DOT Fines British Airways for Baggage Fee Violations. The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) today fined British Airways $40,000 for failing to disclose that the discounted baggage fees offered on its website were not available to all consumers. British Airways offered discounted rates on its U.S. website for all passengers who chose to pay their baggage fees in advance, but a number of passengers who made reservations through booking agents were not able to pay the discounted fees on the airline’s website. The airline did not provide notice that the discounted fees might not be available to some passengers or make sure the lower fees were available to everyone trying to pay them. The consent order is available on the Internet at www.regulations.gov, docket DOT-OST-2013-0004. Contact: Bill Mosley (202) 366-4570.
Geographic Databases for 2013 Released. The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics, a part of the Research and Innovative Technology Administration, released the 2013 edition of the National Transportation Atlas Databases (NTAD) this week. The NTAD is a compilation of datasets representing the nation’s transportation infrastructure including over 500,000 miles of roadway, over 607,000 bridges, and almost 20,000 airports. The 2013 edition features a more complete inventory of the transportation infrastructure with the addition of datasets for dams, waterway locks, major ports, and intermodal passenger facilities. This year’s NTAD consists of 37 datasets, eight of which are either new or complete replacements of older datasets and 20 are updates of current datasets. The NTAD also includes: intermodal terminals, national railway crossings, non-attainment areas and transit rail lines and stations, among other data layers. NTAD 2013 data are provided in shapefile format with standard metadata, which is compatible with most Geographical Information Systems (GIS) software. Following the initial release earlier this week, BTS staff distributed copies of the 2013 NTAD to attendees of the ESRI International User Conference in San Diego. Contacts: Press: Dave Smallen: (202) 366-5568. For technical information and copies: Mark Bradford: (202) 366-6810.
National Transportation Statistics Updated. The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS), a part of the Research and Innovative Technology Administration (RITA), today updated National Transportation Statistics (NTS) – a web-only reference guide to national-level transportation data. NTS, updated quarterly, includes a wide range of national transportation information. NTS consists of more than 260 tables of national data on the transportation system, safety, the economy and energy and the environment, of which 55 were updated today. NTS also includes compilations of all NTS data related to a single mode or subject. The next quarterly update is scheduled for October. NTS can be viewed on the BTS website. Contact: Dave Smallen (202) 366-5568.
U.S. Department of Transportation Announces $4.5 Million for Road Improvements on Public Lands. The U.S. Department of Transportation recently issued $4.5 million in grants for 15 public lands road projects in California, Ohio, Oregon, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Washington and Wisconsin. The funds will improve and increase accessibility to five national wildlife refuges, three national parks and three national forests, as well as Native American land in Washington State. Unlike most of the nation's public roads which are managed by state departments of transportation, federal lands roads are maintained by various tribal and federal agencies. The Federal Highway Administration’s Public Lands Highways Discretionary Program provides funding for transportation projects on, near or that provide access to federal and tribal lands. Contact: Doug Hecox Tel: 202-366-0660
U.S. Department of Transportation Announces $6.4 million in Grants for Multistate Corridor Operations and Management (MCOM) Program Projects. The U.S. Department of Transportation has awarded $6.4 million in grants to seven projects that use innovative technologies to improve safety and relieve congestion. The Multistate Corridor Operations and Management (MCOM) program promotes intelligent transportation systems (ITS) solutions and research that have widespread application across several states. The program also promotes regional cooperation and shared project implementation. The Department awarded the grants to seven coalitions —representing a total of 37 states—with one lead state for each project: I-95 Corridor Coalition (Maryland), Great Lakes Regional Transportation Operations Coalition (Wisconsin), ITS Heartland Corridor Coalition (Missouri), I-81 Corridor Coalition (Virginia), Great Northern Corridor Coalition (Montana), I-80 Corridor Coalition (Nevada), and the I-5 Corridor Smart Truck Parking Corridor Coalition (California). Contact: Nancy Singer 202-366-0660.