. These owners also took advantage of a $5 registration fee rebate, which ended yesterday.

We're encouraged by the registration numbers and we're committed to continuing our educational efforts to keep the momentum going. We want all drone pilots to know there is a requirement to register by February 19. Registration is simple and easy through our website. You can register an unlimited number of aircraft under one number, and it's valid for three years...

Drone in flight

Continue Reading At 30-day mark, UAS ››
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With the Panama Canal expansion slated for completion later this year and the industry-wide boost in U.S. maritime activity that will likely follow, there is no question that 2016 will be a demanding year for the Maritime Administration.  While the course ahead will be full of new challenges, I wanted to highlight our agency’s 2015 accomplishments and reflect on the opportunities this year offers.

TOTE Maritime LNG-powered vessel under construction

Calendar year 2015 was a truly one for the history books for our agency.  I say that because 2015 was a year in which we literally helped make history!  Last year, MARAD closed the Title XI Federal Loan Guarantee to support the launch of the world’s first LNG-powered containership —a development that will help us in our effort to support industry actions to minimize waterborne transportation’s environmental impact.

However, that's not all we were involved with.  We were also incredibly proud of our work to enable Secretary Foxx to designate three new Marine Highway Projects, which will advance our goal of alleviating pressures on congested landside freight corridors...

Continue Reading MARAD in 2016: Anticipation ››
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Last week, after the 2016 State of the Union address in which President Obama touted the potential power of American innovation to solve pressing challenges, I went to the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit and saw powerful demonstrations of that potential.

I’m not the only one from the Administration who caught a glimpse of the future at NAIAS Detroit; yesterday, President Obama went to Detroit to learn more about the promising automotive technologies on display and to celebrate the revitalization of U.S. automakers...

Auto industry recovery stats

Continue Reading Obama Administration ››
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When a major multimodal transportation hub serving tens of thousands of people every day is located at a place known to some as the worst intersection in New York City, and you redesign it for greater accessibility and mobility and reconfigure the roads around it to reduce vehicle congestion and increase pedestrian safety, we call that transformative

And, when you use an innovative, highly competitive grant program to make that transformation happen, we call that another powerful demonstration of DOT's TIGER.

Yesterday, that's exactly what New Yorkers were treated to when the city unveiled the new Fordham Plaza fueled by a $10 million TIGER grant and $7.2 million in other DOT funding...

Redesigned Fordham Plaza
Photo courtesy NYC DOT.
Continue Reading TIGER-powered ››
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Cross-posted from the International Trade Administration's Tradeology blog.

During the past few years, U.S. producers of transportation related goods and equipment have experienced an increase in demand for their products at home and overseas.  Products such as U.S.-built commercial aircraft, aircraft engines, miscellaneous aircraft parts, and parts of railway rolling stock, have become critical components to other countries’ transportation infrastructure system.

Commercial aircraft

Recently, leaders across the Pacific Rim signed the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). The new agreement will eliminate tariffs, lower service barriers, and increase transparency while also increasing competitiveness by instituting stronger intellectual property rights protection, and establishing enforceable labor and environmental obligations.  The TPP will lead to an overall increase in economic activity and trade for the region.  As economies grow there will be a natural, corresponding rise in demand for transportation related products...

Continue Reading U.S. Transportation ››
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As they do in many cities and towns across America, elected officials, business leaders, and other key influencers in Fayetteville, North Carolina, are invested in helping their community thrive. And, as so many leaders in other cities and towns in America do, Fayetteville's leaders understand that the thriving community they build today will be in the hands of the next generation tomorrow.

And, when I say “the next generation,” I mean everyone in that generation –the alert girl who is sits in the front row as well as the quiet boy who sits in the back --the one whose silence is not a sign of a lack of interest or intelligence, but of the fact that he was too busy taking care of his younger siblings to get his homework done or get a good night's sleep.

So this morning, I joined Congressman David Price and Fayettevillians of several generations for a roundtable discussion and a youth town hall at Fayetteville State University (FSU)...

FSU advertisement for Secretary Foxx's town hall

Continue Reading My Brother's Keeper, ››
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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...

Continue Reading Day of service honors Dr. ››
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