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Tuesday, September 30, 2008

U.S. Transportation Secretary Announces Latest Driving Data, New Funding to Improve Intercity Passenger Rail

RICHMOND, VA - As Americans continue a historic cut back on driving and turn to other forms of transportation like rail and transit, a new approach to funding intercity passenger rail projects will lead to improved service and better on-time performance across the country, announced U.S. Transportation Secretary Mary E. Peters today.

The Secretary released new data today indicating that Americans drove 3.6 percent less, or 9.6 billion miles fewer, in July 2008 than July 2007. Since last November, Americans have driven 62.6 billion miles less than they did over the same nine-month period last year. Meanwhile, she said, transit ridership is up 11 percent, and in July, Amtrak carried more passengers than in any single month in its history.

"At a time when transit and rail are seeing record growth, the very way we finance these systems is at risk. That is because our transit investments come from the same source as our highway investments – federal gas taxes," Secretary Peters said. "Federal transportation policies that rely almost exclusively on gas taxes are failing our state and local governments."

So as part of a new plan to improve intercity passenger rail service nationwide, the Secretary announced the Department is providing $30 million to match local investments in 15 rail capacity enhancement projects across the country. These federal-state partnerships will support projects designed to reduce delays and expand capacity on existing intercity passenger rail routes and help establish new services where none exist today.

Until now, she said, there has been no way for states to qualify for federal funds to match local investments in rail capacity as all federal funds have gone directly to Amtrak.

But, the Secretary warned, comprehensive reform is needed across the transportation system. In July, the Secretary unveiled a new proposal to reform and target transportation investments where they can best reduce congestion and improve infrastructure, while beginning to move away from relying exclusively on unstable gas taxes to finance transportation investments in the future.

"A few weeks ago, we saw the folly of our antiquated federal transportation policies when the highway trust fund almost ran out of money. If we don't evolve our policies, we will leave a sad legacy of old roads, crowded highways, and unfulfilled transit ambitions," Secretary Peters said.

To view more detail on the VMT data, please visit:

The 15 intercity passenger rail grants the Department is awarding will support planning and construction projects in Arizona, California, Illinois, Maine, Minnesota, Missouri, New York, Ohio, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin. Projects include:

Arizona: EIS Tucson to Phoenix, $1 million

Description: The planning study would conduct a Phase I EIS for new intercity passenger rail service in the Sun Corridor between Phoenix and Tucson (140 miles). The service would operate trains at speeds up to 125 mph with as many as 15 stations. New track would be needed, existing tracks upgraded, and improved made at many public and private highway-rail grade crossings. The Phase I EIS will complete a majority of the environmental analysis necessary for project development and result in a selection of alternatives for further design and feasibility studies.
Benefits: There is no daily, punctual rail service in this corridor today (the unreliable Amtrak Sunset Limited is tri-weekly). Modern rail service is projected to carry approximately 1.2 million passengers annually. This service could ultimately interlink with commuter rail programs.

California: San Joaquin Corridor - 4.5-mile double tracking, Kings Park, $5 million
Description: The project involves the conversion of 4.5 miles of running side track to a second main line, construction of side tracks, the addition of two #24 crossovers and other turnout improvements, as well as related signal and highway crossing improvements. Completion of the project will result in 9.5 miles of continuous double track that will allow trains to pass each other at maximum track speed of 79 mph. This location has been identified as one of the worst congestion points in the corridor and a priority for capacity enhancement on the BNSF sections of the San Joaquin service route operated by Amtrak.
Benefits: The project would connect existing sections of double track. With the recently completed Shirley to Hanford project to the north, the Kings Park project would result in a continuous 9.5 mile section of double main track. Operations analysis indicates that the project would reduce Amtrak train delays by 5 hours per week and increase average speeds of the San Joaquin service by 1.3%.

Illinois : Installation of Centralized Traffic Control and Cab Signals from Joliet to Mazonia, $1.55 million
Description: Replace the existing Automatic Block System (ABS) with a Centralized Traffic Control (CTC) and Cab Signal system on a 24.7 mile segment on the Chicago to St. Louis high-speed rail corridor from Joliet to Mazonia (Dwight).
Benefits: Project will upgrade train operations from Joliet to Mazonia on the Chicago to Springfield/St. Louis corridor with centralized train control technology and cab signals to improve the safety and reliability of train service between Chicago and Joliet. The upgraded signal system will provide for a 30 minute reduction in delays, currently experienced with operations over the existing signal system. Project will also upgrade circuitry at grade crossings along this route. Ultimately, the installation of CTC and cab signal technology will enable Amtrak to increase train speeds up to 110 mph in sections of this corridor capable of supporting high speed operations.

Illinois : Installation of Cab Signal Technology from Mazonia to Ridgeley (Springfield) $1.85 million
Description: Install Cab Signal system and Advance Activation System on 118.4 route miles between Mazonia (Dwight) and Ridgley (Springfield) on the Chicago to St. Louis high-speed rail corridor.
Benefits: Enables the State and Amtrak to increase train speeds to 80 and 110 mph in sections of this corridor capable of supporting high speed operations, providing for a 24-minute reduction in travel time through this segment. Includes the installation of an Advance Activation System for safer operation of high speed trains through grade crossings and supports cab signal technology already installed on UP freight locomotives.

Maine: Portland Area Track Improvments, $500,000
Description: The Northern New England Passenger Rail Authority (NNEPRA) proposes to undertake a state-of-good-repair track improvement project on rail lines owned by Pan Am Railways in the Portland, ME area. These include tracks extending from the Portland station to the layover facility, including a wye. The only passenger service using these tracks is the State-supported Downeaster service, which currently operates at five freqencies per day. A portion of the track to be improved is not currently used for revenue operations, and the wye is now out of service for turning of passenger train consists.
Benefits: The quantified anticipated benefits relate primarily to the renewed ability to turn locomotives and trainsets on the wye, a procedure which the applicant regards as necessary when locomotives are bad-ordered. The applicant also asserts that the current inability to do this requires that a protect locomotive be held in reserve in Portland, and that the net present value of the cost of the protect locomotive over the 15-year life of the proposed improvements would be $6.5 million. Prior to submitting the application, however, the applicant told the FRA that the long-term intent of the project would be to accommodate an extension of Downeaster service to Brunswick, which would use the improved track for revenue movements.

Minnesota: PEIS Twin Cities to Duluth High-Speed Rail, $1.1 million
Description: The planning study is to to prepare a Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (PEIS) for new passenger rail service from Minneapolis to Duluth where there is currently none. The PEIS would address proposed rail infrastructure improvements to support high speed rail service up to 110 mph along the BNSF line, for a distance of about 150 miles. A feasibility study was completed for the proposed service that describes a range of rail improvements from conventional 79 mph service to 110 mph service requiring a full train control system. Capital improvements are estimated to range from $75 to $400 million (2006 dollars).
Benefits: Completion of the PEIS would advance the project to be ready for implementation steps. A PEIS would set the stage for discrete capital projects that could be completed over time as the service is introduced and expanded. The proposed project would introduce intercity passenger rail service where there is none today. In 2009 a commuter rail service is planned to start along the Minneapolis end of the route and both services would terminate at the same station and connect with transit.

Missouri: Siding Extension, St. Louis-Kansas City, $3.3 million
Description: Missouri DOT proposes the construction of one 9,000 ft. passing track (near California, MO), and completion of preliminary engineering for a second (in Knob Noster, MO), on Union Pacific's (UP) Sedalia subdivision between Jefferson City and Kansas City, to be used by the State-supported Mules and Anne Rutledge services (two frequencies per day). These new tracks would eliminate two existing 20+ mile gaps between passing tracks on a primarily unidirectional line.
Benefits: The applicant states that completion of these projects would eliminate up to an average of 6 minutes of delay per train due primarily to freight train interference. These estimates are supported by an extensive simulation study performed by the University of Missouri which identified capital investment projects which would improve OTP on the cross-Missouri route.

New York: Albany Station Track and Signal Improvements, $1.25 million
Description: New York State DOT proposes to perform full engineering of a significant multiphased reconfiguration of the interlockings in and around Albany-Rensselaer Station. The station serves the Empire Service, Lake Shore Limited, Ethan Allen Express, and the State-supported (north of Albany) Adirondack. The proposed project includes installing a station track on the currently-unused east face of the east island platform, the addition of pocket tracks, and the reconfiguration of the Post Road connection used by the Boston section of the Lake Shore Limited.
Benefits: The full implementation of the reconfiguration will allow for improved speeds approaching and departing the station resulting from the improvement of signal aspects through the installation of track circuits and the realignment of tracks to allow for non-diverging moves to and from the inboard island platform faces. The project represents the first comprehensive reconfigurations of one of the busier station interlocking in the U.S. since the time it was first cobbled together in the late 1960s.

Ohio:Cleveland-Columbus-Dayton-Cincinnati Planning and Alternatives Analysis, $62,500
Description: Ohio has contracted with Amtrak to assess the feasibility of initiating a start-up service of two round trips per day between Cleveland and Columbus and possibly to Cincinnati (which together define the "3C corridor"). The planning project would complement the Amtrak assessment and advance the analysis of alternative 3C routes and station locations that will most effectively serve the corridor - both in the short-term and the long-term. The tasks include: program management, coordination with Amtrak and oversight of Amtrak train operations analysis; drafting purpose and need; and long term alternative route analysis.
Benefits: The planning objectives are to support the state initiative for start-up service in the short term by conducting short-term/long-term planning analysis of 3C corridor requirements. This will help to align any short-term actions with the long-term needs, planning and environmental documentation. It is expected that the project would: 1.) Support a State-supported Amtrak startup service; 2). Advance the conceptual engineering and analysis of alternative routes and station sites and facilities; and 3.) Clarify a long-term corridor development strategy.

Vermont: Vermonter Route – One-Mile Rail Replacement/Bridge Redeckings, $450,000
Description: The Vermont Agency of Transportation proposes a state-of-good-repair project to replace one mile of rail and redeck four bridges on the slow-order-laden New England Central Railroad (NECR) route of the State-supported Vermonter, which operates at one frequency per day each way.
Benefits: The applicant states that the proposed project is anticipated to result in the reduction of 12 minutes of slow-order delay per train.

Vermont: Ethan Allen Route - 2-Mile Track Reconstruction,$581,775
Description: The Vermont Agency of Transportation proposes a state-of-good-repair project to rebuild 2 miles of slow-order-laden track on the Clarendon and Pittsford Railroad near Rutland, VT, on the route of the State-supported Ethan Allen Express, which operates at one frequency per day each way. The project involves the installation of continuous welded rail, 2000 new ties, and renewal of the roadbed.
Benefits: The applicant states that the proposed project is anticipated to result in the reduction of 10 minutes of slow order delay per train. However, the project location's proximity to the Rutland Yard limits and Rutland station calls into question whether speeds could fully attain the levels projected in the application.

Virginia: Third Track south of Fredericksburg, $2 million
Description: Construction of a third track south of Fredericksburg Station in Spotsylvania County. Project includes the rehabilitation of 3.1 miles of existing track (currently used as a siding) to serve as a third track for passing. Components of the project include an upgrade to the subgrade, track structure, and interlockings, as well as the removal an obsolete industrial siding. FRA funding of this project would support an offset project to design the AM interlocking near Richmond Main Street Station, with a potential extension of the design from the Main Street Station through Acca Yard to the Staples Mill Station.
Benefits: Projected improvements include increased reliability, reduced delays and improved OTP (by 4%) to 80%. Project will provide the only location where a passenger train can over-take another train without opposition between Richmond and Alexandria.

Washington: Point Defiance Bypass (D-M Street Tacoma), $6 million
Description: This project will provide for preliminary engineering, environmental review, and right of way acquisition for the 1.2 mile D to M street segment of the 19.5 mile Point Defiance Bypass project from Tacoma to Nisqually. The D to M street segment will include new track and signal systems on a realigned right-of-way in Tacoma, including a grade-separated railroad crossing at Pacific Avenue. Ultimately, the Point Defiance Bypass Project will redirect intercity passenger trains between Tacoma and Nisqually from the circuitous BNSF freight line along the coast to a passenger oriented inland route.
Benefits: The new routing will enable WSDOT to operate two additional round trip Cascades trains from Portland to Seattle and SoundTransit's Sounder to extend service to Lakewood. The project will reduce travel time by 6 minutes between Portland and Seattle as well as avoid freight traffic interference through two single-track tunnels and port activities along the current route. Ultimately, Amtrak services will relocate to the newly constructed Freighthouse Square station in Tacoma providing direct access to SoundTransit's Sounder commuter rail, and Link light rail to downtown Tacoma.

Wisconsin: Chicago-Milwaukee Welded Rail (17.85 mi), $5 million
Description: The project will install 17.85 miles of continuously-welded rail (CWR) in the Canadian Pacific right-of-way between Milwaukee and the IL/WI state line, replacing the last sections of remaining jointed rail on the Milwaukee-Chicago corridor. Project will include replacement of ties and other related track materials, where necessary, as well as the reprogramming of grade crossings for higher speeds.
Benefits: CWR will increase the reliability of passenger trains on the Milwaukee-Chicago corridor by increasing speeds (from 70 to79 mph on downgraded jointed track), reducing travel time (by 1.7 minutes), and eliminating delays and slow orders associated with ongoing maintenance of jointed rail (by up to 70% or 4 minutes per 1000 train miles for jointed track). These improvements will insure a greater on-time arrival into Metra territory, avoiding a potential 10-20 minute delay into Chicago. In addition, CWR will provide enhanced ride quality for Amtrak passengers and equipment.

Wisconsin: Midwest Regional Rail Initiative* (MWRRI) Alternatives Analysis and Planning (Phase 7) $297,000
Description: Continued planning for the Midwest Regional Rail Initiative (MWRRI) including alternatives analysis, updating MWRRI system costs, equipment, train control and operational plans, and the preparation of public outreach materials. The project covers some program management, updating South of the Lake alternatives analysis between Chicago, IL and Porter, IN, and preliminary alternatives analysis in other corridors.
Benefits: This planning work is intended continue the MWRRI on a path toward implementation by updating and refining key MWRRI plan elements and public information materials and completing corridor alternatives analysis work called for in the FRA Rail Corridor Transportation Plan Guidance Manual and required to meet the requirements of the federal NEPA process for the preparation of a programmatic Environmental Impact Statement for route selection in MWRRI corridors. *MWRRI is a coalition of states and Wisconsin serves as the administer of program funds.


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Monday, September 29, 2008

New Rider Safe Facility Opens at Whyalla

The new facility is located at the Jubilee Park Showgrounds, Jenkins Avenue, Whyalla, and replaces the old course at Steel City Drag Club.

Rider Safe, the State Government's compulsory pre-licence motorcycle training course, teaches basic and advanced motorcycle skills, and offers refresher training for experienced motor cyclists.

Features of the new facility include a larger training range with a smoother surface and larger run off areas, making for safer, more efficient riding.

There has been a steady demand for Rider Safe training in Whyalla and anticipates that the new and improved facility will cater for present and future needs.

Rider Safe aims to improve safety for motor cyclists and ensure that they understand the importance of safe road use.

The project has supported employment opportunities in Whyalla by using local Rider Safe Instructors to conduct courses and local sub-contractors during construction.

Rider Safe courses are conducted on weekends and bookings can be made by contacting telephone 1800 018 300.

The new upgrade is part of the $635 000 Rider Safe upgrade, funded by the State Government.


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Thursday, September 25, 2008

Learning to drive a heavy vehicle

If you hold a current licence and have complied with the minimum driving experience for the class of licence being sought, you may drive a motor vehicle of that class without a learner's permits under the following conditions.
  • must not drive while there is any alcohol presents in their blood or the presence of THC (Cannabis) or Methylamphetamine (Speed) or MDMA (Ecstasy) in their blood or oral fluid.
  • must carry their current licence while driving
  • must display 'L' plates to the front and rear of the vehicles they are driving
  • must be accompanied by a passenger who holds a Driver's Licence (not being a provisional licence) for that class of vehicles
  • must not exceed any speed limits by more than 10 km/h. (Exceeding any speed limit is an offence under the Road Traffic Act)
  • must not exceed 80 km/h (or 100 km/h if accompanied by a Motor Driving Instructor in a clearly marked driving school vehicle fitted with dual service brake controls) in areas where the speed is permitted


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Wednesday, September 24, 2008

"Adjara Auto Transport"Purchased New Buses

On 19 November 2004, "Adjara Auto Transport" Ltd. purchased thirty "Bogdan A-092 E-1" type buses. The purchase was supported by the Government of the Autonomous Republic of Adjara. The required sum was transferred from the regional state Budget. The busses will serve the city centre and region routs. Batumi-Keda: 2 buses (fare 1Gel); Batumi-Shakhevi: 1 bus (fare 1.80Gel); Batumi-Kobuleti: 5 buses (fare 0.70Gel); though Batumi city: 10 buses (fare 0.20Gel).

Total number of the buses: 18 ones. The buses are served by 36 drivers.


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Monday, September 22, 2008

Identifies Critical Border Congestion Relief Projects

Drivers and freight shippers will experience less delay at U.S. border crossings in California, Texas and Washington thanks to a U.S. Department of Transportation effort to prioritize and accelerate projects that ease border congestion, U.S. Transportation Secretary Mary E. Peters announced today.

"Congestion at our borders is choking both travelers and commerce with excessive wait times and negatively impacting air quality," Secretary Peters said. "By prioritizing the projects, we can improve the movement of people and goods across our borders and help to maintain these important economic lifelines."

Secretary Peters added that the projects would receive priority access to discretionary programs, including innovative financing. They also demonstrate the types of innovative solutions needed to immediately and effectively reduce border congestion.

At the southern border, San Diego's Otay Mesa East Port of Entry project will create a new port of entry and a 2.7-mile, four-lane highway that links to the existing California highway system to provide more capacity for traffic through the region.

In Laredo, Texas, the East Loop Bypass Project will build a new rail bridge across the border and new rail bypass around the city, adding rail capacity and improving safety.

At the northern border, in Blaine, Wash., the Cascade Gateway Expanded Cross-border Advanced Traveler Information System project proposes to provide real-time border-crossing wait-times and other travel information through a combination of technologies.

All projects will explore public-private partnerships, which combine traditional federal and state funds with private-sector expertise. These types of partnerships can reduce project costs, speed project delivery and protect the taxpayer from project risks.

"These innovative projects will bring together public-private partnerships to advance the objective of a more efficient and reliable transportation system," said Federal Highway Administrator Thomas J. Madison.


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Sunday, September 21, 2008

Seat Belt use Hits Record Level in 2008

WASHINGTON - More Americans are buckling up than ever before, with 83 percent of vehicle occupants using seatbelts during daylight hours, U.S. Secretary of Transportation Mary E. Peters announced today. In 2007, 82 percent used seat belts.

"More and more Americans are realizing that the mere seconds it takes to buckle up can mean the difference between life and death," Secretary Peters said.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that approximately 270 lives are saved for every one percent increase in belt use. Acting NHTSA Administrator David Kelly said a contributing factor for such historically high seat belt use is high-visibility law enforcement efforts, such as the Department's "Click It or Ticket" campaign.

"We are committed to supporting state and local law enforcement in their front-line efforts to encourage belt use," Kelly said.

According to the report, 84 percent of passenger car occupants are buckling up. Even more people, 86 percent, are buckling up in vans and SUVs while pickup truck occupants buckled up 74 percent of the time.

The report finds that safety belt use increased or remained level in every region of the country, with the highest use being reported in the West (93 percent), and the lowest in the Midwest and Northeast (79 percent). The South reported 81 percent.

The report reveals that states with primary belt laws are averaging about 13 percentage points higher for seat belt use (88 percent) than states with secondary laws (75 percent). In primary belt law states, officers can issue a citation for a seat-belt violation alone. In secondary law states, seat belt citations are allowed only after a stop for another violation.

The report also notes that belt use on expressways is now at an estimated 90 percent while belt use on lower-speed "surface" streets remains at 80 percent.

Seat belt use and other data are collected annually by NHTSA as part of the National Occupant Protection Use Survey (NOPUS). The latest survey, conducted in June of 2008, involved daylight observations of vehicle occupant behavior at more than 1800 sites nationwide.


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Thursday, September 18, 2008

Car dealership to pay ARB $34,750 for installing unapproved retrofits

Shasta Nissan Subaru in Redding, Calif., was fined $34,750 by the California Air Resources Board last week for illegally modifying engines from 2004 through 2007 on their light- and medium-duty vehicles with an aftermarket part before they were sold.

The part, the Vortex Fuel Maximizer, is intended to improve gas mileage and performance in cars by changing the flow of air as it mixes with the gasoline before combustion.

It is illegal in the state of California to perform modifications on a new car before it is sold without first getting ARB approval. Modifying car engines can increase harmful emissions and may lead to the vehicle failing California's smog test.

"ARB's work over the years to ensure that clean burning cars are sold in California has helped us reduce smog levels throughout the state," said ARB Chairman Mary Nichols. "We always require dealers to consult with us before adding aftermarket parts that can increase emissions."

Per the terms of the settlement, Shasta Nissan Subaru will pay a total of $34,750 to the California Air Pollution Control Fund which provides funding to research and programs intended to reduce California's carbon footprint. $17,375 was paid at the time of the settlement, and the remaining $17,375 is due 90 days later.

California's air quality measures are in place to prevent excessive emissions of materials that can be harmful to residents' health. Ozone, also known as urban smog, can affect human health in many ways including: itchy, watery eyes, scratchy throat, difficulty breathing, shortness of breath, coughs, heightened asthma rates, cardiopulmonary cases and premature deaths.


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Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Increased Transportation Spending Does Not Equal a Sound Short-Term Economic Stimulus

U.S. Department of Transportation Chief Economist Jack Wells today blogged about transportation spending, particularly with regards to job creation and short-term economic growth.

"It's really more correct to say that the billion dollars 'supports'- jobs because the actual number of new jobs created depends on how much unemployment there is when the highway spending starts," Mr. Wells wrote.

Moreover, he added, "it takes a long time for these jobs to be created. Infrastructure construction requires a long series of steps to plan, design, get environmental clearance on and construct infrastructure projects. Only about 27 percent of the funds, on average, are actually spent ('outlayed') in the first year, while another 41 percent are spent in the second year."

Read Jack Wells' entire blog entry at


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Monday, September 15, 2008

Traffic signs in Britain - biggest review in 40 years launched today

Transport Minister Rosie Winterton today called on motorists, cyclists, pedestrians, highway authorities and road organisations who are keen to have a say in how our streets will look in the future, to take part in the biggest review of British road signs for 40 years.

The review will ensure that traffic signs keep pace with the latest technology, help to cut congestion and emissions and keep traffic moving safely and efficiently without cluttering our streets.

The review's aims include:

  • To consider new powers to reduce street clutter - and ensure out of date signs are removed;
  • Look at using new traffic sign technologies that can provide new ways of managing traffic flow;
  • Provide better road information - such as up-to-date travel news - to give motorists informed choices about their journeys;
  • Demonstrate how effective signing can provide safer roads and reduce accidents;
  • Improve road users' understanding of traffic signs and signals.

Rosie Winterton said:

"Road conditions have changed dramatically over the years - and road signs need to keep pace with that change to provide the best information possible to all road users.

"It is vital we help motorists, cyclists and pedestrians understand how to use our roads - improving road safety and helping reduce congestion and CO2 - without cluttering our streets with unnecessary signs."

Road users, highway authorities and organisations interested in streetscape will play a key role in the steering group leading the review.

AA President Edmund King said:

"Clear, concise, relevant road signs help reduce congestion, CO2, frustration and accidents. Confusing signs do the opposite so we welcome a root and branch review of the UK's traffic signing system and will seek the views of AA members to help the Department for Transport come up with signs fit for the 21 Century."


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Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Transit Plan To Help B.C. Reach Greenhouse Gas Targets

VANCOUVER - Premier Gordon Campbell and Transportation Minister Kevin Falcon unveiled a $14-billion public transit plan to be completed by 2020 today. It is a key measure in the Province's greenhouse gas reduction plan, touching every region of the province.

"Our new plan will double transit ridership by increasing choice for people around the province, with new fleets, green technology, new lines and new innovative services like RapidBus BC," Campbell said. "The plan focuses on safe, comfortable, reliable services that will highlight green technologies and will reshape our communities by encouraging integration of work, home and recreational activities. It provides people with the choices they need to make a difference."

"One new transit line was committed to in each of the previous three decades; this plan delivers three lines in the next decade," said Falcon.

The plan calls for $14 billion in investments, including $11.1 billion in new funding, with the Province committing $4.75 billion, and the remainder from partners, including the federal government, TransLink and local governments.

Increased security measures will enhance transit safety. Electronic gates and closed-circuit cameras will be installed at rapid transit and new RapidBus stations. A smart-card system for rapid transit and buses, which users can reload at vending machines or on the Internet, will be implemented.

"This plan will provide fast, reliable, green transit that acts as a catalyst to change the nature and form of all our communities -urban, suburban and rural," said Campbell. "As more and more British Columbians live and work near transit, urban form will shift, which will lead to lower energy use, increasing energy efficiency, and a lighter environmental footprint."

A cumulative total of 4.7 million tonnes in transportation greenhouse gases (GHG) will be reduced by 2020. The GHG savings will be about the equivalent of parking all the cars and light trucks in Metro Vancouver for a full year by getting British Columbians out of their cars and onto transit.

The plan calls for:
$10.3-billion investment in four new rapid transit lines in Metro Vancouver -the Evergreen Line, the UBC Line, the upgraded Expo Line and the Canada Line (for which $2 billion was previously committed); $1.2 billion for a new, cutting-edge energy efficient, high capacity RapidBus BC service along nine major routes in the high-growth urban centres of Kelowna, Victoria and Metro Vancouver; and $1.6-billion investment in 1,500 new, clean energy buses and related maintenance infrastructure to provide communities around the province with improved bus service.

"The transit plan sets out innovative, integrated, customized solutions for individual communities to keep people and goods moving efficiently in B.C. as part of our broader transportation strategy," said Falcon. "Increased transit will allow people more choice, and often time savings. For example, during peak periods, transit riders travelling between Coquitlam Centre and Vancouver International Airport can save more than an hour every day compared to drivers."

The Transit Plan complements other key provincial transportation initiatives such as the Cariboo Connector, Trans-Canada Highway upgrades like the Kicking Horse Canyon, roads to support the mountain pine beetle harvest, and projects in Metro Vancouver such as the Gateway Program. This announcement is in addition to the recently announced $180-million investment establishing rapid bus service over the Gateway Program's twinned Port Mann Bridge.


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Thursday, September 4, 2008

Transportation Pilot Project To Help Lower The Cost Of Supplies To Northern Communities: Lemieux

A new pilot project using longer vehicles to help lower the costs of bringing supplies to northern communities was announced today by Infrastructure and Transportation Minister Ron Lemieux.

"The vast distance between our northern communities and southern distribution centres has always been a significant challenge in the pursuit of economic growth," said Lemieux. "This project will allow us to evaluate a number of potential benefits for northern communities, ranging from lower transportation costs for consumer goods to reduced greenhouse gas emissions, while keeping stringent safety controls in place."

The longer vehicles were developed to transport freight over long distances more efficiently. The one-year pilot project on PTH 6 will collect data in order to study the potential benefits of using the larger-capacity trucks such as achieving lower fuel costs to haul more freight, lowering food prices for northern communities, reduction of greenhouse gases and traffic reduction on provincial roads.

"The Thompson Chamber of Commerce welcomes this demonstration project," said past president Penny Byer. "In today's global economy, northern businesses must compete with those in the south for both quality and price. The cost of transporting goods to the north has always made this a challenging competition. This demonstration projects opens the door to a more level playing field for many goods."

The vehicles to be used combine a semi-trailer and smaller pup trailer that exceeds current length limits on this highway. The longer trailer configurations may be up to 31.5 metres in length, which is 6.5 metres longer than normal vehicles. The permits enhance normal safety provisions by requiring that operators use a specific route, ensure a minimum level of driver training and qualifications, restrict operations during adverse weather conditions and observe time-of-day restrictions to avoid high-traffic volumes.

"We see this pilot project as an important step towards a prosperous northern economy by bringing down transportation costs in a safe and more environmentally-responsible manner," said Culture, Heritage and Tourism Minister Eric Robinson.

The demonstration project will also include an agreement between the province, participating carriers and the University of Manitoba Transportation Institute to assess the project and its benefits to northern Manitoba residents.


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Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Disability Standards for Accessible Public Transport

The Tasmanian Government is committed to promoting inclusiveness, enhanced community participation and the reduction of barriers for people with a disability. This commitment is exemplified in the Disability Framework for Action 2005-2010, which is a whole of government policy requiring that the needs of people with disabilities are considered in the design and delivery of all Government policies, programs, services and facilities. The oversight of the implementation of the Disability Framework for Action resides with the Premier with the assistance of the Premier's Disability Advisory Council (PDAC). The PDAC also acts as a reference group to provide advice to Government on policy, programs, services and standards that impact on people with a disability.

The Framework for Action commits the Tasmanian Government to increasing the accessible passenger transport options through:

  • Continued commitment to the Transport Standards for Public Passenger Transport 2002 (Transport Standards);
  • Continued implementation of the wheelchair accessible taxi initiative;
  • Continued funding of the Transport Access Scheme;
  • Working with the Australian Government, local government and the Tasmanian industry to assist bus and coach operators meet their obligations under the Transport Standards;
  • Improving the access and mobility of people living in Tasmania's rural and regional communities; and
  • Ensuring that the Government's review of core passenger services considers issues relating to the provision of accessible services.
The Transport Standards for Public Passenger Transport 2002 has progressive targets to be reached by operators and providers of public passenger transport services and infrastructure. The Tasmanian public transport industry has made significant progress towards achieving the 31 December 2007 targets.


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  • Current Posts

    All American Highway Gallery

    All American Highway History photo library is an apt place where you can have access to the information of the different highways of the cities in USA. Read More...

    Traffic Road Signs

    Traffic signs give you important information about the law, warn you about dangerous conditions and help you find your way. Read More...

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