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Transportation Archive

Train Crash Revives Debate About Single-Operator Freight Trains

In addition to focusing attention on mechanical concerns about the freight trains that haul crude oil to refineries, the Lac-Mégantic, Quebec, train crash is reviving debate about allowing rural cargo railroads to operate trains with just one professional on board.

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Quebec Rail Accident Focuses Attention on Tanker Car Safety

The freight train derailment and explosion that flattened a tiny Quebec town earlier this month has renewed scrutiny of a widely used type of oil tanker cars that has been a concern by safety watchdogs for years.

A Pragmatic Federal Budget Fix: User-Financed Transportation | Commentary

The recent Skagit River Bridge collapse shone a national spotlight on America’s infrastructure funding crisis, precisely at a time when Washington welcomes a new Transportation Secretary and Congress begins serious discussions around how to fund our nation’s transportation infrastructure. With the 2014 surface transportation reauthorization on the horizon, Congress has a serious choice to make: Do we stick with the same funding strategy that now provides dwindling revenues or do we explore alternative funding options like tolling?

California Lawmakers Seek Tougher Rules for Limos

There’s no sign of any legislative effort in Congress after a deadly California limousine crash this spring, but state lawmakers in Sacramento are weighing bills aimed at making the vehicles safer.

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Limousine Makers Unlikely to Face Tougher Congressional Scrutiny, Despite Recent Accidents

Two high-profile limousine accidents in Northern California this spring are raising questions about oversight of the industry that builds the vehicles — though highway safety advocates see little prospect of tougher scrutiny by lawmakers anytime soon.

Exporting Unintended Consequences | Commentary

This week, the House Energy and Commerce Committee will explore the effects of America’s energy exports. From shale gas to Western coal, demand for American energy resources is creating a new trade wind for America. Previous hearings on this subject have overlooked another major U.S. trade industry that stands to benefit from more exports: agriculture. One doesn’t naturally put together that agricultural exports and energy resources like coal could go hand-in-hand. But in the upper Northwest, a region that stands to gain substantially from energy exports, nothing could be further from the truth.

NHTSA Proposes Rules for Driverless Technology Already on the Roads

Driverless cars remain a rare novelty, but it might surprise motorists to discover that much of the technology that will make them work is already available in the new cars they’re buying today.

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Driverless Vehicles Pose New Challenges for Lawmakers, Regulators

No longer confined to the realm of science fiction, driverless vehicles are beginning to show up on American highways, with California, Nevada and Florida already legalizing their use.

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House Earmarks Ban May Be Tested in Writing Water Bill

The House’s 3-year-old ban on earmarks may be put to the test in the coming weeks, as the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee writes its authorization of flood control, navigation and environmental restoration programs.

A Thoughtful Policy Framework for Intelligent Cars | Commentary

Recently, the Senate Commerce Committee served as the forum for a discussion we will be hearing much more about — the convergence of the tech and transportation industries in “intelligent vehicles.”

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Transportation Secretary Nominee Ducks Highway Financing Questions

Charlotte Mayor Anthony Foxx sidestepped persistent questioning Wednesday about how to fill revenue shortfalls in the Highway Trust Fund, telling senators weighing his confirmation as Transportation secretary that he would “bring together a wide variety of stakeholders”

Congress Can't Seem to Win for Winning | Wolfensberger

Bashing Congress has been a popular sport since the beginning of the republic. Ohio Republican Rep. Nicholas Longworth described this national pastime in his acceptance speech as speaker in 1925: “I have been a member of the House of Representatives ... 20 years. During the whole of that time we have been attacked, denounced, despised, hunted, harried, blamed, looked down upon, excoriated, and flayed. I refuse to take it personally.”

Highway Trust Fund Already Feeling Effects of Declines in Driving

The decline in driving by Americans may already be hastening the demise of the Highway Trust Fund.

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Declines in Driving Complicate Vehicle Tax Changes

A new study suggests the driving habits of Americans may be changing faster than lawmakers can figure out how to tax them.

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Landrieu Revamps Flood Insurance Amendment, Clearing Path for Water Bill

Louisiana Democrat Mary L. Landrieu has revamped her amendment to freeze flood insurance rates for five years, removing the biggest obstacle to final Senate action this week on legislation to authorize federal projects for flood control, navigation and environmental restoration.

A Different Kind of Drone Strike | Commentary

In the past decade, much has been said about the use of drone technology, particularly its use in combat. More recently, the filibuster by Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., questioned privacy and other concerns as this technology is deployed domestically.

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Obama's Budget Would Restructure Airport Improvement Program

While President Barack Obama complained that averting Federal Aviation Administration furloughs by transferring airport capital improvement funds amounted to “using our seedcorn,” his own fiscal 2014 budget would cut the Airport Improvement Program by 17 percent.

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Airport Operators Worry That Furloughs Deal Will Reduce Capital Spending

Airport operators were relieved that Congress enacted legislation before the recess rolling back air-traffic-controller furloughs — though they were less than pleased about where lawmakers found the money to offset the cuts.

Congress Learns the Letter 'S' in FAA Snafu

Debates about letters of the alphabet can now return to “Sesame Street,” as Congress has sorted out what to do with the letter “s.”

Charlotte Mayor to Be Nominated as Transportation Secretary

Outgoing Charlotte, N.C., mayor Anthony Foxx will be President Barack Obama’s pick for the next Transportation Secretary, according to two sources with knowledge of the selection.




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