Header for US Department of Transportation Blog

You are here

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...

Continue Reading Colorado proving that ››
Comments (0)

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...

Continue Reading Collaboration the key to ››
Comments (0)

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

Continue Reading DOT Tool Serves as Guide ››
Comments (0)

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

Continue Reading BATIC Institute to ››
Comments (0)

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...

Continue Reading Electronic Cigarettes a ››
Comments (4)

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

Continue Reading To Music and the Arts, ››
Comments (0)

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 ››
Comments (0)

Americans have been justifiably concerned since news spread of serious safety risks involving air bags made by Takata. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) takes these concerns seriously and has worked to get answers as to the cause of the ruptures, to get these air bags repaired, and to keep the public informed.

That work continued today with a public information meeting led by experts from NHTSA’s Vehicle Safety Division, who outlined the risk from Takata air bags, actions taken by the Agency to address this risk, and our next steps to address this serious public safety challenge.

Takata air bag deployment

NHTSA's goal is protecting Americans from a dangerous and deadly defect by having safe air bags in all cars as quickly as possible. And in pursuit of that goal, we have held dozens of meetings with individual manufacturers, gathered massive amounts of data from the affected companies, and made careful study of the legal authority Congress has given us to inform the steps that we might take...

Continue Reading Takata Briefing Keeps the ››
Comments (0)

In 2014, Chicago's O'Hare International Airport handled more takeoffs and landings than any airport in the world. As Fast Lane readers know, O'Hare is a major hub, so an efficient flow of flights is critical for travelers across the nation.

While important to Chicagoans, the O'Hare Modernization Program (OMP) --launched in 2001-- also boosts the performance of the overall National Airspace System. It's also why the Federal Aviation Administration is investing more than $900 million in the project.

Last Thursday morning, the OMP took another major step forward when the City of Chicago and the FAA opened a new runway and a third air traffic control tower...

New O'Hare runway

Continue Reading New Runway, Tower in ››
Comments (0)

Today is a day DOT has waited 30 years for. Literally.

As fans of “Back to the Future” trilogy of movies know, today –Oct. 21, 2015, at 4:29 p.m.– is when Marty McFly (played by Michael J. Fox) arrives in the future from 1985 after a series of misadventures in 1955.

Filmgoers have been waiting for this day because we’ve spent decades trying to imagine what the future will look like. But at the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), we haven't been waiting; we've been hard at work trying to create that future...

White House OSTP tweets on autonomous vehicles

Continue Reading The Future Begins Today, at ››
Comments (0)


Submit Feedback >