Friday, January 6, 2017

This Week in Transportation: January 6, 2017

Photo by Max Touhey.
This week in transportation, Congressional leaders pushed Trump's infrastructure plan back to the spring, the long-awaited Second Avenue Subway finally opened, and the Nevada Center for Advanced Mobility hosted an automation-themed conference featuring driverless shuttles. Here are the most important and interesting transportation stories from the past week:

Trump’s infrastructure plan likely to take shape later in spring
The Hill reports, "President-elect Donald Trump’s promised infrastructure package will likely take shape after his first 100 days in office, according to top Republican lawmakers on Capitol Hill. Rep. Bill Shuster (R-Pa.), chairman of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, said Congress will focus on finding ways to pay for Trump’s infrastructure proposal during the first few months of his presidency, with a broader package likely to come together later in the spring. 'We’re going to start to work on it, but first of all, you’ve got to figure out the pay-fors, which will come, I believe, in the first 100 days,' Shuster said Wednesday. 'Then in the next second 100 days is when we’ll put together a big infrastructure package.'"

Port Infrastructure and the Role of Government
Lauren K. Brand, associate administrator for Ports and Waterways programs for the Maritime Administration, makes the case for more federal funding dedicated to improving our nation's ports: "We are in the midst of a revolution over port infrastructure. This revolution is not about the role of ports as silent engines for our economy and the need for better intermodal infrastructure. Rather, it is about why governments – local, state and federal – believe ports exist, and whether or not public and private entities, other than those directly responsible for ports, should help build or improve port infrastructure and their intermodal connectors."

Republicans embrace Amtrak’s Gulf Coast rebirth
POLITICO writes, "A decade after Hurricane Katrina wiped out a long stretch of Amtrak's transcontinental passenger route in the Deep South, the railroad is plotting to bring it back. And it’s attracted a seemingly unlikely group of cheerleaders: red-state Republicans. For Amtrak, extending the City of New Orleans line from Louisiana to Orlando, Fla., is a chance to demonstrate that its traditionally money-losing long-distance routes deserve Congress' investment. It could also mark a shift in some Republicans’ attitudes toward Amtrak, after decades of GOP leaders in Washington trying to slash the passenger rail’s funding and force it to dump unprofitable routes."

After Decades of Delays, Second Avenue Subway Finally Starts Rolling
NBC New York reports, "New Yorkers' long wait to take a subway under Manhattan's far Upper East Side ended Sunday when three new stations on the Second Avenue line opened to the public... The nearly 2-mile segment adds stations along Second Avenue at 96th, 86th and 72nd streets and a new connection to an existing subway line at 63rd Street. Seen as crucial to alleviating congestion in the nation's biggest subway system, it is on a line expected to carry about 200,000 riders a day. The entire system transports about 5.6 million riders on an average weekday."

Driverless shuttles move closer to Las Vegas streets
The Las Vegas Sun reports, "Both Local Motors and Keolis discussed plans to bring their self-driving shuttles to the Las Vegas area Tuesday at Mandalay Bay during the GO-NV Summit, presented by the Nevada Center for Advanced Mobility. The half-day conversation about the future of technology, data, and policy surrounding transportation in Nevada focused heavily on automation. Local Motors unveiled its Olli design in June while Keolis and French partner Navya announced its NAVLY vehicle in September. Both driverless shuttles are being tested in other areas (Olli in Maryland, NAVLY in Lyon, France) and likely will debut here in 2017."


Happy reading, and see you at Transportation Camp!

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