Transportation Thursdays

CONGRESS BRIEF
Congress is in session.

Representatives Takano, García, and Pressley Launch Future of Transportation Caucus
Representatives Mark Takano (CA-41), Jesús “Chuy” García (IL-04), and Ayanna Pressley (MA-07) launched the Future of Transportation Caucus, which will be dedicated to creating a new vision for the future of transportation. The caucus will emphasize a transportation system that promotes equity, access, and sustainability. The first order of business for the caucus will is a series of briefings and forums to generate awareness and policy discussions including sustainability, safety, and improved connectivity. Members in the caucus want to refocus discussions on transportation issues that go beyond funding. They want to improve the understanding of the profound impact that transportation infrastructure and planning can have on communities, access to critical jobs and services, and the environment.

Letter From Senator Barrasso to Senator McConnell Regarding Electric Vehicle Tax Credit
Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works (EPW) Chairman John Barrasso (R-WY) sent a letter to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) to express his concerns over legislative efforts to extend the electric vehicle (EV) tax credit. In the letter, Barrasso urges McConnell to oppose these efforts, citing a report from the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) that found up to $81.7 million dollars in inaccurate tax credits that were claimed for ineligible vehicles, from tax years 2013 to 2017.

Senate Transportation-HUD Spending Bill Vote
The fiscal 2020 Transportation-HUD spending bill (S. 2520) is included in a four-bill minibus package on which the Senate will hold a procedural vote Tuesday and a possible final vote by Thursday. According to a statement, Senate Appropriations Chairman Richard Shelby (R-AL.) plans to offer a substitute amendment to the House-passed minibus (H.R.3055), which would provide $86.6 billion in total budgetary resources for the Transportation Department. Spending highlights for the transportation bill include $46.3 billion in obligations for the Highway Trust Fund, $2.7 billion discretionary appropriations for highway programs, $17.7 billion for the Federal Aviation Administration, $2.8 billion for the Federal Railroad Administration; $13 billion for the Federal Transit Administration and $904 million for the Maritime Administration.

ADMINISTRATION

Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao Announces Further Decreases in Roadway Fatalities
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) released highway crash fatality data for 2018, showing a 2.4 percent decline in overall fatalities, the second consecutive year of reduced crash fatalities. The data, compiled by NHTSA’s Fatality Analysis Reporting System, shows that highway fatalities decreased in 2018 with 913 fewer fatalities, down to 36,560 people from 37,473 people in 2017. The fatality rate per 100 million vehicle miles traveled also decreased by 3.4 percent (from 1.17 in 2017 to 1.13 in 2018), the lowest fatality rate since 2014. In addition to the 2018 numbers, NHTSA also released initial estimates for the first half of 2019, which suggest that this overall positive trend may be continuing. 

Truck Mileage Tax Would Boost Receipts, Create Costs, CBO Says
The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released a report finding that by imposing a 7.5-cent tax for every mile a commercial trucker drives would generate enough new revenue to replace the Highway Trust Fund taxes that truck owners now pay and also cover the industry’s share of the fund’s current shortfall. However, this would come at a high cost to trucking companies and at a higher cost to the federal government than the administrative costs of collecting the current diesel fuel tax. Gas and diesel fuel taxes are now the main funding source for the Highway Trust Fund and due to increased spending, the CBO is predicting that the fund will run out by 2022 without an infusion of new dollars. As the surface transportation is set to expire in 2020 lawmakers are looking for ways to implement a vehicle miles traveled (VMT) tax and commercial trucks may be equipped to handle a VMT tax by then.

REGIONS

Space Florida Awarded $90 Million Infrastructure Grant from U.S. Department of Transportation
Space Florida was recently awarded a $90 million infrastructure improvement grant by the Department of Transportation (DOT). Space Florida intends on using the grant on three interrelated projects, including replacing the aging SR 405 bridge over the Indian River Lagoon, widening Space Commerce Way, and revitalizing a 3.7-mile stretch of NASA Parkway West. They expect all projects to take five years top complete. Space Florida is partnering with the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) and NASA’s Kennedy Space Center to support growing aerospace industry and launch activities at the Cape Canaveral Spaceport. Current infrastructure will be replaced with two new high-span bridges, and the widening of the roadways will facilitate launch traffic, simplify transport of oversized launch hardware, and improve access for visitors.

JOBS
View full list of jobs!

Director, Planning
Posted 10/23/2019
Contra Costa Transportation Authority, Walnut Creek, CA

Associate or Senior Regional Planner
Posted 10/22/2019
San Joaquin Council of Governments, Stockton, CA

Senior GIS Analyst
Posted 10/22/2019
Houston-Galveston Area Council, Houston, TX

Accountant
Posted 10/22/2019
Houston-Galveston Area Council, Houston, TX

Accounting/Finance Coordinator
Posted 10/22/2019
Houston-Galveston Area Council, Houston, TX

OPPORTUNITIES
View full list opportunities!

2019 Consortium for Scenario Planning Conference
November 6-8, Registration open until October 25 
This is the last chance to sign up  for the 2019 Consortium for Scenario Planning Conference hosted by the Capital Region Council of Governments (CRCOG) in Hartford, Connecticut. Centered around “Paths to Resilience,” this year’s event will feature tracks for newcomers, regional planners, and both transportation and climate specialists — as well as a walking tour and a participant-driven “Unconference” session.

Infrastructure Use by EVs and Emission Impacts of EVs in TNCs
Monday, October 28 – 10:00 AM ET
Key findings that will be discussed in this webinar will include the role of residential electricity pricing and the substitution between home and workplace charging observed particularly when the latter is free, and how improvements in vehicle technology will impact charging behavior and thereby demand for infrastructure. If electric range of the plug-in electric vehicle is high (more than 200 miles for most vehicles), demand for workplace and public infrastructure would be different compared to what is observed now.
 
Access and Mobility for All Summit
Tuesday, October 29 – 1:00 PM ET at U.S. DOT Headquarters
The summit is intended to raise awareness of DOT and government-wide efforts to improve access and mobility for people with disabilities, older adults, and individuals of low income. The summit will include keynote remarks from Secretary of Transportation Elaine L. Chao and discussions with leaders across academia, industry and government as well as a showcase of innovations enabling expanded access to mobility for people with disabilities.

New York City Department of Transportation (NYCDOT) Connected Vehicle Pilot
Monday, November 4 – 4:00 PM ET
The NYCDOT leads the New York City Pilot, which aims to improve the safety of travelers and pedestrians in the city through the deployment of V2V and V2I connected vehicle technologies. This objective directly aligns with the city’s Vision Zero initiative.

ITS UCSAVIS: Gentrification and Displacement Near Los Angeles Rail Transit Stations
Wednesday, November 6 – 10:00 AM ET
This webinar will summarize findings from a project aimed at addressing new rail transit and its relationship with the displacement of low-income residents in near-rail neighborhoods. The Los Angeles metropolitan area presents an ideal study area for analyzing transit-oriented development (TOD) and potential displacement.
 
Managing 21st Century Mobility
Wednesday, November 6 – 1:00 PM ET
INRIX will discuss their latest findings from their research study that ranks the top USA, UK and German cities where micromobility has the most potential as a short-range transportation option. Attendees will also get a firsthand look at the new INRIX Road Rules platform and will learn how to better manage emerging mobility options like dockless bikes/scooters, TNCs and AVs.
 
Beyond the Physical: Mental and Social Benefits of Walkable Communities
Wednesday, November 20 – 2:00 PM ET
In this webinar attendees will learn about the benefits of walking that extend beyond individual physical health. This webinar is intended for those who are familiar with topics and issues related to walking and walkability such how walkability. Also included in this webinar are social benefits correlated with walkable communities.

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