November 27, 2015

Senate toughens up on longer, heavier trucks


The U.S. Senate on Nov. 10, 2015, passed a motion opposing the allowance of twin 33-foot trailers on federal highways in a 56-31 vote. The amendment, “Motion to Instruct Conferees of the Highway Bill on Double 33-Foot Trailer Trucks,” would instruct conferees to allow the U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary to issue a federal rule [...]

U.S. DOT awards $500 million in rail grants


The U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) last week unveiled its decisions in awarding the seventh round of Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grant program. The agency announced it had awarded a total $500 million in grants to 39 projects in 34 different states, with some projects crossing state lines. The awards followed the departments evaluation of [...]

DOT releases new freight transportation data


Dollar value of goods moved on the transportation network greater than ever before WASHINGTON – U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) released the first product from the newest version of the “Freight Analysis Framework,” the most comprehensive publicly available data set of freight movement. The new data [...]

FMCSA, FRA begin work on sleep apnea rulemaking


WASHINGTON – If left untreated, sleep apnea poses serious risks to anyone who sits behind the wheel of a commercial motor vehicle or climbs into the cab of a locomotive. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) recently initiated a rulemaking project to evaluate – and treat, when applicable [...]

DOT releases draft national freight strategic plan


SEATTLE – Because the future of our economy rests on a strong transportation system to move materials and products, today, U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx released the draft National Freight Strategic Plan, which offers specific policy proposals and solutions to address the growing challenges of moving freight in this country. Now open for public comment, [...]

Secretary Foxx shows need for robust funding


WASHINGTON – With federal surface transportation funding set to expire on May 31, thousands of stakeholders will rally together for Infrastructure Week to urge Congress to say “no” to more short-term measures and “yes” to a long-term funding solution. In support of the third annual Infrastructure Week, U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx is participating today in kick-off [...]

Foxx announces grant to expand rail service in Boston

SOMERVILLE, Mass. – U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx announced a $996 million federal grant agreement to extend Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) Green Line light rail service from East Cambridge to Somerville and Medford. The extension will provide faster and more efficient travel to jobs in downtown Boston and will serve some of the region’s [...]

Shorter bus contracts protect earnings

By Richard Deiser Vice President, Bus Department Kudos to Alternate Bus Vice President-East Calvin Studivant and Alternate Bus Vice President-West Bonnie Morr for being chosen as delegates to the AFL-CIO convention in Pittsburgh, where a highlight was President Obama’s speech that may be viewed on the UTU Web site at Calvin reports that he [...]

LaHood confirmed to head DOT

WASHINGTON — By unanimous voice vote, former Rep. Ray LaHood (R-Ill.) was confirmed by the Senate Jan. 22 as President Obama’s transportation secretary. A day earlier, the Senate Commerce Committee enthusiastically recommended the confirmation. LaHood becomes the 16th transportation secretary since DOT was created by Congress in 1967. A listing of his predecessors is found, [...]

Baffoni: Progress on members’ behalf

By Vic Baffoni Vice President, Bus Dept. Thank you to all who attended regional meeting workshops in Denver and Nashville, and those who made presentations. By the comments received, the workshops were a great success. Our bus workshops had the largest attendance in many years, and we are working on improving them even more for [...]