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National Train Day was created in 2008, as a way to promote rail travel and its rich history in the U.S.  It has been observed annually on or around May 10, the anniversary commemorating completion of the transcontinental railroad in 1869 when the Golden Spike was ceremonially driven at Promontory Summit in Utah.  This year, National Train Day is May 13.

Railroads are vital to our nation’s intermodal transportation network and economy.  Passenger trains connect people to work, school and family.  So naturally, every day is National Train Day at the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA).  While this day is usually marked by celebrations of railroad history, we think it’s a good time to emphasize the importance of railroad safety—the Department of Transportation’s top priority.

Continue Reading Happy National Train Day ››
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Cutting-edge technologies are helping to improve America’s highway system, and real-time data reporting systems are helping us make better use of our highways and bridges.

The Advanced Transportation and Congestion Management Technologies Deployment Program (ATCMTD) is doing just that by funding state-of-the-art transportation improvement technologies that reduce congestion and help us maintain our infrastructure.  Now in its second round, the program is providing $60 million in funding  again this year. Last year, the program funded eight innovative projects in various parts of the country intended to improve the efficiency and safety of the transportation system and make the most use of existing capacity for commuters and businesses.

Continue Reading Program Continues to Push ››
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New technologies are disrupting transportation every day, and the U.S. Department of Transportation has an unprecedented opportunity to shape how Americans move, and how America does business.

That’s no small order, but at the John A. Volpe National Transportation Systems Center, our history of providing multimodal expertise shows we are up to the task. The Volpe Center is a unique federal organization within USDOT that for more than 45 years has supported modal agencies and others pursuing innovative solutions to America’s most pressing transportation challenges.

Continue Reading Inside the Volpe Center, ››
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About every three hours, a person or vehicle is hit by a train.

Last year, 232 people were fatally injured in rail crossing accidents.

Stop. Trains Can’t.

That’s the message of the U.S. Department of Transportation’s (DOT) heightened two-year effort to reduce accidents and fatalities at railroad crossings. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) have partnered in this nationwide, month-long effort to encourage motorists, particularly young males, to use caution when approaching railroad crossings.

Continue Reading 'Stop. Trains Can’t. ››
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All five major transportation modes carried a share of the more than $1 trillion in freight that crossed the U.S. borders with Canada and Mexico in 2016.  Based on the value of the freight, trucks carried most – 65.5 percent – a higher share than a year earlier and a decade earlier in 2006.

Rail (15.5 percent), vessel (5.5 percent), pipeline (4.6 percent) and air (3.9 percent) carried the remaining share of cross-border freight. Here is a more detailed look at the shipments on both borders.

Continue Reading How $1 Trillion of North ››
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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.

 

 

Continue Reading 10 Things on US DOT Modes: ››
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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.

Continue Reading Freight Shipments Rebounded ››
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