Saturday, October 22, 2016

Transportation News Round-Up: October 22, 2016

Image courtesy of California High-Speed Rail Authority
This week in transportation, the DOT released new airline guidelines, the California governor scrambled to save his infrastructure legacy, and a proposed commuter rail line in Texas got voted down. Here are the most important and interesting transportation stories from the past week:

Journal of Commerce: Trump and Clinton agree on freight infrastructure and trade - if rhetoric is true
Journal of Commerce associate editor Reynolds Hutchins writes that "the 2016 presidential election has been fraught with divisive discourse and reality television-style drama, but the top two leading candidates appear to actually agree when it comes to matters of transportation infrastructure and trade... Both acknowledge that the nation’s crumbling infrastructure is in desperate need of a billion-dollar booster shot. The two have also been critical of trade deals that stand to significantly impact the cost of moving goods and break down or build regulatory barriers for shippers and logistics providers."

Skift: 6 highlights from the DOT's new passenger-friendly airline guidelines
The U.S. Department of Transportation has announced new rules to make flying more consumer-friendly. Once the guidelines are implemented, airlines will share more operational data (such as percent of on-time flights) and information on mishandled bags and wheelchairs, booking websites will be more upfront about their display biases, and flyers will have baggage fees refunded if its mishandled (not just lost).

The Hill: Dem senator praises US steel after car crash
The Hill reports via Cleveland.com (which posted the original article to Facebook during the major DDoS attack yesterday) that "Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) and a staffer were treated for minor injuries Thursday afternoon after a car crash in a Cleveland suburb... Brown, ranking Democrat on the Senate Banking Committee and one of the Senate's most ardent progressives, praised American manufacturing and government regulations for keeping him safe."

Mercury News: Jerry Brown, allies spend millions to kill measure that could doom high speed rail, Delta tunnels projects
The Mercury News writes, "With less than three weeks until Election Day, Gov. Jerry Brown and his political allies are suddenly pumping money into the campaign to defeat Proposition 53, a previously low-profile measure that could be the death knell of Brown’s high-speed rail and Delta tunnels projects... If passed, Proposition 53 would require a statewide vote to approve any state project costing more than $2 billion that is financed with revenue bonds, which are the likely method of paying many of the costs for high-speed rail and the Delta tunnels."

Austin American-Statesman: Lone Star Rail officially dead after final CAMPO vote
The Austin American-Statesman reports, " The board of the Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization, after a discussion lasting perhaps five minutes Monday evening, took a voice vote removing from its long-range transportation plan the proposed commuter rail line from San Antonio to Georgetown... Conceding that passenger rail in the rapidly growing corridor might someday make sense, the board later discussed using some or all of $9 million in leftover money from the project for a study to explore other possible transportation options along that corridor," such as a managed toll lane, increased Amtrak service along the Union-Pacific freight corridor, or some version of high-speed rail.

Happy reading, and happy weekend!

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