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Transportation Archive

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.

Rail Authorization Delay May Aid Amtrak's Bid for Funds

Postponing action on a rail authorization until Congress takes up broader surface transportation legislation next year may provide Amtrak supporters with a tantalizing opportunity to solve their long-term funding problem.

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Railroad Bill Likely to Be Pushed Off Until Next Year

With time running out before the current authorization of federal railroad programs expires at the end of September, it looks increasingly likely that lawmakers will postpone new rail legislation until next year and roll it into a bigger surface transportation bill.

Familiar Themes From Frustrated Obama

President Barack Obama’s latest pivot-to-the-economy speech at Knox College in Illinois struck familiar themes pointing to a popular-if-thwarted middle-class agenda while challenging Republicans not to shut down the government or spark another default crisis.

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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