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The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization provides technical and financial assistance, small business outreach and training services that help members of the nation’s small business community compete for and participate in federally funded contracts.

Small Business Opportunities Day Attendee statistics

More than half of Americans either own or work for a small business, and small businesses create about two out of every three new jobs in the U.S. each year. The importance of these small businesses in our economy is why every year since 1963 the President of the United States has issued a proclamation announcing National Small Business Week, which recognizes the critical contributions of America’s entrepreneurs and small business owners.

Attendees networking at small business event

The Department of Transportation is a leader among cabinet agencies in ensuring that small businesses have access to federal contracting opportunities.  In fact, every year for the past 10 years, the Department has been awarded an A rating for reaching and exceeding its small business contracting goals and is on the path to achieve another A rating for FY 2017.

Ajit Pai Linda McMahon Secreatary Chao Derek Kan group photo

(Chairman of the U.S. Federal Communications Commission Ajit Pai, Administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration Linda McMahon, and USDOT Undersecretary for Policy Derek Kan joined Secretary Elaine L. Chao for a joint celebration of Small Business Opportunities Day and National Asian American & Pacific Islander Heritage Month at USDOT Headquarters last week.)

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The USDOT has selected 10 state, local and tribal governments as participants in the Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Integration Pilot Program. The UAS Integration Pilot Program will help tackle the most significant challenges to integrating drones into the national airspace and will reduce risks to public safety and security. The program is a coordinated effort to provide certainty and stability to communities, drone owners and the rapidly evolving drone industry. In less than a decade, the potential economic benefit of integrating UAS in the nation’s airspace is estimated at $82 billion and could create 100,000 jobs.

The 10 selectees are:

  • Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma, Durant, OK
  • City of San Diego, CA
  • Virginia Tech - Center for Innovative Technology, Herndon, VA
  • Kansas Department of Transportation, Topeka, KS
  • Lee County Mosquito Control District, Ft. Myers, FL
  • Memphis-Shelby County Airport Authority, Memphis, TN
  • North Carolina Department of Transportation, Raleigh, NC
  • North Dakota Department of Transportation, Bismarck, ND
  • City of Reno, NV
  • University of Alaska-Fairbanks, Fairbanks, AK

Over the next two and a half years, the selectees will collect drone data involving night operations, flights over people and beyond the pilot’s line of sight, package delivery, detect-and-avoid technologies and the reliability and security of data links between pilot and aircraft. The data collected from these operations will help the USDOT and FAA craft new enabling rules that allow more complex low-altitude operations, identify ways to balance local and national interests related to UAS integration, improve communications with local, state and tribal jurisdictions, address security and privacy risks, and accelerate the approval of operations that currently require special authorizations.

Watch the historic moment here: https://www.transportation.gov/uas-integration

UAS Integration Pilot Program image with DOT seal

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The U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) has launched the new Get Up to Speed on Motorcycles campaign to help motorists understand standard motorcycle driving behaviors and to learn how to drive safely around motorcycles on our roadways.

According to the latest data from NHTSA, motorcyclists accounted for 14 percent of all traffic fatalities in 2015 while motorcycles make up just 3 percent of all registered vehicles in the United States.  Per vehicle mile traveled, motorcyclists are about 27 times more likely than passenger vehicle occupants to die in a motor vehicle crash, and 5 times more likely to be injured.

In 2015, 4,976 motorcyclists were killed in motor vehicle crashes – an 8 percent increase from the 4,594 killed in 2014.  More than 88,000 motorcyclists were injured in motor vehicle crashes.

Get Up to Speed on Motorcycles Safety Banner

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The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA) Protect Your Move Campaign aims to combat interstate household goods moving fraud by educating consumers on how to plan a successful move, and how to report if they have been victims of a moving scam.

If you are one of the more than 800,000 Americans estimated to hire a professional moving company this year, it is important that you understand the process, and know how to spot the “red flags” of moving fraud.

Moving fraud can be financially and emotionally draining. More than 4,100 moving fraud complaints were filed in 2017. The average loss claim against an unscrupulous mover is almost $8,000.

To learn more about the moving process, including gathering resources to help you select a mover, spot the “red flags” of moving fraud and file a complaint, visit www.protectyourmove.gov or call 1-888-DOT-SAFT (368-7238) to file a moving fraud complaint.

Protect Your Move campaign logo

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Transportation plays a vital role in the American economy. It makes economic activity possible, and serves as a major economic activity itself.  Beginning in May 2017, freight shipments reached record-high levels that exceeded the level of shipments in any month prior to 2017.  A strong indicator of a growing economy.

Measured by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics’ Freight  Transportation Services Index (TSI), freight shipments rose 6.1 percent from November 2016 through the early months of 2018. The total value of U.S.-international merchandise trade rose 37.6 percent from 2000 to 2016 when adjusted for inflation.  In 2016, the value was approximately $3.3 Trillion. U.S. trade with Canada and Mexico accounted for 29.3 percent (nearly $1.07 trillion) of the value of U.S.-international merchandise trade in 2016.

North American Freight Shipping numbers from 2015 to 2018 graphs

(Data based on the Bureau of Transportation Statistics’ Freight Analysis Framework (FAF) 2015 report and Freight Transportation Services Index (TSI) February 2018 report) 

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