Webinar Alert: TSAG Case Studies Workshop & Webinar – 2009 Fort Hood, Texas Army Base Shooting Incident A Multi-Agency Emergency

July 8, 2010 at 11:16 am

Transportation Safety Advancement Group (TSAG) logo.

Webinar Overview

TSAG Case Studies Workshop & Webinar
2009 Fort Hood, Texas Army Base Shooting Incident
A Multi-Agency Emergency

Date: August 3, 2010
Time: 1:00–4:00 P.M. Eastern Time
Cost: All T3s are free of charge
PDH: 3.0 — Webinar participants are responsible for determining eligibility of these PDHs within their profession.
Register On-line
Contact the T3 Administrator

T3 Webinars are brought to you by the ITS Professional Capacity Building Program (ITS PCB) at the U.S. Department of Transportation’s (USDOT) ITS Joint Program Office, Research and Innovative Technology Administration (RITA). Reference in this webinar to any specific commercial products, processes, or services, or the use of any trade, firm or corporation name is for the information and convenience of the public, and does not constitute endorsement, recommendation, or favoring by U.S. Department of Transportation.

Note: This workshop and webinar is a unique learning opportunity offered by the Transportation Safety Advancement Group (TSAG) and the US DOT ITS Joint Program Office’ Talking Technology & Transportation (T3) program. The workshop will be presented to a live audience at the workshop location as well as to remote T3 webinar participants. T3 participants are invited to submit written questions before the Webinar as well as during workshop question and answer periods.

Webinar participants may attend remotely for any portion of the 3 hour workshop. An audio of the event’s proceedings, synchronized with its presentations, will be available in the T3 Webinar archives and on the TSAG website (www.tsag-its.org) approximately 4 weeks following the workshop.


The Transportation Safety Advancement Group (TSAG) is sponsored by the US Department of Transportation (US DOT) ITS Joint Program Office (JPO) and serves to promote technology for public safety. TSAG advises the ITS Joint Program Office on public safety technologies and on their impacts on public safety including operations management, emergency response, and emergency responder safety. Through a broad based membership comprised of transportation and public safety professionals, TSAG initiates programs that promote inter-disciplinary, inter agency and inter jurisdictional coordination and cooperation, and that promote partnerships for advancing public safety technologies. For more information, visit the TSAG website.

Through its Case Studies Workshops series TSAG conducts post reviews of actual recent events and incidents, and of associated emergency responder experiences. Case Studies Workshops facilitate discussions by multi discipline and multi agency professionals for identifying technology, institutional and policy based success, failures and lessons learned. Case Studies Workshops & Webinars are focused on the fundamental TSAG “technology for public safety” TSAG mission.

TSAG operates through resources provided by the US Department of Transportation and serves its program mission in compliance with US DOT regulations, policies and specified contract provisions.

Fort Hood, Texas Army Base Shooting Incident

On November 5, 2009, a gunman opened fire at the Soldier Readiness Center at Fort Hood, Texas. Thirteen people were killed and 43 others were wounded or injured. Initial emergency alerts of the incident were communicated via calls to one of the Central Texas Regional Consolidated Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP), and subsequently were transferred to Fort Hood’s 9-1-1 Call Center. Two minutes and forty seconds after the initial 911 call, first responders from Fort Hood arrived of the scene. Soon after, EMS assets from the surrounding entities arrived to support Fort Hood responders. One-and-a-half minutes later, the assailant was incapacitated and emergency treatment and evacuation was initiated.

The initial response to the incident was prompt and efficient. Two ambulances and an incident commend vehicle from the Fort Hood Post Hospital arrived on the scene within two minutes and fifty seconds. Ultimately, ambulances and EMS personnel from throughout the region responded, treated and evacuated the wounded and injured.

The foregoing narrative illustrates how efficiently the initial response to this event was handled. The incident however, raised important questions about the degree to which the Department of Defense is prepared for similar incidents in the future, especially multiple, simultaneous incidents. It also brought into sharp focus the need to review the connections, both in relationships and technology, between the defense community and the civilian first responder community called to support in military protection incidents.

Case Studies Workshop & Webinar Overview

Case Studies Workshop & Webinar presenters will walk the audience through details of the Fort Hood incident with a focus on how the integration between the military and civilian responders between responder disciplines worked. The Workshop will focus on emergency response and management protocols, strategies and technologies, including communications between and among Police, Emergency Medical Services, and Public Safety Dispatch Personnel. Workshop presenters will discuss successes, failures and lessons learned and will highlight emergency response activities of local and regional emergency responders and will review operations strategies and technologies at the time of and in response to the incident.

Target Audience

Workshop participants include TSAG members, NRITS registrants, and other like interest guests. T3 Webinar target audiences include state and local public safety interests including emergency responders, transportation operations, emergency communications, and other public safety practitioners. Additionally, private and academic and technology research interests are encouraged to participate.

TSAG Case Study Workshop Concept and Purpose

The TSAG Case Studies Workshop concept targets case-studies of actual incidents or events associated with each of the eight (8) TSAG interest-community teams. TSAG communities of Interest include:

  • Academic & Research
  • Emergency Communications
  • Emergency Management
  • Emergency Medical Services
  • Transportation Operations
  • Fire and Safety
  • Law Enforcement
  • Technology and Telematics

Thus, through reviews of actual recent events, incidents, and first-responder experiences, Case Studies Workshops facilitate after-event discussions by multi-discipline and multi-agency professionals for the purpose of:

  • Clarifying actual circumstances of the event / incident
  • Reviewing established response protocols and procedures
  • Reviewing public safety technology applications
  • Identifying unique management and response circumstances and challenges
  • Reviewing successes, failures, and lessons-leaned

The TSAG Case Studies Workshop & Webinar series is focused on the fundamental TSAG “technologies for public safety” TSAG mission.

Learning Objectives

The broad learning objectives of the TSAG Case Studies Workshop series include:

  • Identify transportation-safety technologies and their real-time applications to operations surveillance and management
  • Identify incident identification, emergency response and management
  • Identify inter-agency and inter-discipline coordination and communications
  • Learn of technology successes, failures, and lessons-learned

Federal Host:

Linda Dodge, Chief of Staff, US DOT, ITS Joint Program Office


Jim Reed, Executive Director, The Central Texas Council of Governments (CTCOG), Belton, Texas

Jim Reed serves as Executive Director of The Central Texas Council of Governments (CTCOG) in Belton, Texas. As CTCOG Executive Director he administers a seven county region that includes both urban and rural areas. He oversees various regional programs, including Transportation Planning, Aging Services, Housing, Homeland Security, Regional Planning, Economic Development, and Partners with Workforce. Under his direction, CTCOG was recognized as having the number-one rated Homeland Security program in the Nation. Mr. Reed has served as the Chair of the Texas Association of Regional Councils Executive Director’s Council and is the Past President of the National Executive Director’s Council. He also serves on the National Council of Peers for RPO America and has received the Al Notzon Regional Unity Award and the Walter Scheiber National Leadership Award. This year he was a nominee for the American Institute of Certified Planners National College of Fellows.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Vertical & Cheap – European carrier Ryanair planning for 5GBP (~$8) Standing Only seats on its fleet

July 7, 2010 at 5:53 pm
Irish carrier Ryan Air is already well known for its aggressive low fares and its brow raising  strategies.  Now they are at it again.  But this time with an announcement that says it’s working on a “standing-room-only” vertical seating section in the tail end of its 250 planes, which seats would cost as little as £5 — or roughly 8USD.

According to an article on Daily Telegraph , the quirky CEO – Michael O’Leary was quoted saying that charging customers £1 to make use of facilities on board the planes would encourage travelers on one hour flights to use lavatories at the airport instead of on the aircraft.

The Irishman said he intended to introduce coin-operated loos and added: “The other change we’ve been looking at is taking out the last 10 rows of seats so we will have 15 rows of seats and the equivalent of 10 rows of standing area.”

A Ryanair spokesman said that Boeing had been consulted over refitting the fleet with “vertical seats” which would allow passengers to be strapped in while standing up, which would cost between £4 and £8 per person.

USA Today points to Megan Lane of the BBC, who describes Ryanair’s O’Leary as being “fond of speculating publicly about outlandish money-saving schemes.” And she’s quick to point out this is “not the first time the airline has floated the standing seats idea, or indeed come up with headline grabbing schemes which fail to materialise.” She cites Ryanair’s proposed “fat tax” for obese passengers and the carrier’s still-to-materialize pay-toilet plan as examples.

The USA Today article also got this – A spokesman with the Cologne-based European Aviation Safety Agency tells the London Daily Mailthat “what they [Ryanair] are proposing would be unprecedented and highly unlikely to be certified in the near future. Stand-up seating would require changes to European rules for the certification of aircraft.

Transportgooru Musings: As you can see below, this announcement has generated quite bit of a publicity buzz around the world and worked like a charm for O’Leary, as always! But please – do not charge for toilets.  It is one last thing we flyers don’t need to worry about paying for when planning our trip budgets. How would I be even include this as part of my expense report when I return from a Business trip to UK?

Enhanced by Zemanta

Bernie’s Transportation Communications Newsletter (TCN) – July 7, 2010

July 7, 2010 at 5:07 pm

Wednesday, July 7, 2010 – ISSN 1529-1057

The 2010 National Rural ITS Conference is less than 4 weeks away!  If you haven’t looked lately, jump online and check out the agenda page (http://www.nritsconference.org/2010program.html).  We are updating it daily to reflect speaker, tour and schedule changes.  With over 20 sessions, 6 training options, and 30 vendors to date, this conference will allow attendees to maximize their training and travel dollars.  Early registration deadline is Friday, July 9th.  Register before then to take advantage of LOW rates!


1) Increase in Near-Collisions of Planes Raises Concerns About Air Traffic Control Competence

Link to story and video from ABC News:


2) FAA Wants $100,000 for Info from Flight Path Test at California Airport

Link to article in the Santa Monica Daily Press:


3) Airlines Put Mobile Agents with Handheld Devices Into Service

Link to article in USA Today:


4) Maximizing Internet Resources

Before getting into the cockpit, have you already checked your Internet weather resources?

Link to article in FAA Safety Briefing:


5) Airline Passengers Get a Chance to be Heard on Proposed Regulations

Link to column in The Washington Post:



6) National Geodetic Survey Uses Geospatial Technology to Improve Map Accuracy

Link to article in Government Computer News:



7) New Space Race is on for Satellite Positioning Systems

Link to article in Government Computer News:



8) TSA Reverses ‘Controversial Opinion’ Web Policy

Link to CBS News story:



9) LaHood Blasts Lobbyists for Leaked Plan to Fight Cell Phone Restrictions

Link to article in The Hill:


10) Making Roads Safer with New Technology

Link to article in Vanguard:



11) New York City Transit Apps Deliver Maps on the Go

Link to article in Government Technology:



12) RIM Traffic App in Beta

Link to article in GPS Business News:



13) Can a Space Robot Make Driving on Earth Safer?

Link to blog in The Wall Street Journal:


News Releases

1) NYSDOT, NYSERDA Fund Research to Improve Transportation Efficiencies in New York State

2) Intergraph Announces Agreement to be Acquired by Hexagon AB

3) Parking Intercom 2.0 – Re-inventing Parking Communication

4) New Piedmont Triad International Airport Web Site Offers Enhanced Resources for Travelers

5) New ‘Direct Reception’ System Gives Insight Into the Mechanics of Audi

Job Postings

–  Operations Research Analysts – Volpe National Transportation Systems Center – Cambridge, Massachusetts


Upcoming Events

16th Operation Lifesaver International Symposium and Training Seminars – August 30-September 1 – Baltimore


Today in Transportation History

1960 **50th anniversary** Congress passed a law allocating $310.7 million to build what would become the C-141 Starlifter.



The Transportation Communications Newsletter is published electronically Monday through Friday.

To subscribe or unsubscribe, please visit:


If you have any difficulties please contact me at bernie@bwcommunications.net.

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

Questions, comments about the TCN?  Please write the editor, Bernie Wagenblast atbernie@bwcommunications.net.

© 2010 Bernie Wagenblast  www.bwcommunications.net

Bernie’s Transportation Communications Newsletter (TCN) – July 7, 2010

July 7, 2010 at 11:02 am

Tuesday, July 6, 2010 – ISSN 1529-1057

IBTTA 78th Annual Meeting & Exhibition — Register Today! Early Bird Discount Ends August 22, 2010

Come to San Diego, September 12-15, 2010, for IBTTA’s 78th Annual Meeting & Exhibition, the year’s most highly-anticipated learning and networking event — attracting more than 700 toll industry experts and decision makers from across the globe. Under the theme, Sustainable Transportation, the technical program offers tracks focused on innovation, policy, the economy, and the California tolling experience. Hosted by the California Toll Operators Committee (CTOC), this event features interactive seminars, influential speakers, technical tours and special events, informative exhibits and more! Customized sponsorship and exhibitor packages are available. Visit IBTTA’s website for details.


1) Less than 10% of Fliers are Logging Onto Wi-Fi in the Air

Link to article in USA Today:


2) What Will NextGen do for Airports?

Link to article in Airport:

http://issuu.com/aaae/docs/airmag-junejuly (page 18)


3) Cyclists and Lorries: How Technology Can Help

Link to blog in The Guardian:



4) Traffic Camera Debate Picks Up Speed

Link to article in The Oregonian:



5) The Best Navigation Apps for the iPad

Link to review on TabletPCReview.com:



6) UK Government iPhone App Spending Scrutinized

Highways Agency says its app, which provides traffic information, has been one of the most popular.

Link to article in eWeek Europe:



7) Slideshow: 12 Worst Government Web Sites

Two transportation-related sites among the dozen identified by the magazine.

Link to slideshow in InformationWeek:



8) New Jersey Turnpike to Consider Advertisements on Toll Plazas

Link to article in The Record:


9) Lights Warn of Black Ice on Several New Zealand Roads

Link to article in the Otago Daily Times:



10) Study: Listening to Sports Radio is as Risky as Drink Driving

Link to article in The Telegraph:



11) PATH Hopes $1 Billion Overhaul Will Keep Riders on the Rails

Part of effort will include improved public address system and clearer maps.

Link to article in The Record:



12) Intelligent Cars Will Report Accidents to Authorities

Link to article in The Telegraph:


News Releases

1) European Commission Welcomes European Parliament Approval of New Legal Framework for ITS

2) Travelers Marketing Announces a New Sponsorship for the Kansas Turnpike – State Farm Insurance to Sponsor ‘State Farm Safety Assist’ Program

Upcoming Events

SASHTO 2010 Conference – August 28-September 1 – Little Rock, Arkansas


Today in Transportation History

1935 **75th anniversary** The first flight of the Fairchild 82 plane was made.



The Transportation Communications Newsletter is published electronically Monday through Friday.

To subscribe or unsubscribe, please visit:


If you have any difficulties please contact me at bernie@bwcommunications.net.

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

Questions, comments about the TCN?  Please write the editor, Bernie Wagenblast atbernie@bwcommunications.net.

© 2010 Bernie Wagenblast  www.bwcommunications.net

Bernie’s Transportation Communications Newsletter (TCN) – July 5, 2010

July 6, 2010 at 12:01 pm

Monday, July 5, 2010 – ISSN 1529-1057


1) Near-Collisions on Rise in Washington Area’s Skies Amid Influx of Inexperienced Controllers

Link to article in The Washington Post:


2) UK Air Traffic Chief Voices Concerns of Government Selling Stake

Link to article in the Financial Times:


3) FAA, Provo Begin Work on Airport Radar

Link to article in The Salt Lake Tribune:


4) Improving Airport Experience via Real-Time Ratings, Reviews and Photos

An interview with GateGuru’s CEO Daniel Gellert.

Link to interview on m-Travel.com:



5) Are Blue Bike Lanes Better than Black?

Link to article on TreeHugger:



6) ‘Big Brother’ Traffic Cameras Must be Regulated, Orders UK Home Secretary

Link to article in The Guardian:


7) Red Light Camera Companies Become a Lobbying Force in Texas Capital

Link to article in The Dallas Morning News:


8) Red Light Cameras Spark Debate in Texas Cities

Link to article in The Dallas Morning News:


9) Camera System’s Flaws Cost North Texas Tollway Authority Millions

Link to article in The Dallas Morning News:



10) GPS Data New Tool in Reading Tropical Storms

Link to article in The Spokesman-Review:



11) TSA to Block Web Sites with ‘Controversial Opinion’ on Its Computers

Link to CBS News story:



12) Tech Firms Aim to Keep Wayward Walkers on Path

Link to AP article:



13) Pennsylvania DOT Needs to Focus on Driving Tips

Rather than including tourism and health information with registration mailings, agency should insert driving tips.

Link to editorial in the Pocono Record:



14) New Road Signs for Abu Dhabi

Emirate plans to use portable message signs while permanent VMS and ITS are installed.

Link to article in Emirates Business 24|7:


15) Pennsylvania Joins California and Florida in Asking Feds to Allow Ads on Electronic Signs

Link to AP article:



16) Metropolitan Manila Development Authority Uses CCTV, Text Hotline vs. Wangwang

Link to GMA News story:



17) New US Satellite to Monitor Debris in Earth Orbit

Link to AP article:



18) UK Road Safety Charity, Brake, Calls for Increased Telematics Use

Link to article in BusinessCar:



19) The Future is Hear: MTA

New York agency says new Second Avenue subway stations will be designed by acoustical engineers.

Link to article and video in the New York Post:



20) New Massachusetts Traffic Information System Continues to Befuddle Drivers Who Miss the Old 511

Link to column in The Boston Globe:


21) Voice of Vietnam’s Traffic Information to be Televised at Rush Hours

Link to story on VOV:


22) Get Rid of Those Gulls and Give Us Real Information

Columnist says Maryland’s Bay Bridge should make traffic information easier to find on its Web site.

Link to column in The Baltimore Sun:



23) Quiet Hybrids: An End to Their Sounds of Silence?

Link to AP article:


24) Car-Sharing Gets Personal, with Private Vehicles for Hire

Link to blog on BNET:


25) Driving While Blind? Maybe, with New High-Tech Vehicle

Link to AP article:


26) Toyota’s PR Machine has Improved: Analyst

Link to video report on CNBC:


News Releases

1) Making Transport Smarter – European Parliament Looking at ITS

Upcoming Events

Mid-Continent Transportation Research Forum 2010 – August 19-20 – Madison, Wisconsin


Today in Transportation History

1610 **400th anniversary** A group of colonists led by John and Philip Guy, left England to establish the first English colony in Newfoundland.



The Transportation Communications Newsletter is published electronically Monday through Friday.

To subscribe or unsubscribe, please visit:


If you have any difficulties please contact me at bernie@bwcommunications.net.

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

Questions, comments about the TCN?  Please write the editor, Bernie Wagenblast at bernie@bwcommunications.net.

© 2010 Bernie Wagenblast  www.bwcommunications.net

The Brookings Inst. report uncovers America’s shifting commuting choices

July 2, 2010 at 6:46 pm

(Source: Brookings Institution; The New Republic)

Click image to access the report

The comprehensive report The State of Metropolitan America is a signature effort by Brookings Metropolitan Policy Program portrays the demographic and social trends shaping the nation’s essential economic and societal units—its large metropolitan areas—and discusses what they imply for public policies to secure prosperity for these places and their populations.

The report shows that while Americas still drive to work alone in far greater numbers than any other way, the share of Americans that commute by transit actually increased from 2000 to 2008. That’s the first time that’s happened in 40 years. The map shows that part of the increase is due to big gains metropolitan areas with large transit systems and extensive rail networks such as New York and Washington.

Here is a compilation of the report’s findings on “commuting”:

  • Reversing a pair of 40-year trends, the share of Americans that commute by transit increased from 2000 to 2008, while the share of those that drive alone to work fell slightly. However, driving alone remains the method by which fully three-quarters of Americans get to work. Transit usage increased among whites and Asians, while carpooling dropped significantly among blacks and Hispanics.
  • Regional differences distinguish metropolitan commuting modes. Commuters drive alone to work in high proportions in mid-sized Midwestern and Southern metro areas like Youngstown and Baton Rouge. Carpooling is most popular in Southern and Western metro areas, including many with large Hispanic populations like Bakersfield and McAllen. Public transit commuting is concentrated in the nine large metro areas that have rates above the metropolitan average (7 percent), including New York, San Francisco, Washington, and Boston.
  • Metropolitan areas with large transit systems were not alone in seeing increased transit usage during the 2000s. While metropolitan areas such as New York and Washington with extensive rail networks saw the largest increases in the share of commuters using transit, metro areas that opened light rail lines this decade such as Charlotte and Phoenix saw upticks as well. Others that rely almost exclusively on buses for transit commuting (Colorado Springs, Albuquerque, and Seattle) also experienced notable increases.
  • In only 19 of the 100 largest metro areas did more than a quarter of the workforce in 2008 commute by a mode other than driving alone. In only two of those metropolitan areas (New York and San Francisco) did more than a quarter of workers commute other than by car. Carpooling is an important alternative to driving alone in both mid-sized (Honolulu, Stockton) and large (Los Angeles, Seattle) metro areas.
  • Residents of cities and older, high-density suburbs are more likely to use transit than commuters elsewhere in metro areas. Suburban transit users have higher incomes than both city transit users and suburbanites overall. Rates of working at home are roughly the same across cities and all types of suburbs, though more common among higher educated workers.

Rob Puentes, one of the authors of this report, observes in his article on the New Republic: It is important to note that while two-third of metros saw increases in commuting by transit during the 2000s, most of these increases were very small. Only four were more than 1 percent and important places like Houston, Memphis, Las Vegas, and Milwaukee saw transit drops. But at the same time, the only decrease in transit use larger than 1 percent was in the New Orleans metro area, due to the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

Click here to access the entire report.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Bernie’s Transportation Communications Newsletter (TCN) – July 1, 2010

July 1, 2010 at 5:25 pm

Thursday, July 1, 2010 – ISSN 1529-1057


1) In-Flight Wireless Revenue Set to Surge, Report Says

Link to article in Bloomberg Businessweek:


2) ADS-B Products Hitting the Market

Link to article in Avionics Intelligence:


3) Eurocontrol Contracts with Egis Avia to Study Solar Weather Effects on Europe’s Air Safety

Link to article in Inside GNSS:


4) Air Traffic Control Goes Into Orbit

US retires radar for satellites, but airlines will need costly cockpit upgrades.

Link to article on MarketWatch:



5) Congressional Hearing Held on Use of Red Light Cameras

Link to story and video on WTTG-TV:


6) Judge Throws Out Challenge to Metrolink Cameras that Monitor Engineers

Link to article in the Los Angeles Times:


7) Red Light Camera Company Sues Louisiana Parish

Link to story and video on WWL-TV:



8) RiverNotes: Live Blogs from Vessels on Mississippi and Illinois Rivers

Link to further information on Maritime Professional:



9) ERTICO Interviews Five Participants at the ERTICO Forum

Link to interviews from ERTICO – ITS Europe:


10) Radio Remembers Veteran Traffic Reporters Marty Ambrose of Houston and Paul Johnson of Los Angeles

Link to article on Radio-Info.com:



11) Fighting the Traffic Tide

Teens volunteering for the Cambodian Red Cross do their part to calm the chaos that prevails on the streets of Phnom Penh.

Link to article in The Phnom Penh Post:



12) Amtrak Targets LBGT Passengers with First-Ever Ad Campaign Targeted in that Demographic

Link to article in The Daily Caller:



13) Lobbying Documents Shows Pitch for Clients to Fight Against Distracted Driving

Link to column in The Washington Post:



14) Can You Rob Me, er, Hear Me Now?

Has the expansion of cell service in the Boston subways led to an increase of smartphone thefts?

Link to blog in the Boston Herald:



15) Singapore Plans to Fight Road Congestion with Satellites

Link to IDG News article:



16) Drivers Get Touchy with MyFord Vehicle Controls

Link to article in Metro Calgary:


17) Ford Gets in Sync with Pandora

Link to article in Radio World:


News Releases

1) Study Credits Increase in Safety Projects for Reduction in Traffic Fatalities

2) Intelligent Transportation Society of New York (ITS-NY) Announces 2010 Officers

3) Destia Sells Destia Traffic to Mediamobile

4) Global Number of Traffic Information Users to Exceed 370 Million by 2015

5) Digital Touchscreen Debuts at JFK Airport to Educate Public About How Cities Can become Smarter

6) Get Social on the Go – Waze Levels Up Twitter, Facebook, and Foursquare for the Car

7) TomTom Custom Travel Times Powers New Traffic Management and Environmental Planning Solutions for City of Aalborg, Denmark

Upcoming Events

APWA International Public Works Congress & Exposition – August 15-18 – Boston


Today in Transportation History

2000 **10th anniversary** The Øresund Bridge, connecting Sweden and Denmark, opened to traffic.



The Transportation Communications Newsletter is published electronically Monday through Friday.

To subscribe or unsubscribe, please visit:


If you have any difficulties please contact me at bernie@bwcommunications.net.

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

Questions, comments about the TCN?  Please write the editor, Bernie Wagenblast atbernie@bwcommunications.net.

© 2010 Bernie Wagenblast  www.bwcommunications.net

Google’s Next Frontier – Airfare Search; Tech Behemoth wades into Travel Search Business with $700 Million Acquisition of ITA

July 1, 2010 at 5:15 pm

(Sources:The Independent, UKCNN Money; Mashable; WSJ)

Today Google announced it will buy online travel software company ITA Software for $700 million cash, a move that positions the search giant in the highly competitive airfare market, pitting it against the likes of Bing Travel, Expedia and Kayak.

Boston-based ITA, founded in 1996 by a team of MIT computer scientists, specializes in organizing airline data, including flight times, availability and prices. Its data is used on a host of websites like Kayak, Orbitz, Expedia.com, TripAdvisor and Microsoft’s  Bing, as well as a number of airlines’ websites. Nearly half of airline tickets are now bought online, according to Google.

On a website that Google’s created with more details about the acquisition, the company says: “Searches for travel-related information are among the highest-volume queries we receive at Google,” highlighting the obvious opportunity that exists in the space. Google does note, however, that whatever they launch will “refer people quickly to a site where they can actually purchase flights … we have no plans to sell flights ourselves.”

Marissa Mayer, Google’s user experience head, said she envisions using ITA’s software to field more advanced searches, like “Where can I travel for $700?”

Google said the acquisition will benefit passengers, airlines and online travel agencies by making it easier for users to comparison shop for flights and airfares and by driving more potential customers to airlines’ and online travel agencies’ websites. Google added that it won’t be setting airfare prices and has no plans to sell airline tickets to consumers.

Still, the acquisition could come under regulatory scrutiny because it would pair the largest search site on the Web with the dominant travel-search software company. Antitrust issues have been part of the negotiations, according to people familiar with the matter.

The concerns center around how Google might combine its dominance in the general searchbusiness with ITA’s strengths in the travel sector. ITA, for instance, provides data from its airline searches to others, including Kayak, Birge said.

“What if they decided to stop providing that data? What if they only provided that data to the parent company? What if they provided better data for those airlines to their parent company?”.

Related articles by Zemanta

Enhanced by Zemanta

Fast Lane – Start your day on a slide! I wish my train station had one of these. Seriously!

July 1, 2010 at 1:48 pm
Enhanced by Zemanta

“A Whale” enters the fight against oil spill in the Gulf Coast

July 1, 2010 at 10:26 am

(Source: Washington Post)

Everyone, say hello to “A Whale”, the  world’s largest oil-skimming vessel.  It is the newest addition to the fleet of vessels working in the oil spill cleanup in the Gulf of Mexico.

The Taiwanese-flagged former tanker named the “A Whale” is the length of 3 1/2 football fields and stands 10 stories high. It just emerged from an extensive retrofitting to prepare it specifically for the Gulf, where officials hope it will be able to suck up as much as 21 million gallons of oil-fouled water per day.

“It is absolutely gigantic. It’s unbelievable,” said Louisiana State University environmental sciences professor Ed Overton, who saw the ship last week in Norfolk, Va.

The ship looks like a typical tanker, but it takes in contaminated water through 12 vents on either side of the bow. The oil is then supposed to be separated from the water and transferred to another vessel. The water is channeled back into the sea.

Click here to read more about this floating giant on the high seas.

Enhanced by Zemanta