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To commemorate the U.S. Department of Transportation’s 50th Anniversary, the Department has celebrated each month by highlighting important transportation-related achievements over time and addressing some of the challenges ahead.  

This month, we’re turning our attention to one of the most important: climate change.

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In 2013, President Obama announced his Climate Action Plan, a bold plan that is now on track to reduce emissions from nearly every sector of our economy. 

Today, we are fulfilling one of the central promises in this plan – finalizing the second phase of greenhouse gas emissions and fuel efficiency standards for medium and heavy duty vehicles for model years 2018 and beyond.​​​

Picture of Secretary Foxx with Administrator McCarthy​​​​​​​

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Emergency responders understand the importance of safety better than anyone else. They face life and death situations every day when they go to work – at the scene of a crash, where they rescue victims and protect others.

Each year, an estimated 100 emergency responders are killed in the line of duty. That’s why the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), in partnership with the responder community, developed the Traffic Incident Management – or “TIM” – Responder Training.

Picture of car crash on highway -- photo credit Ragegoss on Wikimedia Commons

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At the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, we work diligently every day to reduce crashes, injuries and fatalities involving large trucks and buses on our roadways.

Today, we’ve taken a significant step forward in our work to achieve this mission with the launch of a new public education campaign – Our Roads, Our Responsibility.

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The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) continues to deliver on our commitment to develop and implement a safety program that will further improve safety for the millions of daily transit users and for those who operate and maintain the systems.  

This week, FTA published a final rule for the Public Transportation Safety Program (Safety Program Rule), which provides the overall procedural framework for FTA to monitor, oversee, and enforce safety in the public transportation industry.

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As one of the world’s busiest ports, the Port of Houston represents a large part of the region’s vibrant economy. It is a 25-mile-long complex of terminals that serve more than 8,000 vessels and 200,000 barges each year. No wonder several sections of I-10 and I-45 that link to the port are grappling with freight congestion.

Houston is not alone. In the Federal Highway Administration’s latest series of Freight Economy roundtables – in Houston, Oklahoma City, and Virginia’s Hampton Roads area – we heard about the importance of investments in our waterways, rails, and highways to get goods and products where they need to go and move our economy forward.

Picture of Port of Houston

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How big could the “Big Data” associated with transportation get? 

By 2020, the International Data Corporation estimates that there will be about 23 billion moving “things” – cars, trucks, mobile phones, buses, drones, etc. – as part of the Internet of Things.  Collectively, these moving things will produce about 27% of the data in the digital universe, or 11 zettabytes. That’s 11 trillion gigabytes a year.

Or, to put it in perspective, that’s like transmitting the text of every book published in modern history, every single second of every day. What will we do with all of this information? 

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As the public’s preference for more multi-modal transportation options continues to grow, the Federal Transit Administration is at the forefront of improving public transportation connections for America’s communities.

With advances in technology changing how people access rides, we are using our research program to respond to social, economic, and environmental trends by investing in research and demonstration activities that advance innovative approaches and improve how public transportation provides access and mobility for all.

Now, we invite all of you to share your vision for the future of transit research.

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When people think of sustainability, they don’t often think of the baking heat of Central Texas in July.  But last week, I had the opportunity to see environmental, economic, and social sustainability in action at the American Public Transportation Association’s (APTA) Sustainability Workshop in Austin.

Picture of MLK Jr. station sign

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Every year, it’s a privilege at DOT to award TIGER grants – funds that help revitalize communities in innovative and interconnected ways. Last week, you saw Secretary Foxx’s announcement of the 2016 TIGER winners: 40 communities that will receive a share of close to $500 million in TIGER grants nationwide.

Each of those communities has a story to tell. Today, I’m in Carlisle, Pennsylvania to highlight one of those stories – the story of how  a community came together to better itself, and how a $5 million TIGER grant will amplify their efforts.

Photo of Victor Mendez at podium​​​​​​​

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