On Tuesday, October 29th, 2013 Republicans and Democrats presented a bipartisan report titled "Improving the National's Freight Transportation System." The House Transportation and Infrastucture Committee Chair Bill Shuster (R-PA) and Nick Rahall Jr. (D-WV) collaborated with others in creating a national freight policy. To view the story by Transportation TV, click here.
Last week, the California Green Trade Corridor was presented by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administration to help take traffic off of California’s congested I-580. The corridor will provide shippers with the option of moving cargo through waterways between the Port of Oakland, Stockton and Sacramento. The Department of Transportation dedicated $30 million to the project with an addition of $5 million from local sources. To read more on the story, click here.
Vehicle Miles Traveled Tax Concepts got a lot of attention this past week in the L.A. Times. First, a story written by Evan Halper on the balancing act going on in transportation planning offices with concerns over privacy rights being weighed over the need for increased transportation revenues. Of note in this story is a quote from Hasan Ikhrata, the Executive Director of Transportation CA, that a VMT tax is a “…is a must for our nation.”
Second, an opinion piece from an L.A. Times writer Jon Healey on whether or not a VMT type tax would be better than the current system of fuel taxes. The author correctly notes that “…economy depends on the efficient movement of goods from producers to consumers. Even if you never spend a minute behind the wheel of a car, you still rely on trucks to deliver food to your local grocer, packages to your door, cash to and from retailers, and so on.”
The State Route 99 Madera Rehabilitation Project was completed last week as Caltrans applauded workers on their efficiency to be on time and on budget. Caltrans Director Malcolm Dougherty announced that "This new section of State Route 99 will serve the 65,000 daily commuters, tourists, and truckers who rely on this critical Central Valley corridor." To read more on the project, click here.
Recently, a panel of industry leaders including AASHTO President Michael Lewis, director of the Rhode Island Department of Transportation and AASHTO Board Member and Commonwealth of Virginia Transportation Secretary, Sean Connaughton testified at the Senate Environmental and Public Works Committee. Testimonies involved the topic of the need to invest in America’s infrastructure and preserve federal transportation funding. To get more information, watch the video below.
On Wednesday, October 2nd, Transportation California Executive Director, Will Kempton joined government officials at the Donner Summit rest area to celebrate the completion of I-80. Caltrans finished rebuilding 90 miles of the highway which included restructuring seven bridges, improving lighting and drainage and adding new traffic monitoring systems. The 15 year project accumulated a total of $820 million with $76 million deriving from Proposition 1B. To get more information on the completed project, click here.
As cited in a recent report by TRIP, a national transportation research group, more than a quarter of the nation’s major urban roadways – highways and major streets that are the main routes for commuters and commerce – are in poor condition. These critical links in the nation’s transportation system carry 78 percent of the approximately 2 trillion miles driven annually in urban America. With state and local governments unable to adequately fund road repairs and with the current federal surface transportation program set to expire on September 30, 2014, road conditions could get even worse in the future. California is no stranger to these problems and even features the top 3 worst urban areas for roadway deterioration. Click Here to Read the TRIP Report.
JOC - U.S. cross-border traffic with Canada via truck saw increases in both directions in July, following two months of year-over-year declines in truck imports and exports, according to data from the U.S. Bureau of Transportation Statistics. Rail exports dropped this month, while imports continued to show growth.
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Starting this year, DMV will begin notifying Unified Carrier Registration (UCR) through a postcard instead of a letter. The Unified Carrier Registration (UCR) requires individual and companies that operate commercial motor vehicles in interstate or international commerce to register their business with California and pay an annual fee based on the size of their fleet.
To view the postcard, click here.
The American Association of State HIghway and Transportation (AASHTO) officials awarded two photographs of laborers working on the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge for the Grand Prize and the People's Choice Award in the Faces of Transportation competition. About 19,000 voted online deciding the People's Choice award winner and a judge selected the Grand Prize winner.
To read the full story, click here.