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Transportation Archive

U.S. Carriers Wary of Norwegian Airline's Cut-Rate Wages

U.S.-based airlines and their pilots are waging a new battle against a foreign carrier they contend is taking advantage of provisions in international law to unfairly compete on American routes.

Airlines, Not FCC, Should Decide Whether to Permit In-Flight Cellphone Use | Commentary

The Federal Communications Commission is looking into whether U.S. airlines should allow their customers to use cellphones on flights for email, texting and voice while above 10,000 feet. The mention of this technical possibility has prompted visceral statements from members of Congress about the threat of being trapped on a plane next to obnoxious passengers yapping away for hours.

RESTORE Act Is Key to Flood Insurance Affordability | Commentary

The Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act, passed as part of 2012’s transportation bill, is an important step forward in fixing America’s beleaguered public flood insurance program. For nearly a half-century, taxpayers across the country have been implicitly subsidizing the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), which is now $25 billion in the red. The simple fact is that premiums collected aren’t sufficient to cover likely costs, and the program is not sustainable as it is currently structured.

Unequal Tax Benefits Punish Public Transit Riders | Commentary

With cuts to tax benefits for transit commuters set to be triggered at the end of the year, it is essential that Congress act to ensure that transit riders benefit from the same tax incentives available to commuters who drive to work.

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Food Service Losses Could Derail Support for Amtrak Subsidies

Florida Republican John L. Mica bristles at the idea of Amtrak partnering with master chefs to upgrade meals on its long-haul trains at a time when the passenger railroad continues to lose tens of millions of dollars a year on its food services.

The Department of Justice's Last Stand in the Airline Industry -- Did It Blink? | Commentary

While the American public may not be familiar with the intricacies of antitrust policy, they have direct, and painful, experience with the results of over a decade of lax antitrust enforcement in the airline industry: high fares, little competition and increasing ancillary fees that are the product of a hub system that facilitates tacit, if not overt, collusion amongst the legacy carriers. Against that backdrop, the Department of Justice’s antitrust challenge to American Airlines/US Airways was a breath of fresh air. Finally, we had antitrust enforcement that did not shy away from the tough challenges raised by the increasing consolidation of the airline industry.

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Bike Caucus Wants House Certified as Bike-Friendly Workplace

When the League of American Bicyclists released its nationwide list of “Bicycle Friendly Businesses” this month, the State Department, the International Monetary Fund and the National Park Service were among the 20 D.C.-area businesses recognized.

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Norton Takes a Test Drive Ahead of Surface Transportation Rewrite

Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton, D-D.C., slipped behind the wheel of a sleek, new BMW i3 last week for a test drive in the name of congressional research.

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Airlines, Pilots, Aircraft Makers Look to Ease FAA Permitting Backlog

Aircraft manufacturers, airlines and pilot groups are hoping congressional action will help speed up Federal Aviation Administration certification processes for aircraft, operators and repair stations, all severely backlogged as tight budgets have kept staffing thin.

Pilot ID Mandate May Complicate Licensing

A small provision in last year’s Federal Aviation Administration authorization threatens to complicate government issuance of airman’s certificates to commercial airline pilots.

Cogeneration Systems Kept Some Lights Shining During Sandy

Superstorm Sandy knocked out power for more than 8 million customers in the Northeast last year, but some hospitals and universities in the region managed to keep the lights on by using their combined heat-and-power systems.

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One Year After Sandy, Little Progress on Funding for Storm Resilience

One year ago, Superstorm Sandy slammed into the New Jersey coast, wreaking havoc across the mid-Atlantic region and racking up a preliminary bill of $50 billion in damages — making it the second-costliest hurricane to strike the United States since 1900, according to the National Hurricane Center.

For Appropriators, Olmsted Project Is No Anomaly

The same provision that ignited a backlash this month against the Senate’s top Republican for a so-called “Kentucky kickback” went unnoticed in July, when lawmakers had the opportunity to freely offer amendments to a regular spending bill.

Oregon Eases Privacy Fears About Mileage-Based Highway Tax

The architect of a new mileage-based tax system in Oregon says his state has figured out how to assuage privacy fears, paving the way for serious consideration of the plan as a replacement for the gas tax.

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Congress Eyes Virginia's Model for Funding Transportation Projects

The model for fixing the federal transportation funding shortfall may lie just across the Potomac River.

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Barge Operators to Congress: 'Raise Our Taxes'

It’s not often that an industry comes to Congress begging to pay higher taxes — but that’s exactly what users of the inland waterways barge system are proposing.

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Shuster Uses Social Media in Innovative Pitch for Water Bill

House Transportation and Infrastructure Chairman Bill Shuster waited months after the Senate passed a water projects bill to present a House version, but infrastructure policy groups said it was worth the wait.

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Diplomats Try to Defuse Dispute Over EU's Aviation Emission Rules

The airline industry’s attention will turn to Montreal later this month, where European environmental regulators and a host of skeptical nations — including the United States — will square off at the United Nations civil aviation arm’s triennial meeting over how to control jet aircraft emissions.

U.S. Pushes International Aviation Board to Include Taiwan

Forging an agreement on aviation emissions won’t be the only U.S. objective at the upcoming International Civil Aviation Organization meeting in Montreal; diplomats will also be pushing for Taiwan’s entry into the United Nations organization as an observer.

The Need for Parity in Commuter Benefits | Commentary

Members of Congress from both houses and both parties are working to bring permanent parity to pretax benefits for transit and parking. Pretax commuter benefits save millions of middle-class Americans up to 40 percent on the cost of their commute to and from work. As president of WageWorks Commuter Services and former CEO of TransitCenter, one of my primary goals has been to impress on lawmakers the relevance of commuter benefits and the importance of permanent parity. This is ingrained in our vision at WageWorks, where we believe everyone deserves an easier, less expensive commute.

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