Wired Takes You Inside the World’s Busiest Air Traffic Control Tower

July 31, 2009 at 10:33 am

(Source: Wired)

The awesome folks at Wired recently covered the AirVenture aviation show @ Oshkosh, Wisconsin.  Check out the excerpts below from the Wired article.

OSHKOSH, Wisconsin — For one week every year, the air traffic control tower at the small airport here is the busiest in the world. And today is the busiest day of all for the hand-picked all-star crew of controllers who will handle more than 3,000 flights in just 10 hours.

On a normal day, Wittman Regional Airport might see a few hundred take-offs and landings. But more than 10,000 aircraft from around the world descend on Oshkosh for the week-long AirVenture aviation show. On a slow day the controllers might direct 1,500 flights. Some days see more than 2,000. But with many of those who arrived early in the week heading home — and those coming in for the weekend arriving — Thursday is usually the busiest day of the week.

On this day last year, the tower directed 3,035 flights in just 10 hours. That’s about 400 more than the crew at Atlanta-Hartsfield International Airport — usually the busiest in the world — handled on the same day, and the flights coming into Atlanta were spread out over 24 hours. Oshkosh tower manager and veteran controller Wanda Adelman told Wired.com there are some bragging rights that come with the job here, “we actually beat O’Hare” she says referring to the Chicago airport which is the busiest in the region, “we beat Atlanta too, but nobody cares about Atlanta. They just want to know that we beat O’Hare.”

They get a bright pink polo shirt that is one of the most sought-after prizes of their profession.

It’s a carefully choreographed ballet that requires the utmost attention from both the controllers and the pilots, who must read a 32-page guideline (.pdf) of the procedure. Flying into or out of Wittman during AirVenture can be unnerving for the uninitiated, as pilots often find themselves flying much closer to other airplanes than they typically would.

Inside, there are two teams of controllers at any given time. Each team has two people. One keeps watch over the airfield and the airspace through binoculars and relays information to the other person, who communicates with the pilots.

A formation flies over the control tower at AirVenture, which for the week of the show is the busiest in the world.

Click here to read the entire article and to check out some more awesome pictures.

‘Cash for clunkers’ program may end today; House seeks $2B more cash to continue the program

July 31, 2009 at 9:39 am

(Source: AP via Yahoo; Freep & Photo Courtesy: TOBY TALBOT/Associated Press via Free)

The Obama administration promised on Friday that the financially strapped “cash for clunkers” program will be good at least through the day.

Less than four days after launching a popular cash-for-clunkers program, the Obama administration warned Congress the plan already had burned through its $950-million budget, setting off a rush for more money while leaving thousands of dealers and consumers in the lurch.

A White House official told the Free Press late Thursday that all valid deals made under the program so far would be honored, saying it had not been suspended. But administration sources could not say what car buyers hoping to trade their clunker for a new vehicle should do today.

The House is set to adjourn today for a monthlong recess, but Michigan lawmakers and administration officials were pushing for an emergency infusion of cash today. A spokesman for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said any request would be “quickly reviewed.”

Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., said he got the word from Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood as members of the Ohio and Michigancongressional delegations huddled on Capitol Hill to discuss ways to keep the popular program going.

“Beyond Friday,” Levin said, “depends on whether the administration can find some money.”

One participant in the meeting said they were examining possible funding sources and whether there were any glitches in the computer system. The participant, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the talk, said they were also studying how many dealers had enrolled in the system.

Through Wednesday afternoon, more than 23,000 dealer franchises were participating, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

The administration dispatched Brian Deese, a top adviser to the Treasury’s auto task force, to the Hill meeting.

Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., said about 40,000 new vehicles had been purchased through the program but dealers estimate another 200,000 vehicles have been sold in transactions that have not yet been completed through the program.

Earl Stewart, who owns a Toyota dealership in North Palm Beach, Fla., said the changing messages on the program has created confusion among his customers and his staff. Stewart’s accounting department also could only enter about a dozen of the 47 sales he made into the government Web site set up to handle the transactions, leaving him wondering if he will get refunded for the remaining vouchers.

Click here to read the entire article.

Breaking News Update:

The Detroit Free Press reports that the U.S. House will vote on $2 billion in additional funding for the cash-for-clunkers program this afternoon.

Michigan lawmakers huddled in the Capitol this morning with a White House official discussing ways to get the cash-for-clunkers program under control. The program is still under way, they said.

While the Obama administration said the plan was not suspended, it doesn’t know how many deals have been made under the program and whether the $950 million available to the plan is enough to cover the deals already made.

The administration may consider whether money from the economic stimulus plan can be diverted to the program.

Click here to read the  update.

ULI Study Says U.S. Can Cut Vehicle Carbon Emissions in Half by 2050; Raising Price of Driving Is Key To Reducing GHG Emissions

July 30, 2009 at 7:04 pm
(Source: Environmental Leader, Hybrid Cars, CitiesGoGreen)
The importance of sustainable land development in mitigating climate change is highlighted in a comprehensive new research report, Moving Cooler: An Analysis of Transportation Strategies for Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions published by the Urban Land Institute.

The report evaluates incremental reductions in U.S. carbon emissions that could occur within the transportation sector as a result of a variety of transportation- and land use-related actions and strategies to minimize auto use. The report finds that land use strategies will produce the most emission reductions of all 50 strategies analyzed by the report.

Focusing solely on energy-efficient vehicles and cleaner fuels will not address the problem of reducing greenhouse gas emissions, according to this recent report. A key finding indicates that the U.S. could cut greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by as much as 24 percent by 2050, without road pricing strategies, through changes to current transportation systems and operations, travel behavior, land use patterns and regulatory strategies.

With pricing measures such as pay-as-you-go drive insurance, direct fees for vehicle miles traveled, carbon pricing or increased gasoline tax, GHG emissions reductions could be as high as 41 to 52 percent.

The research, prepared by Cambridge Systematics, Inc., focuses on strategies to reduce vehicle miles traveled and improve the efficiency of the transportation network. Land use is one of nine categories of strategies considered by Moving Cooler, along with transportation pricing and taxes, public transportation improvements, non-motorized transport such as walking and biking, regulations to moderate vehicle use and speed, intelligent systems, expanded highway capacity and more efficient freight movement. The effectiveness of each strategy in cutting greenhouse gas emissions is measured against a baseline that represents current trends.

Moving Cooler outlines a number of bundled strategies for discouraging travel in personal vehicles:

  • create more transportation -efficient land use patterns
  • encourage greater levels of walking and bicycling as alternatives to driving
  • support ride-sharing, car-sharing, and other efficient commuting strategies
  • subsidize public transportation fares, expanded routes and new infrastructure
  • improve intelligent transportation systems to make better use of the existing capacity and encourage more efficient driving
  • expand capacity and relieve bottlenecks to reduce congestion

But none of these steps will be as effective as establishing “strong economy-wide pricing measures.” For example, adding $0.60 to the price of a gallon of gasoline, starting in 2015 and increasing to $1.25 per gallon in 2050 could result in a 17 percent reduction of GHG in 2050, according to the study. If we introduced a fee similar to current European fuel taxes, starting at $2.40 a gallon in 2015 and jumping to $5.00 a gallon in 2050, we could see a 28 percent reduction in 2050. (These fees presumably would be added to the market price for gasoline.)

Moving Cooler points out that economy-wide pricing measures — such as an increase in the gasoline tax, carbon pricing, and pay-as-you-drive insurance – would produce the most significant reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, due to the likelihood of substantial shifts in driving behavior mandated by the high costs. However, outside of these pricing measures, the land use strategies produce the most emission reductions of any of the other strategies analyzed. Moreover, the costs of implementing such changes in development patterns are offset by the substantial savings in the cost of vehicle ownership and maintenance, the report adds.

The study’s authors say these pricing measures would have two effects: to cut back on vehicle miles traveled and to accelerate implementation and purchase of fuel-efficient vehicles—like hybrids, plug-in hybrids, and electric cars.

Moving Cooler cites multiple benefits derived from combining concentrated, mixed-use land development strategies and non-motorized transportation strategies to reduce auto dependency: “The combined effect of more compact land use, improved transit service and improved bicycle and pedestrian conditions would be to improve mobility by non-automobile modes…Increased opportunities for walking and biking will lead to improvements in public health, and exercise and activity levels increase. Finally, denser development can lead to energy and greenhouse gas savings through decreased building use, in addition to transportation efficiencies.”

Click here to read the Executive Summary or here to download the the entire report in PDF.

In the News: Top Headlines on Cash For Clunkers a.k.a. Car Allowance Rebate System (CARS)

July 30, 2009 at 6:29 pm

CARS tells dealers how to kill a C4C’s engine

…LegalCash for Clunkers can be a bit complicated, what with last minute rule changes and the multitudes of stipulations ingrained into the program. However, one aspect of C4C that leaves little to the imagination is what happens when a vehicle is turned in under the program: The engine is permanently wrecked, and the vehicle is destroyed.The offi…

Making the Most of Your Clunker Cash

…new government Cash for Clunkers program (or Car Allowance Rebate System – CARS). The dealers have set out all their signs and wacky personalities and inflatable monkeys – all to get you to trade in your clunker for a better car right now. I’ve spent some time discussing CARS with Ann Mesnikoff, head of the Sierra Club’s Green Transportation Ca…

Cash for Clunkers racks up 22,782 trade-ins and $95.9 million so far

…s Cash for Clunkers program returned 4,026 orders on its first full day of availability, some were surprised by the speed with which the sales booster took off. After only five days, the program seems to have picked up steam rather than lost it: 22,782 trade-ins have funneled through dealer lots in the 3-4 days since Monday when the program beg…

Shady Website Claims D-List Stars Support Cash For Reasonably Clunked Cars [Carpocalypse]

…to the Cash For Clunkers program has been nefarious types creating websites posing as helpful/official sites (the only official one is CARS.gov) and snagging personal data. A practice now endorsed by D-list celebs. The most hilarious/awful instance of this practice we’ve yet seen is the “Cash For Clunkers Automotive Network,” promoting sites lik…

REPORT: 9 of Top 10 clunkers being traded in are large trucks

cash for clunkers“) program, people are taking old vehicles and turning them into new ones, with a fancy $4,500 check attached. Now that CARS has been active for a short while, early numbers are in: the trucks and SUVs that were so incredibly popular just a few years ago are being dumped by the thousands for smaller, more efficient vehicles. A…

Cash For Clunkers Update: 22,782 Trade-Ins, Money May Run Out By September! [Carpocalypse]

Cash For Clunkers has quickly encouraged 22,782 trade-ins for $95.9 million. At this rate, NHTSA forecasts the one billion dollar fund could run dry by early September.

Where the fiasco is at today, a Cash for Clunkers update

Cash for Clunkers” program has transitioned from Congressionally-passed legislation to NHTSA rule book, it has at same time gone from a great way to get old gas guzzlers off the road to something resembling a fiasco. Over the course of the past week, dealers have worried that they might be subject to income taxes on the rebates they collect and …

Cash For Clunkers Worthless For Most Auto Recyclers [Carpocalypse]

…suggest the Cash For Clunkers program is creating some new cars sales, but it’s also creating questions: are there incentives forrecyclers? Can you strip down your own car? Is the CARS Act “horseshit beyond repair” for recyclers? According to the law, there are approximately 7,700 car recyclers who have the ability to process cars because they …

Cash for Clunkers program nets 4,000 sales on first day

…s Cash for Clunkers program only got off the ground on Monday, yet 4,026 eligible vehicles were reportedly swapped out in the program’s first day. The program already has 20,564 certified Clunkers dealers, which gives eligible customers plenty of places to tocash in on the federal program. That is, assuming the EPA didn’t make your vehicle inel…

Hoping to snag a Jetta TDI with your clunker cash? Sorry, you may be too late!

…click above for high-res image gallery Undoubtedly, one vehicle with the potential to profit handsomely from this week’s expected rush by Americans to unload old gas guzzlers for newer, more thrifty vehicles is Volkswagen’s Jetta TDI. With owners reporting typical real-world mileage of around 35-40 mpg along with superior dynamics to most hybri…

REPORT: EPA ratings changes shift some “clunkers” out of cash range

…official rules for the CAR Allowance Rebate System (CARS, also known as the Consumer Assistance to Recycle and Save Act of 2009 and the “cash for clunkers” bill) were released. Also last Friday, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) “refreshed” the combined mpg ratings on its Fuel Economy website. Why does this matter? Turns out the refres…

Full List Of Disqualified Cars Under Cash For Clunkers Refresh [Carpocalypse]

…the disqualified cash for clunkers vehicles. Below, the cars recently made eligible and ineligible after the EPA “refresh.” According to the EPA, what’s used on the window sticker or on their website is considered to be purely for guidance, whereas the Cash ForClunkers (i.e. CARS Act) program requires data out to the fourth decimal place. When …

Eight Ways To Get Screwed By Cash For Clunkers [Carpocalypse]

…screwed the Cash For Clunkers bill. A lot has happened in a month and we now we’ve got three more ways to get screwed. 8.) Buy A Clunker Now! Some unscrupulous sellers may try and convince you to buy a clunker for a few hundred dollars with the promise of being able to trade it in for a $4,500 voucher. In reality, if you haven’t owned your car a…

Kalashnikovs for Clunkers: The Next Stimulus Plan

…t qualify for the federal CashforClunkers rebate program, Mark Muller of Max Motors in Butler, Missouri, has an offer you might want to consider: get a free AK-47 with a new truck. The dealer, whose motto is “God, Guns, Guts and American Pick-Up Trucks,” one-upped himself from last year’s offer of pistols or petrol, and said that…

The Next Stimulus Plan: Kalashnikovs for Clunkers

…t qualify for the federal “cash for clunkers” rebate program, Mark Muller of Max Motors in Butler, Missouri, has an offer you might want to consider: get a free AK-47 with a new truck. The dealer, whose motto is “God, Guns, Guts and American Pick-Up Trucks,” one-upped himself after last year’s offer of pistols or petro and…

Hoping to snag a Jetta TDI with your clunker cash? Too late!

…click above for high-res image gallery Undoubtedly one of the vehicles could have profited handsomely from this week’s expected rush by Americans to unload old gas guzzlers for something more thrifty was Volkswagen’s Jetta TDI. With its typical 35-40 mpg real-world mileage, superior dynamics to most hybrids and relatively sedate pricing, the Je…

REPORT: EPA performs 11th-hour refresh that makes some cars ineligible for Cash forClunkers

…fore the federal Car Allowance Rebate System – CARS (a.k.a. “CashforClunkers“) program went into effect last week. The sweetening $3,500 and $4,500 incentives are available to consumers who trade-in 1984 or newer vehicles with a combined fuel economy average of 18 miles-per-gallon, or less in exchange for more fuel efficient transportation (22…

Show Us The Clunkers! [Show Your Pics]

…With the Cash For Clunkers trade-in program in full swing, we think it’s time to take the pulse of the state of our clunker nation. So grab your cameras Jalopni-philes and head over to your local dealership. Give us your photos of traded-in clunkers in the comments below and we’ll make sure they show up on the front page. The commenters who get …

Gray Market Cars, a Cash for Clunkers Stumper

…car qualify for the cash for clunkers program? It is just one of many issues that Congress did not anticipate while creating the law.

REPORT: Dealers may have to pay taxes on Cash for Clunkers rebates

Cash for Clunkers” program, or CARS (Car Allowance Rebate System) that launched yesterday. As the rebate program kicks into gear, dealers that are hoping to cash in are facing a new worry. But according to Automotive News, they may end up having to pay federal and/or state taxes on the rebate money they receive from the federal government. It se…

EPA Secretly Changing MPG Numbers Ahead Of Cash For Clunkers, Screwing Consumers [Cash For Clunkers]

clunkers” for new vehicles through the Cash for Clunkers (or CARS) program are discovering the EPA changed fuel economy numbers for some cars last week, making it impossible to trade them in! Update. New Jersey resident Jeff Chase was considering trading in his 1989 Mazda 929 for a new car and checked the government’s FuelEconomy.gov website and…

smart USA president Dave Schembri on clunkers, upcoming electric smarts

…2009 Smart ForTwo – Click above for high-res image gallery In the first year that smart fortwo’s were available in the U.S., the company sold about 30,000 units. After that first heady period, though, sales dropped off dramatically. In June 2009, the company sold just 1,116 fortwos and in May the number was 1,169, for an annual rate of just over…

From the Dept. of Mixed Messages: LaHood Touts ‘Cash for Clunkers

cash for clunkers” program. Originally touted as a boost to both the environment and the adrift domestic auto industry, the “cashfor clunkers” concept quickly became nothing but the latter after Congress watered it down to apply to cars that get as little as 22 miles per gallon — and trucks that boast even lower fuel…

REPORT: Nissan engineers tweaking vehicles to meet CashforClunkers requirements

…Click above for a high-res gallery In an effort to sweeten the incentive for those taking advantage of the government’s Car Allowance Rebate System (a.k.a. “CashforClunkers“), Nissan has reportedly sent its engineers back to the lab in order to pinch every last mile out of each gallon of fuel. As it is written, the program offers a sweeter inc…

Cash for Clunkers Begins Today

cash for clunkers,” finally kicks off with a press conference this morning by the transportation secretary, Ray LaHood.

REPORT: CashForClunkers dealers instructed to kill engines with sodium silicate

…s CashForClunkers program were being certified as destroyed, but actually being resold. To prevent that scenario from repeating itself in the U.S., land of Honest Abe, dealers have apparently been instructed to fill the engines of trade-ins with sodium silicate and run them for seven minutes in order to permanently disable them. Early reports …

2009 GIS in Transit Conference: The Route to Success in Transit GIS – November 16-18, 2009 @ St. Petersburg, Florida

July 30, 2009 at 5:52 pm

Sponsored by URISA and the National Center for Transit Research (NCTR)

URISA and the University of South Florida’s National Center for Transit Research at the Center for Urban Transportation Research (CUTR) are pleased to announce a new partnership to present the 2009 GIS in Transit Conference, taking place Hilton Bayfront in the waterfront district of downtown St. Petersburg, Florida, November 16-18, 2009.

The Conference Committee has organized an educational program based upon the abstracts submitted through a Call for Participation. Abstracts were submitted within these general topic categories: Applications, Tools, Data, and Management & Policy.

Preliminary Conference Schedule

Click on each day below to see session, presenter and topic detail.

Monday, November 16, 2009

8:30am –  5:00pm Pre-Conference Workshops

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

8:30am – 09:30am Welcome & Keynote Speaker
9:30am – 10:30am Grand Opening & Networking Break in Exhibit Hall
10:30am – 12:00pm Breakout Sessions
12:00pm –   1:30pm Roundtable Discussion Lunch with Dessert in Exhibit Hall
1:30pm –  3:00pm Breakout Sessions
3:00pm –  3:30pm Networking Break in Exhibit Hall
3:30pm –  5:00pm Breakout Sessions
5:00pm –  6:00pm Networking  Reception in Exhibit Hall
6:00pm – 9:00pm Offsite Conference Social Event (TBA!)

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

8:30am – 10:00am General Session
10:00am – 10:30am Networking Break in Exhibit Hall
10:30am – 12:00pm Breakout Sessions
12:00pm –   1:30pm Lunch on own
1:30pm –  3:00pm Breakout Sessions
3:00pm –  3:30pm Beverage Break
3:30pm –  5:00pm Closing General  Session


Early Rate (if Registered by October 5, 2009)

  • Full Registration:
    URISA Member – $275
    Non-Member – $300

Regular Rate (if registered after October 5, 2009)

  • Full Registration:
    URISA Member – $350
    Non-Members – $375

Pre-Conference Workshops: $195

Conference Sponsors

The National Center for Transit Research (NCTR) is located at the Center for Urban Transportation Research at the University of South Florida.  NCTR strives to make public transportation and alternative forms of transportation, including managed lanes, safe, effective, efficient, desirable, and secure. The goals of NCTR are: to minimize traffic congestion, maximize mobility options, promote safety and security, improve the environment, and enhance community sustainability. This will be accomplished by conducting applied and advanced research, energetically disseminating the results, and expanding the workforce of transportation professionals through education and training to address the challenges and opportunities of the future.  The National Transit GIS Conference is one of the many efforts by NCTR to forward its goals.  For more about NCTR please visit: www.nctr.usf.edu.

The 2009 GIS in Transit Conference is proudly endorsed by:

For more information, please visit: http://www.urisa.org/gis_transit

First IEEE Vehicular Networking Conference 2009 (IEEE VNC 2009) – October 28-30 @ Tokyo, Japan

July 30, 2009 at 5:35 pm

IEEE VNC 2009 is a new conference established with the merger of IEEE V2VCOM and IEEE AutoNet Workshops under IEEE ITS Society and IEEE ComSoc.

  • 2009.07.27
    Submissions deadline extended to August 10. This is a final extension.
  • 2009.07.06
    Submissions are now being accepted on the PaperCept site.

(Source: Bernie Wagenblast’s Transportation Communications Newsletter)

Bernie’s Transportation Communications Newsletter (TCN) – July 30, 2009

July 30, 2009 at 5:21 pm

Thursday, July 30, 2009 – ISSN 1529-1057

Register Now for IBTTA’s 77th Annual Meeting & Exhibition, September 13-16, 2009 in Chicago, Illinois!

IBTTA’s 77th Annual Meeting & Exhibition is the most significant gathering of toll industry professionals in the world. Attend this meeting and interact with the most influential experts and decision makers from around the globe and discuss ideas and solutions about transportation financing strategies, the future of tolling and paying for mobility, AET and Interoperability, new ideas for the new economy and sustainable transportation. Featured speakers include Stuart Varney, Business and Financial Journalist and Mark Shields, Syndicated Columnist and Political Analyst. Register by August 14 and receive a $100 discount off your registration fee. This meeting is hosted by the Illinois Tollway and will be held at the Hyatt Regency. For information on registration, hotel reservations, exhibiting or sponsorship, visit IBTTA’s website at www.ibtta.org Register today and get ready for the Transformation of Transportation!


1) Continental Installing Live Satellite TV on Planes

Link to story in USA Today:


2) On the FAA’s Slow and Steady SWIM to Open Source

Link to column in InformationWeek:


3) Manhattan, Kansas Airport Hopes to Compete Against Bigger Airports with New Web Site

Link to story on KTKA-TV:


Link to site:  http://www.flymhk.com/


4) Ohio DOT Wary of Twitter, Facebook, Other Social Media Sites as Other States Jump In

Link to story in The Plain Dealer:


5) ‘Eye in the Sky’ has a Different Perspective on Traffic Jams

Link to story in the Inland Valley Daily Bulletin:



6) Caltrain Tweaking Its ‘Toots’ and ‘Tweets’

Link to story in The Daily Journal:



7) Flying Surveillance Robots Coming Soon from Aeryon

Link to column on CNET News:


8) Ban Texting? Just Require Smarter Cars and Trucks

Link to story in Network World:



9) Des Moines Buses to Honk More to Curb Accidents

Link to AP story:


10) Frustrated Caltrain Riders Turn to Twitter to Find Out About Delays

Link to Bay Area News Group story:



11) Central Command for Emergencies

A look inside Fairfax County, Virginia’s new public safety building.

Link to story in Centre View


News Releases

1) Continental Airlines Revolutionizes Customer Support with Online Virtual Expert

2) Rising Demand for Infotainment Platforms Compels Automakers to Provide Scalable and Cost-effective Solutions for Small and Luxury Vehicles

Upcoming Events

IEEE Vehicular Networking Conference – October 28-30 – Tokyo


Today in Transportation History

1904 **105th anniversary – Buck Crump, CEO of the Canadian Pacific Railroad who oversaw its conversion from steam to diesel engines, was born in Revelstoke, British Columbia.


=========================================================================The Transportation Communications Newsletter is published electronically Monday through Friday.

To subscribe send an e-mail to: TCNL-subscribe@googlegroups.com

To unsubscribe send an e-mail to: TCNL-unsubscribe@googlegroups.com

TCN archives: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/transport-communications

Questions, comments about the TCN? Please write the editor, Bernie Wagenblast at i95berniew@aol.com.

© 2009 Bernie Wagenblast

U.S. House of Representatives approves $7 billion emergency cash infusion for Highway Trust Fund

July 30, 2009 at 5:16 pm

(Source: Washington Post & AASHTO)

Supporters garnered the necessary two-thirds support to push through the stop-gap measure intended to keep the Highway Trust Fund solvent through September 30, the end of the fiscal year. The vote was 363 to 68.

The government estimates the account could run dry within several weeks without an emergency infusion of cash. The fund provides states with about $40 billion per year in transportation construction funding.

Trust fund disbursements are separate from the billions in economic stimulus money dedicated to states for transportation projects.

The Senate is expected to act on the temporary trust fund measure before the end of next week, and lawmakers plan to address a longer-term remedy after their August recess.

During the 40 minutes of House floor debate this afternoon, supporters argued the Highway Trust Fund needs additional funding immediately to prevent the payment slowdown to states, which could cause states to then curtail their road construction activity. Opponents contended the transfer is not paid for by any new revenue source and that Congress needs to stop bailing out the Highway Trust Fund. Congress sent the fund an additional $8 billion last September when a similar funding crisis developed due to lower revenue in the trust fund than had been projected as a result of Americans driving less during the economic recession and thus paying less in gasoline and diesel taxes as well as in heavy-truck taxes.

The House bill approved today contains no extension of authority for federal surface transportation programs, which is scheduled to lapse Sept. 30 at the end of this fiscal year. While House leaders have been pushing a full six-year authorization measure, the Obama administration and the Senate have favored a temporary extension of current authority for 18 months. Today’s House vote means Congress will have to face the authorization question in September after returning from the summer recess.

House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman James Oberstar, D-MN, said during today’s floor debate that he regrets Congress must take action to shore up the Highway Trust Fund. But the drop in vehicle miles traveled experienced over the past year and a half has left the trust fund short of its revenue projections, necessitating an infusion, he said. Oberstar’s six-year, $500 billion authorization measure has been approved by subcommittee but not been brought up before the full T&I Committee yet because there is no agreement with the House Ways and Means Committee on how to raise the extra revenue needed to pay for it.

Click here to read the entire article.

Bernie’s Transportation Communications Newsletter (TCN) – July 29, 2009

July 30, 2009 at 11:24 am

Wednesday, July 29, 2009 – ISSN 1529-1057

Traffic Technologies Inc., an established toll system and ITS consulting firm providing technical, operational, and financial consulting to the toll industry, is seeking a West Coast based Senior Toll System Consultant. The position requires comprehensive knowledge of toll systems and demonstrated ability in the application of industry best practices to the development of systems and services required for toll transaction acquisition and processing, and all aspects of toll system analysis and development.

Bachelor’s degree (Masters preferred) in an Engineering curriculum

7+ years of demonstrated experience in the toll industry.

US Citizen or Green Card

See more details at http://www.t-t-i.com/careers_20090727.html

Send resumes and cover letter in confidence to: resume@t-t-i.com


1) National Transportation Safety Board Plan Aims to Shield Planes from Bird Risks

Link to story in USA Today:


2) Congress to Toughen Airline Standards

Measures include additional emergency training and improved availability of pilot records.

Link to story in USA Today:


3) US Department of Homeland Security Stimulates Airports with $7.7 Million for Surveillance

Link to story in Government Video:


4) Optimizing Communication
Officials at Akron-Canton Airport reach new customers via the Web’s social sphere.

Link to story in Airport Business:



5) Red-Light Traffic Cameras Will Stay Online Despite Firm’s Money Troubles

Link to story in the Daily Breeze:



6) Global Sales of GPS Phones Seen Up 34% in 2009

Link to Reuters story:



7) US Department of Homeland Security Secretary Outlines Counter-Terrorism Strategy

Link to story in The Washington Post:


8) US Lawmakers Propose Ban on Texting While Driving

Link to AP story:


9) US Transportation Security Administration Wants Contact Info and Incident Reports from Pipeline Operators

Link to story in Government Security News:



10) ‘Rail’-Time Information

Twitter accounts set up for each New York City subway line.

Link to story in the New York Post:


11) Charlie Card Users Get New Online Options

Link to story in The Boston Globe:


12) Atheist Group Wins Fight to Put Ads on Indiana Buses

Link to AP story:



13) Nissan Plans iPhone App for Electric Car

Link to story in The New York Times:


14) Swooning Over AT&T’s New Project

Car TV service CruiseCast is promising — if only it didn’t make us carsick.

Link to story in Fortune:


News Releases

1) Frost & Sullivan Finds Advanced Technology and Interoperability Key for Growth in the US Airport Security Screening Market

2) Increased Convenience Offered by Telematics in Vehicles Propels Their Uptake, Finds Frost & Sullivan

Upcoming Events

2009 F. Russell Hoyt National Airports Conference – September 20-22 – San Antonio


Today in Transportation History

1914 **95th anniversary** – The first transcontinental telephone call was made between New York and San Francisco.



The Transportation Communications Newsletter is published electronically Monday through Friday.

To subscribe send an e-mail to: TCNL-subscribe@googlegroups.com

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TCN archives: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/transport-communications

Questions, comments about the TCN? Please write the editor, Bernie Wagenblast at i95berniew@aol.com.

© 2009 Bernie Wagenblast

Bernie’s Transportation Communications Newsletter (TCN) – July 24, 2009

July 25, 2009 at 12:19 am

Friday, July 24, 2009 – ISSN 1529-1057


1) EU Ombudsman Urges Air Passenger Language Provision

Link to story on EurActiv:



2) Nissan Car Monitors GPS for Road Dangers Ahead

Link to IDG News Service story:



3) US Transportation Security Administration Deploys New Screening Pilot Technology on Connecticut-Long Island Ferry

Link to UPI story:


4) Cash-Strapped States Raid 911 Funds

Link to AP story:



5) Circuit at DC Metro Crash Site Began Malfunctioning in Late ’07, NTSB Says

Link to story and video in The Washington Post:


6) DC Metro Response Undermines Rider Confidence

Agency is focused on engineering in response to crisis but vastly underestimating the amount of information they need to share with the public.

Link to column in The Washington Post:



7) Virtual Co-driver Means Safer Trucks

Link to story on Transport News Network:


News Releases

1) BART Includes Train Lengths on Real-Time Arrival Sites

Job Postings

Transportation Specialist, GS-2101-13/14 EG – Federal Highway Administration – Washington, DC


Upcoming Events

GIS in Transit Conference – November 16-18 – St. Petersburg, Florida


Friday Bonus

Here’s the 21st Century version of Jonathan Swift’s A Modest Proposal.


Today in Transportation History

1969 **40th anniversary** – Apollo 11 splashes down in the Pacific Ocean.


=========================================================================TheTransportation Communications Newsletter is published electronically Monday through Friday.

To subscribe send an e-mail to: TCNL-subscribe@googlegroups.com

To unsubscribe send an e-mail to: TCNL-unsubscribe@googlegroups.com

TCN archives: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/transport-communications

Questions, comments about the TCN? Please write the editor, Bernie Wagenblast ati95berniew@aol.com.

© 2009 Bernie Wagenblast