Secretary LaHood Designates New Marine Highway in Texas. U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood has designated a new marine highway in Chambers County, Texas. The “M-146 Marine Highway Connector,” which is sponsored by the Chambers County Texas Improvement District No. 1 and the Chambers Liberty Counties Navigation District, spans the 25-mile waterway between the Cedar Bayou and the Houston Ship Channel, connecting to the Port of Houston on the M-10 Marine Highway Corridor. A container-on-barge service currently operating on the M-146 has already reduced regional roadway traffic by approximately 2,000 containers per month. A marine highway is a designated route for transporting cargo on water, reducing pollution and congestion on roads. Since 2009, the Department of Transportation has designated 19 Marine Highway Routes, and invested $130 million in projects supporting Marine Highway services. In addition to highlighting the role waterways play in moving freight throughout the region, designated Marine Highways receive preferential treatment for any future federal assistance from the Department or MARAD. Contact: Kim Strong – Tel: 202-366-5807
DOT Fines JetBlue for Violations of Consumer Rules. The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) today fined JetBlue Airways $60,000 for violations of DOT’s airline consumer rules that were adopted in April 2011. JetBlue violated a requirement that airlines must either allow passengers to hold a reservation without payment or cancel a reservation without penalty within 24 hours after making a reservation, if the reservation was made at least one week before the flight’s departure. Between January and November 2012, JetBlue required a number of passengers to pay cancellation fees when they canceled their reservations within 24 hours of booking. In addition, JetBlue engaged in two promotional activities that violated a requirement that advertised airfares include the full price to be paid by the consumer, including all required taxes and fees. In November 2012, JetBlue advertised voucher packages with listed base fares that did not include taxes of up to $69 per flight, which were listed separately. Also, JetBlue ran a sweepstakes last fall offering “free” flights for the winners, but in fact the winners would have to pay taxes and fees of up to $329 to book the flights. The consent order is available at www.regulations.gov, docket DOT-OST-2013-0004. Contact: Bill Mosley – Tel.: 202-366-4570.
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