Infograph: How Airlines Are Using Google +

February 9, 2012 at 7:57 pm

(Source: via

We all know that the commercial aviation industry is among the cutting edge when it comes to advertising and testing new tools to engage their customers.. So, how are the airlines using the hottest new social media tool in the market – Google Plus (G+)? The brilliant folks at (on Twitter: @simpliflying) have done a comprehensive analysis and presented the findings in this awesome infopgraph below..

Image Courtesy: - Click Image to Learn More.

Image Courtesy: - Click Image to Learn More.

You Shall Not Pass – Don’t Mess With Elephants Even When You Are In A Car

February 9, 2012 at 7:24 pm

(Source: Imgur via Reddit)

Watch a foolish driver gets taken out when he decides to bypass an elephant on a jungle road

Job Alert: Deputy Director, Bureau of Transportation Statistics – USDOT’s Research and Innovative Tech. Administration (RITA)

February 6, 2012 at 6:00 pm

Note: This is an SES position

The Research and Innovative Technology Administration (RITA) in the U.S. Department of Transportation is seeking a dynamic executive to serve as the Deputy Director, Bureau of Transportation Statistics. The Deputy Director is responsible for guiding the Bureau’s programs, as described in the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users of 2005, under the direction of the Secretary of the Department, and the RITA Administrator and Director of the Bureau.

As such, this executive will support the Director in leading the transportation data compilation, analysis and statistical programs of the Bureau, and its related research and development activities. The Deputy Director’s responsibilities will be to manage and direct the operations of the Bureau to ensure the quality of the programs in developing statistical guidelines, statistics and data systems that provide effective information on the status, performance, trends and impacts of transportation nationwide.

The individual filling this position needs to be a dynamic leader with fresh ideas and strong background in transportation and statistics. Furthermore, the individual we are seeking must have proven executive skills commensurate with a position at this level including, but not limited to, excellent interpersonal, communication, and planning skills; and extensive experience in managing resources (financial and human) in a large multi-disciplinary organization. While not required, executive experience in the Department/Federal government and an advanced technical degree are desirable.

If you know someone who has the qualities described above and who may be interested in learning more about this challenging position, please encourage them to apply for this vacancy. We want to attract a diverse pool of candidates from within and outside the government who can bring strong executive skills to the position. The vacancy announcement can be found at: 

PLEASE NOTE: Closing date has been extended! ( March 5, 2012)

Job Alert: Division Chief, Technology Innovation and Policy – USDOT’s Research and Innovative Technology Administration (RITA)

February 5, 2012 at 12:39 pm
U.S. DOT’s Research and Innovative Technology Administration (RITA) announces New Career Opportunity: Division Chief, Technology Innovation and Policy
The Research and Innovative Technology Administration seeks a senior Transportation Industry Analyst to serve as the Chief of the Technology Innovation and Policy Division (RVT-91) of the Volpe National Transportation Systems Center (Volpe Center).
The application deadline for this position is February 15, 2012
Located in Kendall Square area in Cambridge, Massachusetts, the Volpe Center plays a unique role in looking across the transportation enterprise by applying its multi-disciplinary capabilities to anticipate future transportation issues and challenges across all modes of transportation. This is a permanent position based in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
As Chief of the Technology Innovation and Policy Division, you will be responsible for developing, planning, and overseeing the performance of all the work of the Division’s portfolio of projects. This Division provides technical and analytical support for research initiatives and decision-making at all levels of government and industry to (1) identify, assess, and deploy advanced technologies and innovative system concepts to reduce the frequency and consequences of transportation-related crashes, improve transportation operations, personal mobility, environmental sustainability, and/or energy conservation; and (2) assess alternative policy approaches for overcoming institutional, financial, technical, and other barriers to the deployment of advanced technology or innovative concepts at the local, regional, and national level.
In this role, you will develop the Division’s portfolio of work, and ensure the expansion of the Division work to meet high priority transportation needs; you will manage programs and projects in accordance with Volpe Center policies and procedures and best industry practices; and, establish and maintain effective working relationships with customers, industry experts, management, peers, and other public/private sector interest groups and stakeholders. You will also manage the operation of the Division, including directing and supervising staff.
To succeed you must have transportation experience related to the work done by the Division, and an entrepreneurial outlook with the ability to translate working relationships into business and new program opportunities. You must also have experience managing resources, and leading multi-disciplinary technical team(s). Strong planning and communication skills are required as is the ability to work as part of a collaborative management team. Some travel (2-3 days per month) will be required.
The announcement is posted to the Public and to Merit Promotion eligible applicants on Please know that Merit Promotion announcements are the vehicle through which Federal employees generally apply for Federal positions.

FAA Reauthorization Bill finally passed! So here is how it improves your rights as a passenger…

February 2, 2012 at 3:23 pm


After what seemed like an eternity –  roughly five years and 23 extensions later – the 112th United States Congress finally got through with the FAA Modernization and Safety Improvement Act of 2012, aka the FAA Re-authorization Bill. Apart from the usual aspects of the $63Billion four-year re-authorization bill, there are a lot of significant inclusions that will affect your travel in the days ahead… in a good way! Thanks to the tireless advocacy by, a non-profit that advocates for passenger rights, many of these demands from the passenger community has now found their way into books of law.  The table below shows what the organization was fighting to achieve and what they managed to get. Seriously, if you are an airline passenger this law makes sure you have to be treated like a human being who deserves dignity and respect.

FlyersRights Goal

Bill Provision

Three-Hour Tarmac Rule “Excessive delay” tarmac rule.  DOT Secretary to determine definition of “excessive”
Food and Water Available Food and water ALWAYS available (deletes DOT “after 2 hours” provision)
Medical Treatment Available Medical treatment ALWAYS available (deletes DOT “after 2 hours” provision)
Airline Contingency Plans Airline contingency plans for eachairport where carrier has flights (removes DOT’s minimum annual enplanement restriction)
Airport Contingency Plans For the first time, airport contingency plans required (no such provision in DOT rules)
DOT Consumer Hotline Implementation of a DOT consumer hotline, number published on internet, prominently displayed by carriers on ticket counter signs and ticket e-confirmations
Smoke-Free Environment Smoke-free rules consistently enforced on scheduled and now unscheduled flights, domestic and international
No Child Left Unbuckled Carriers must post on their web sites the maximum child safety seat size for each type aircraft they operate so passengers can determine which seats will work with which aircraft
Carry Musical Instruments On-board Without Additional Charge Instruments that can be safely stowed will now be treated like any other carry-on item
Advisory Committee for Aviation Consumer Protection Creation of a DOT advisory committee, comprised of members from air carriers, airport operators, state,  local governments, and non-profit public interest groups with consumer protection experience
Realistic Scheduling to Minimize Delays If aircraft operations exceed an airport’s capability, the FAA and airlines will meet to develop an appropriate schedule reduction.  If no voluntary agreement is reached, the FAA will take unilateral reduction action
Passenger Awareness of Insecticide Use Air carriers will now refer passengers to the DOT web page with a list of countries that may require in-cabin spraying for flights to those countries
Good Information on Delays Added reporting requirement for diversions and cancellations
Consideration for Military Members “Sense of Congress*” that carriers should be flexible and generous with active duty military members.  They seek reduced airfares, elimination of change fees/penalties, ability to purchase, modify or cancel without time restrictions, and the elimination of fees (including baggage fees), ancillary costs, and penalties
Defined Compensation for Lost Luggage Comptroller General to study the issue, including how added baggage fees should improve service

Click here to read more. Thank you USDOT and for all your hard work to get this done.

Auto companies out do everyone else when it comes to advertising during Superbowl

February 2, 2012 at 11:12 am

(Source: Autoblog)

The graphic says it all.  To get more details on the data, recommend clicking image.

Image Courtesy:

Study Abroad: Portland Meets Netherlands – Multimodal Transportation Engineering Applications and Innovations in the Netherlands

February 1, 2012 at 6:30 pm

Dates: June 29 – July 16, 2012

Image courtesy: via Google Images

This program presents an introduction to transportation engineering applications in the European context. The course will build on earlier courses with a special emphasis on differences between U.S. and Dutch standards. The curriculum will feature material that provides a contrast between engineering principles and policies focusing on the standards presented in both the Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices and the Highway Capacity Manual. Furthermore, specific emphases on engineering principles and practice will be explored through field trips and in guest lectures both while abroad and in Portland. Students completing this course will have a greater understanding of the contrast in policies from the Portland area with communities in the Netherlands.

The location of the course was strategically identified to share the experience with an established program from Northeastern University led by Dr. Furth. The concept for this program is to join the Northeastern students for the first two weeks, returning back to Portland after that period to complete the course in Portland. During the two weeks at TU Delft, there will be a field trip every day within the City and to surrounding communities (including Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Den Haag, and others). Delft is centrally located and provides an ability to represent transportation designs that follow the national policies. The lectures are a combination of guest speakers from local practitioners and others that Dr. Furth has enlisted in the program in the past.

Program Focus

Course Information

  • CE 410/510: Transportation Engineering Applications – 4 credits – (6 credits are also available as an option with additional coursework after returning to Portland)

Draft Itinerary

  • This program will include at least one pre-departure course meeting and a number of on campus course meetings after the group returns to Portland.
  • International Component: June 29 – July 16, 2012
  • For students opting for 6 credits, additional coursework (by arrangement with the instructor) and a substantial written report are required after returning from the Netherlands.

Students will spend two weeks at the Technical University of Delft developing an understanding of the transportation systems of the cities in the Netherlands, including Delft, Rotterdam, Haarlem, Den Haag, and others. A typical day will include a guest lecture from a practitioner in the local community followed by a field trip. Lunch will be time to explore the local community and students will be asked to document their experiences by collecting information (digital pictures and notes) throughout the day. The context of each community will offer opportunities for the lecturers (Furth and Koonce) to offer perspectives from their communities (Boston and Portland), contrasting the planning, engineering, and policy issues associated with the local communities. This combination will allow students to gain an understanding of transportation concepts that have been implemented to address specific challenges.

Click here to learn more and to apply.

Only in Canada! Brrrrrr… Glad I’m not living here.

February 1, 2012 at 6:08 pm

(via Reddit )

Source: via Andy on Pinterest