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Sometimes the U.S. Department of Transportation’s many agencies, or modes, as they are often called, can be tricky to keep up with. What does each do? Who and what does each serve?

We hope to answer questions about and introduce anyone who is interested in each mode – and a few sub-offices – in a series called 10 Things on US DOT Modes.



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Comments (0) recently wrote about Kansas City, Mo., becoming a “smart city” by creating a two-mile smart street corridor. The city has added free public Wi-Fi across 50 blocks, 125 LED streetlights that respond to activity, kiosks where people can learn about transportation options and city services.

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On Wednesday, the final 2016 Transportation Services Index (TSI) from the Bureau of Transportation Statistics  (BTS) showed activity in the for-hire freight sector at a record high in December. The December peak – equal to the all-time high in July – capped a rebound in 2016 freight activity from a 2015 decline that left the measure of freight shipments slightly above the December 2014 level.

The index has climbed 31.7 percent since the low point of the recession in April 2009, but it rose only 0.8 percent in the two-year period since the end of 2014. That period couples a 2.0 percent loss in 2015 with a 2.9 percent gain in 2016. During 2016, the index peaked in both July and December.

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Leading up to this year’s Super Bowl, we posted several messages about SaferRide, a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration mobile app that helps individuals find a safe ride home if they’ve had too much to drink or otherwise believe they need help getting home.


SaferRide isn’t the only mobile app created by US DOT agencies that keeps travelers across the country safe. There are apps to help you find safe bus companies, fly your drones safely and legally, and keep your car and its passengers safe.

US DOT App images

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Safety is the US Department of Transportation’s top priority. We're asking you to join our team as we put this principle into action by fighting drunk driving on Super Bowl Sunday.

Whether you’re quarterbacking your team’s Super Bowl party or just on the receiving end of an invitation, you need a winning strategy for the big game: a shutdown defense against drunk driving. This afternoon from 3-4 p.m.ET, we’ll give you a sneak peek at our playbook during our Super Bowl “Fans Don’t Let Fans Drive Drunk” Twitter chat. We’ll share tips to combat drunk driving and field your questions when you use the hashtag #DontDriveDrunk.

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Today, Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx sent the following message to all USDOT employees.

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In early December we had the distinct privilege of participating in the 3rd Annual Maritime Administration ship recycling town hall meeting in Brownsville, Texas.  The venue brought together federal ship disposal programs, government safety and environmental agencies and domestic ship recycling industry representatives with direct involvement in the disposal of U.S. Government-owned obsolete ships into a forum where the current issues impacting federal agencies and ship recycling industry are addressed and discussed.

MARAD provided to the domestic recycling industry an overview of existing and future planning for federal ship recycling activities, including ship disposal forecasts, vessel downgrades for disposal, potential budgetary impacts and safety and environmental concerns.  The meeting offered an opportunity to listen to industry concerns, issues and suggestions related to ship disposal activities, including the impact of scrap steel prices, future price trends, vessel disposal solicitations and safety and environmental issues.

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I had the privilege last week of presenting Beyond Traffic – Looking Forward to Innovation in an Era of Rapid Change, which served as the culmination of Beyond Traffic: DOT’s 30 Year Framework . Two years ago, USDOT extended an invitation to the American public to open up and have a frank discussion about the shape, size and condition of our transportation network. Beyond Traffic enabled us to see – at a high level – how our system is working, where it is deficient and what it will take to meet the needs and goals of our nation for decades to come.

I delivered the presentation at the Transportation Research Board’s Annual Meeting. This year’s meeting – the Transportation Research Board’s 96th –  once again succeeded in peeling back the layers of the intricate web of our nation’s transportation system and addressing the need for transportation innovation. More than 13,000 transportation professionals from more than 70 countries came to see roughly 5,000 presentations and  800 sessions or workshops covering all modes of transportation.

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Across the country, 35,092 people died on our nation’s roads in 2015. That is a 7.2 percent increase over the previous year. 

To address this serious issue and begin working toward making roadway fatalities a thing of the past, Secretary Anthony Foxx, the Federal Highway Administration, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and partners in the transportation community joined forces, enlisted the support of one of the nation’s most influential safety groups – the National Safety Council – and launched the Road to Zero Coalition.

Continue Reading Seven Ideas for Safer ››
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At the Federal Transit Administration (FTA), our mission often involves bringing brand-new trains, buses, and infrastructure to communities looking to create a new transit system or expand a current one. However, a growing issue nationwide is a backlog of important repair and reconstruction work to revamp older public transportation systems expand capacity and accommodate growing ridership.


That’s the thinking behind the Core Capacity program, which was added to FTA’s portfolio of Capital Investment Grants (CIG) in 2012 to address capacity needs of heavily-used transit infrastructure. Senator Dick Durbin was instrumental in creating this new program. I was pleased to join him, Congressman Mike Quigley, Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky, and Mayor Rahm Emanuel in Chicago to announce $1.07 billion in federal funding for the first phase of the Red and Purple Modernization Project. This is the first-ever construction grant agreement under the Core Capacity program.

Continue Reading FTA Funding to Help Chicago ››
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