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When our transportation system is not as efficient as it needs to be, we don't just calculate the cost in congestion on our roadways. We must also measure it by our inability to get essential supplies to our armed forces overseas. The ability to move the food, equipment, and supplies our forces need to do their jobs and safely return home is a critical requirement for our nation’s transportation system.

When our transportation system is stronger, our military is stronger.

That's why the Department of Transportation works closely with the U.S. Transportation Command to ensure that America can meet its strategic deployment requirements and sustain our military. And yesterday, at the Fall Meeting of the National Defense Transportation Association and USTRANSCOM, it was clear that we must continue to do so...

Photo from wheelhouse of military vessel in busy port
Photo credit USTRANSCOM.
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Eastern North Carolina struggles with persistent poverty.  The region was hit hard by the recession.

But what I saw during my visits with Congressman G.K. Butterfield to the towns of Kinston and Mount Olive really impressed me.  Eastern North Carolina is bouncing back.  And they’re doing it by rebuilding their economy around transportation.

Federal investments in passenger rail and transit are benefiting the region. In fact, in other cities like Los Angeles and Salt Lake City and Pittsburgh, passengers are riding trains that, in a sense, are powered by Mount Olive company, IMPulse...

Photo of Secretary Foxx at ImPulse
Photo courtesy U.S. Rep. G.K. Butterfield!
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If you're interested in transportation, one of the more exciting conferences that's come down the pike lately is this week's Transforming Access, Mobility, and Delivery in Cities forum in New York City. This meeting seeks to turn research on 21st century urban transportation into action that can make a practical difference for the people living in our cities.

I couldn't be happier to join a group of committed people who are putting their shoulders into the door of opportunity and holding it open just a little wider so more people can step through. Because 'access' means opportunity, and increasing accesss and connecting more people to more opportunity is exactly what we're trying to do at DOT...

Photo of Secretary Foxx at Transforming Access conference; courtesy Don Chen
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When Congress passed the current surface transportation law, MAP-21, they authorized a new role for the Federal Transit Administration: transit safety oversight. Since then, we have enthusiastically embraced that new safety mission and have committed to ensuring that safety will be the FTA's highest priority. We serve the public in a new way, and we take that seriously.

That new safety oversight authority must have the proper foundation, and we have called on the best and brightest to help lay that foundation. Today I had the opportunity to take part in the latest Transit Advisory Committee on Safety meeting.  TRACS, as it is called, informs and assists the Federal Transit Administration in strengthening our transit safety program.

TRACS was organized in December 2009 to provide information, advice, and recommendations to the Department on all aspects of transit safety. TRACS members consist of a cross-section of public transportation safety experts from bus and rail transit agencies, state safety oversight agencies, academia, and labor unions...

Photo of Metro transit bus in Minneapolis

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Last week I had the pleasure of participating in the dedication ceremony for the Englewood Flyover, a project funded largely by a $126 million High Speed and Intercity Passenger Rail Program grant.

It’s a perfect example of the type of important projects that can be advanced with predictable, dedicated funding for rail...

Photo of passenger train passing over freight train via Englewood flyover

Continue Reading Englewood Flyover to reduce ››
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Today, we’re launching a web page that collects and shares information from the agencies whose jurisdictions relate to passenger ships and the millions of Americans who enjoy cruise vacations each year.

Recently, DOT has received a host of inquiries from cruise ship passengers about their upcoming travels. Although we are always keen to serve the public, our Department doesn’t have oversight authority in this area. We don’t handle issues like cruise ship safety, security, or customer satisfaction. Those are generally handled by other agencies.

On the other hand, whether cruise ship issues are in our job description or not, we at DOT are committed to providing the traveling public with as much information as possible. We want you to make informed decisions about your travel –and to be sure that you know your rights before, during, and after a trip...

Photo of a cruise ship

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Cross-posted from the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) Director's Blog.

Today we released the 2014 Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey Government-wide results. The results illustrate a snapshot in time of employee opinions on topics ranging from work environments to job satisfaction. It is one of the most valuable tools that OPM provides to agencies because it helps leaders understand how employees feel about their jobs, their ability to advance, their training opportunities and their sense of empowerment in the workplace.

Graph from O.P.M. showing employee engagement by state

The survey allows employees to comfortably share their opinions and it makes it possible for agency leadership to make changes based on real data about their employees’ honest and crucial feedback. We’ve seen government-wide how powerful the changes that come from analyzing FEVS results can be. For example, agency leaders can understand telework patterns or gauge the level of supervisors’ commitment to a workforce representative of all segments of society.

Earlier this year, OPM also gave the agencies an interactive dashboard that helps them more easily drill down into their FEVS results. We are working with the Chief Human Capital Officers Council and the National Council on Federal Labor-Management Relations to identify and share best practices from agencies that have achieved long-lasting change.

With this year’s survey, we are highlighting the work of three agencies that have improved their rankings in recent years by making good use of their analyses of the FEVS results: OPM, the Department of Transportation and the Securities and Exchange Commission...

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Each year, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) partners with the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) to conduct “Operation Safe Driver,” a high-profile traffic safety education and law enforcement campaign across North America.  

On Monday, we helped kick-off this year’s week-long campaign in Denver, Colorado, where we shared a simple message: Nearly all crashes are preventable, and safety is a shared responsibility among all motorists. 

Whether you are a seasoned driver, a young person with a gleaming new driver’s license, a motorcycle rider, a bicyclist, or pedestrian, always follow the rules of the road.  Be courteous and stay alert –never allow yourself to become distracted– and be sure to take extra precautions when sharing the road with large trucks and buses...

Photo of Operation Safe Driver team

Continue Reading Operation Safe Driver, Teen ››
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How often do blog readers go back and browse through the archives? Not very often, but some of those oldies (and not-so-oldies) still continue to resonate powerfully a year or more later.

So today, we introduce a new feature in the Fast Lane: Throwback Thursdays.

We're starting with a post from November 2013, celebrating the opening of the fourth bore of California's Caldecott Tunnel. We hope you'll see that investing in congestion-relieving, time-saving projects like this produces a wealth of benefits that continue to make lives easier and our economy more vibrant long after the ribbons are cut.

That's why Transportation Secretary Foxx has been criss-crossing America calling on Congress to support the Administration's GROW AMERICA Act, a long-term plan that will support millions of jobs, improve our transportation system, and strengthen our economic outlook.

With the opening Friday of a fourth tube in the Caldecott Tunnel, commuters in the Bay Area will turn the page on a new chapter in transportation.

Continue Reading Welcome to Throwback ››
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This fall, The Washington Post is hosting a new series of live events, America Answers, to discuss the challenges facing our nation. The first of these was held yesterday, and it was squarely in the DOT wheelhouse: "Fix My Commute."

With academics, private sector innovators, and mayors from Atlanta to Los Angeles, yesterday's focus was all about cities, states, and the federal government working toward solutions for curbing congestion, cutting the cost of commuting, improving traffic safety, and getting infrastructure projects done.

Our own Secretary Foxx is one "Fix My Commute" speaker who has been advocating persistently for a legislative solution--GROW AMERICA-- that will unleash innovation in communities across the country...

Photo of Secretary Foxx speaking at DOT

Continue Reading Vice President Biden: How ››
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