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News Digest DOT 52-16

Friday, May 6, 2016


FHWA Publishes Policy Revision to Allow More Flexibility in Project Design.  The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) published revisions to current federal policy that will help reduce cost and speed up the design of roads and streets located in smaller towns and cities.  In 1985, 13 design criteria were prioritized because of their perceived impact on operations and safety.  Based on research and FHWA experience, several were removed under the new policy, leaving 10 criteria prioritized for high-speed roadways and only two criteria for lower-speed roads – such as rural roads that become main streets through smaller towns and cities.  This will allow state and local engineers to develop flexible design solutions that meet local travel needs and goals.  Contact:  Nancy Singer:  (202) 366-4650.   

DOT Fines VivaAerobus for Violating Aviation Consumer Protection Rules.  The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) fined VivaAerobus, an airline based in Mexico, $150,000 for violating the Department’s rules protecting aviation consumers and ordered the carrier to cease and desist from future similar violations.  An investigation by the Department’s Office of Aviation Enforcement and Proceedings found that VivaAerobus violated the Department’s consumer protection rules by advertising fares that did not include a mandatory fee, failing to have a reasonable number of seats available at the advertised fare, and pre-selecting optional services such as checked baggage and trip insurance for consumers when they are purchasing air travel.  By violating these rules, the carrier also engaged in prohibited unfair and deceptive practices.  The consent order is available at, docket DOT-OST-2016-0002.  Contact:  Caitlin Harvey:  (202) 366-4570.