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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...

Continue Reading FEVS Highlights Employee ››
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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

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In January, the average low temperature in Rochester, NY, is 18 degrees; in December, it's a balmy 26. Imagine yourself riding a Regional Transit Service bus into downtown Rochester early on a winter morning, then waiting on a windy sidewalk for the connecting bus that takes you to work. Maybe the wait is only 5 minutes, but maybe it's 15.

Now, imagine that instead of lining up on a frigid downtown street, you're waiting inside the new Downtown Transit Center. It’s warm. It’s well-lit. It’s safe. And there’s up-to-the-minute information about when your next bus arrives. Your day just got a lot better. And so did the day after that, and the day after that.

For the hard-working men and women of Rochester who rely on public transportation, that’s reason to celebrate...

Web banner from Rochester Transit Center

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This morning, I read a column in The Washington Post about service to others, and the writer observed that, although “’Giving back’ has become a trite cliché...there are people who actually do it.”

I can assure you that he’s correct because yesterday I met a group of young people who work relentlessly for a cause that’s near and dear to DOT: safe driving.

The advocates and peer mentors of the National Organizations for Youth Safety give their time and their talent to stop distracted driving, an epidemic that threatens everyone on or near a road...

Photo of NOYS students gathered for distracted driving prevention summit

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Last month, here in the Fast Lane and at the Pro Bike, Pro Walk, Pro Place conference in Pittsburgh, Secretary Foxx said that bicycling and walking should be as safe as any other form of transportation and that, "This Department is putting together the most innovative, forward-leaning, biking-walking safety initiative ever."

Part of that initiative will require new transportation policies, new data, and new research. And while we've had an exciting development with the release of BIKESAFE, the new Bicycle Safety Guide and Countermeasure Selection System from the Federal Highway Adminsitration, we have a lot of work ahead.

Many of the University Transportation Centers that DOT works with are already conducting research into bicyclist-pedestrian safety and helping shape the future of bicycle and pedestrian planning, management, and use. So the DOT Office of Research and Technology invited UTC representatives to a workshop with DOT experts to see how we can work together and continue moving the needle on bike-ped safety.

Photo of sign indicating bicyclists and pedestrians

We focused on four comprehensive areas: networks and connectivity; data needs; tools to address bike/ped safety; and equity considerations and ladders of opportunity...

Continue Reading UTCs play a key role in ››
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It’s no small matter to hand the keys of a two-ton vehicle over to sons or daughters who not that long ago were having their training wheels taken off their bike. It’s particularly worrying when you know that motor vehicle crashes are the number one killer of 14-to-18 year-olds. In 2012 alone, 2,055 teen drivers were involved in fatal crashes, and 859 (42 percent) were killed.

At USDOT, we share the same goal as parents: to stop these tragedies from happening. Which is why we’re spreading awareness about Teen Driver Safety Week. It runs through October 25, and it’s a perfect time for parents to set some ground rules.

We call these rules the “5 to Drive,” and they might just save your child’s life...

Web banner for Teen Driver Safety Week 2014

Continue Reading During Teen Driver Safety ››
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When you have an Interstate Highway project that will enhance safety, relieve congestion and the extra emissions associated with traffic jams, improve access to jobs and create new ones, and improve local commuting routes for residents of nearby communities, something like that ought to be easy to get accomplished.

If you don't invest in boosting a community's economy and making life better for residents, then what do you invest in?

Continue Reading Albuquerque, other U.S. ››
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