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October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month. And all of us at DOT are proud to recommit to creating a workplace that is as open, tolerant and accessible as possible.

In fact, just a few weeks ago, Secretary Foxx did just this. He reaffirmed the Department’s commitment to a work environment that ensures accessibility to job applicants and employees with disabilities by announcing changes to procedures for providing accommodations.  (You can view the policy here.)

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Continue Reading “Expect, Employ, Empower” ››
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Last week, I visited the Security and Emergency Response Training Center outside of Pueblo, Colorado, to see first-hand a new 3-day course in Crude by Rail Emergency Response. 

Funded by a $5 million commitment from the rail industry, in an agreement secured by Secretary Foxx, this training adds to local first responders’ levels of preparedness for a crude emergency.  Emergency responders at SERTC spend more than 60 percent of their time in the field, getting advanced tactical experience in dealing with crude oil accidents.  At the end of the course, the students participate in a full-scale derailment exercise that tests every skill they’ve learned. 

Photo of FRA Administrator Szabo at SERTC

Continue Reading FRA safety facility trains ››
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Public transportation is a $55 billion industry that employs thousands of Americans in jobs at all levels –from executives and managers, to planners and engineers, to bus drivers, electricians, and mechanics.  As these workers retire, and as demand increases for more transportation services, job opportunities in transit are expected to grow rapidly—creating a range of opportunities for a new generation to join a dynamic profession that is so vital to the health of our economy and the future of our nation.

That’s why I am excited that the Federal Transit Administration is supporting a new online tool that connects job-seekers and students with employment opportunities in transit.  The Transit Virtual Career Network (VCN) acts as one-stop shopping for those preparing for a career in transit, with a window onto nearly 60 different career choices...

Screenshot of Transit Career Site

Continue Reading New Transit Career Website ››
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“Get loud.”

That was my message to the hundreds of transit stakeholders gathered in Houston yesterday for the American Public Transit Association’s Triennial EXPO.

For years, particularly over the past year, many of us have watched our buses and subway platforms grow crowded –and our backlog for transit repairs grow larger. That backlog now stands at $86 billion, more than the federal government spends on all forms of transportation every year...

Photo of Secretary Foxx at APTA meeting
Secretary Foxx (right) with APTA Chair Phillip Washington (left) and St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman
Continue Reading Investing in transit is ››
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The National Park Service has announced that the campus of the United States Merchant Marine Academy (USMMA) at Kings Point and the Barstow Mansion, home to the American Merchant Marine Museum on USMMA’s McNulty Campus, have been added to the National Register of Historic Places. This designation recognizes USMMA’s  historical significance to the nation, and acknowledges the architectural importance of the buildings.

"The addition of USMMA’s campus and the American Merchant Marine Museum to the National Register guarantees that the rich history of the Academy will be preserved for all Americans - not just Kings Pointers." said Rear Admiral James A. Helis.

USMMA is located just twenty miles from New York City, in Kings Point, a village in the Great Neck region of Long Island...

Photo of Wiley Hall on USMMA campus

Continue Reading US Merchant Marine Academy ››
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I’m proud to say the Chicago Air Route Traffic Control Center (ARTCC) in Aurora, Illinois, is up and running two weeks after a September 26 fire. 

The men and women of Technical Operations worked tirelessly, re-establishing power sources; troubleshooting to restore service; addressing immediate communication needs between the facilities that assumed control of the Chicago airspace; and helping cover for colleagues who worked to bring the ARTCC back to business.

Our aviation system continued to function safely and efficiently, while minimizing impact to the traveling public over the last two weeks.  I’d like to thank members of the traveling public --especially those who were disrupted when the Chicago center was initially disabled-- for your patience...

Photo of F.A.A. team getting Aurora center back online

Continue Reading ZAU returns to service ››
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Official portrait of Secretary FoxxCross-posted from Put the Brakes on Fatalities, courtesy of Kansas Department of Transportation.

Before I get too far into my own “Put the Brakes on Fatalities” message, I want to thank KDOT for hosting this incredible series every year and for their clear commitment to road safety.

At the U.S. Department of Transportation share that commitment. Safety is our number one priority. Always has been; always will be.

And when I talk about safety on our nation’s roads it's not in some abstract way. When I talk about safety, I'm talking about safety in the very real neighborhoods where our kids play and where our daily commutes begin and end...

Continue Reading How do we Put the Brakes on ››
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Our very first Congress singled out the domestic U.S. Merchant Marine as essential to our economy and national defense.  That is why, from the beginnings of this nation, they took steps to secure the U.S. Merchant Marine fleet from foreign flag competition in coastwise domestic maritime trade.

Senator Wesley L. Jones sponsored the Merchant Marine Act of 1920 – better known now as the Jones Act.  For 94 years, that law has remained the cornerstone of U.S. maritime policy, a policy that was the center of discussion at yesterday’s 2nd Annual Tradewinds Jones Act Forum.

There, I joined maritime industry experts and stakeholders in recognizing that, while some sectors of America’s economy have seen operations and jobs shift to countries abroad, this hasn’t been the case for our maritime industry.

Photo of Paul “Chip” Jaenichen speaking at the 2nd Annual Tradewinds Jones Act Forum

Continue Reading The Jones Act Moves ››
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Cross-posted courtesy of the White House.

In President Obama’s first term, he called on the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Transportation to take action to double fuel economy standards by 2025 and cut vehicle greenhouse gas emissions in half. These actions combat climate change and help American families save money – more than $8,000 in fuel costs for each car by 2025.

In fact, over the duration of the program, Americans will save a total of $1.7 trillion in fuel costs and reduce oil consumption by more than 2 million barrels per day. And we are on track to roughly double fuel economy by 2025. This proves once again that addressing climate change can go hand in hand with strong economic growth. 

Last year marked an important milestone in the Administration’s effort to fight climate change. According to EPA’s new Fuel Economy Trends Report, new vehicles in 2013 achieved their highest fuel economy of all time. Model year 2013 vehicles reached an average of 24.1 miles per gallon – a 0.5-mile-per-gallon increase over the previous year and an increase of nearly 5 miles – or 25 percent – per gallon since 2004. Fuel economy has now increased in eight of the last nine years, and our average carbon emissions last year hit a record low of 369 grams per mile in model year 2013.

Continue Reading U.S. Fuel Economy Reaches ››
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As Secretary Foxx wrote here earlier this week, "The goods we transport are the lifeblood of our economy." And just as that's true, the flip side is also true: Our economy can only move as fast as we can move the goods that fuel it.

That's why it's so important that America continues to invest in the infrastructure that keeps our economy moving.

But some projects make a bigger difference than others. And Congress has asked DOT to develop a comprehensive list --based on input from our stakeholders-- of projects that can make the most significant difference regionally and nationally, and of recommendations for how to finance them...

Photo of bridge construction

Continue Reading You can help DOT identify ››
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