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This week, we commemorate the seventh anniversary of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (Recovery Act), which the President signed into law on February 17, 2009.   Today and tomorrow the Vice President will visit New Orleans, Memphis, and St. Paul to highlight the Recovery Act’s role in restarting job growth and revitalizing our transportation system. You can read more about the Vice President's trip on Medium.

The Recovery Act provided over $48 billion in job-creating investments in transportation infrastructure, which put people back to work and comprised a significant down payment toward revitalizing our transportation system.

Recovery Act projects improved the Nation’s roads and bridges; led to expanded and safer public transit options; made a significant down-payment in American high-speed  rail; invested in runways, airports, and Air Traffic Control upgrades; supported game-changing investments through the innovative, multi-modal TIGER program; and assisted capital and infrastructure improvements at small shipyards...

Prsident Obama signs ARRA
President Obama signs Recovery Act; official White House photo.
Continue Reading On 7th anniversary, ››
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One of America’s biggest transportation challenges over the next 30 years will be our growing population. With 70 Million more people being added by 2045, we’ll have more people moving between home and work, and more freight sharing our roads.

One of the best tools we have for combatting the resulting traffic congestion is the Federal Transit Administration’s Capital Investment Grant (CIG) program. Through its New Starts, Small Starts, and Core Capacity grants, the CIG program helps build subways, light rail, streetcars, and Bus Rapid Transit lines that move more people more efficiently while helping preserve clean air and improve quality of life. Just as importantly, those projects build real ladders of opportunity in communities across the country – bringing jobs, education, healthcare, and shopping within reach.

This year in President Obama’s proposed FY 2017 budget, we’re recommending 31 projects in 18 states to share in $3.5 billion that will help expand mobility, create jobs, and spur economic development...

BRT in Cleveland

Continue Reading Proposed budget helps move ››
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When a State develops a project that promises to improve safety, ease congestion, and remove bottlenecks to speed the flow of freight, that's the kind of plan the Federal Highway Administration is proud to support.

The U.S. 301 Mainline in Delaware, which broke ground yesterday, is that kind of project.

Not only will the new U.S. 301 create jobs for the men and women building the route, but when finished, it will also help people keep their jobs at companies that can cut shipping costs. And for the commercial truck drivers struggling to get between Delaware and Virginia, it will help them do their jobs better. 

Continue Reading Innovative DOT financing ››
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A few years ago, in one of my first posts here in the Fast Lane, I wrote that, to make American transportation safer and stronger, "we need every tool in the box and a few we haven't even thought of yet."

Well, last Friday, I saw powerful affirmation of that at Texas A&M University, the site of the SpaceX Hyperloop Pod Design Competition. At this event, more than a thousand high school and college engineers from all over the world presented their designs for the best Hyperloop pod. And I think that level of turnout and excitement from student innovators is the biggest story emerging from the competition...

Secretary Foxx with team MIT
Visiting with student competitors from MIT.
Continue Reading Hyperloop competition ››
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Last week, the Federal Highway Administration reported that, with the data from November now in, it looks pretty clear that 2015 was a record year for Vehicle Miles Traveled.

By the end of November, U.S. drivers had racked up about 2.88 trillion vehicle miles traveled, with each of the first 11 months of the year showing an increase of between 2.5 and 4.9 percent over the corresponding month from 2014. Even if the December 2015 data show no gain from December 2014, which is unlikely, that would put the 2015 total over 3.1 trillion. That's an increase over 2014 of more than 100 billion miles.

Infographic depicting that for Jan-Nov 2015, VMT was 2.88 trillion miles.

No matter how you slice it, that's a lot of miles...in terms of absolute value, and also as an indicator of what kind of volume America's roads are bearing. And, as Secretary Foxx observed on his Facebook page last Friday, that's 2.88 trillion good reasons for America to get #BeyondTraffic...

Continue Reading 2015 likely to have broken ››
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With the Panama Canal expansion slated for completion later this year and the industry-wide boost in U.S. maritime activity that will likely follow, there is no question that 2016 will be a demanding year for the Maritime Administration.  While the course ahead will be full of new challenges, I wanted to highlight our agency’s 2015 accomplishments and reflect on the opportunities this year offers.

TOTE Maritime LNG-powered vessel under construction

Calendar year 2015 was a truly one for the history books for our agency.  I say that because 2015 was a year in which we literally helped make history!  Last year, MARAD closed the Title XI Federal Loan Guarantee to support the launch of the world’s first LNG-powered containership —a development that will help us in our effort to support industry actions to minimize waterborne transportation’s environmental impact.

However, that's not all we were involved with.  We were also incredibly proud of our work to enable Secretary Foxx to designate three new Marine Highway Projects, which will advance our goal of alleviating pressures on congested landside freight corridors...

Continue Reading MARAD in 2016: Anticipation ››
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In a new year, people often resolve to take action to better themselves: learning a new language, or parking a few blocks away from work to get in a little extra exercise. At Volpe, The National Transportation Systems Center, we are always trying to better our transportation systems, but we're excited to be taking action on six emerging issues this year.

These six issues will be priorities for our staff of technical researchers, engineers, economists, statistical and policy analysts, community planners, and communications professionals as they work to improve mobility across all transportation modes.

We're also pleased to announce a national search for the next Volpe director. We welcome all qualified applicants to apply for the director position by Friday, February 19...

graphic array of transportation modes Volpe engages in

Continue Reading Volpe Looks Forward to 2016 ››
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Today at CES 2016, I announced another key partnership for our Smart City Challenge: the winning city's public bus system will get installation of Mobileye's Shield +TM on every bus. This driver assistance safety technology helps bus drivers avoid and mitigate imminent collisions and protect road users including bicyclists, pedestrians, and motorcyclists.

This technology and support award is in addition to DOT's award of up to $40 million to create an integrated first-of-its-kind city that uses data and technology to shape how people and goods move…and an award of up to $10 million from the Challenge’s launch partner, Vulcan Philanthropy, to support infrastructure for electric vehicles.

Secretarty Foxx at C.E.S. 2016

The Smart City Challenge is an exciting opportunity for cities that want to improve their transportation networks through innovation, and today’s announcement makes it even more exciting. The winning city will be able to collaborate with DOT and with partners like Mobileye and Vulcan to implement bold, data-driven ideas to make transportation safer, easier, and more reliable.  The outcome promises to be a model of what we can achieve when public and private entities work together using leading-edge data and technological tools...

Continue Reading At CES 2016, Mobileye ››
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Throughout 2015, NHTSA worked to improve how we identify and recall vehicles and vehicle equipment with safety-related defects, because doing so will save lives and prevent injuries on the road. Last month, we closed out the year by taking action again—in this case against three companies that failed to follow the laws that help protect us all from unsafe vehicles and equipment on our roads.

In all three  cases, we’re also holding these companies accountable for future actions. All three companies have to follow through on commitments that will ensure future compliance with the law. That is what will make our roads safer going forward.

By now, with record fines issued in 2015, the message should be clear: whether you’re a manufacturer or an importer of vehicles or vehicle equipment that will be on America’s roads, your compliance with life-saving Federal laws is non-negotiable...

Side-impact crash test

Continue Reading Rooting Out Safety Defects ››
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By now, we’ve shared several looks back at 2015 from some of our Operating Administrations –FAA, FHWA, and FTA– and from our Office of Research and Technology. I hope you’ve enjoyed reading about the terrific work they accomplished last year for their specific mode of transportation. 

As Secretary, it has been a privilege helping shape these initiatives as well as leading a number of significant projects that cut across multiple modes...

Continue Reading 2015 another year of hard ››
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