WASHINGTON — Thousands of older rail tank cars that carry crude oil would be phased out within two years under regulations proposed Wednesday in response to a series of fiery train crashes over the past year, including a runaway oil train that exploded in the Quebec town of Lac-Megantic, killing 47 people.
With federal transportation funding about to run dry, President Barack Obama is taking steps to boost the flow of private dollars into public works projects. Using the recently closed I-495 bridge at the Port of Wilmington in Delaware as a backdrop, Obama was set Thursday to announce an initiative to boost private-sector investment in the country’s aging system of highways, bridges and transit systems. Continue reading
States will begin to feel the pain of cutbacks in federal aid as soon as the first week in August if lawmakers don’t act, Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said in a letter to states. That’s because the balance in the federal Highway Trust Fund is dropping and will soon go below $4 billion, the cushion federal officials say is needed for incoming fuel tax revenue to cover outgoing payments to states. Continue reading
After spending more than a decade and billions of dollars on developing zero-emission hydrogen fuel cell vehicles, carmakers are planning to release their models in California. But despite the state’s large demand for cars and tough air quality standards, California lacks a network of fueling stations. Scott Shafer and Sheraz Sadiq of KQED in San Francisco have the story. Continue reading
In commemoration of Bike to Work Day, Hari Sreenivasan explores new statistics on bicycle commuters in the U.S. The Census Bureau reports that the number of Americans who bike to work is up 60 percent in the last decade. The numbers also show that it is the poorest and the richest; least educated and most educated are the most likely to ride to work. Continue reading
Ten years ago, only a few dozen communities had red-light or speed-enforcement cameras. Today, hundreds do. On Saturday, we take a look at a debate in Ohio. Camera advocates say the technology saves lives. Opponents say the devices are profit-centers for municipalities and camera manufacturers and a violation of due process. Continue reading
The emergency order requires that each railroad operating trains containing more than 1 million gallons of crude oil — the equivalent of about 35 tank cars — from the booming Bakken region of North Dakota, Montana and parts of Canada provide information on the trains’ expected movement, including frequency and county-by-county routes, to the states they traverse. The order also requires that railroads disclose the volume of oil being transported and how emergency responders can contact “at least one responsible party” at the railroad. Continue reading
WASHINGTON — Republicans controlling the House unveiled legislation on Tuesday that proposes a huge cut to a transportation grant program championed by President Barack Obama that funds road and bridge projects, light rail networks, port construction and bike paths. Continue reading