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Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Average Third-Quarter Domestic Air Fares Reach Highest Quarterly Level - Top 100 Airports

Wednesday, January 28, 2009 - Average domestic air fares in the third quarter of 2008 reached $362, the highest level of average fares for any quarter in the 13 years measured by available data, the U.S. Department of Transportation's Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) reported today.

BTS, a part of the Research and Innovative Technology Administration, reported that the average domestic itinerary fare in the third quarter was 2.8 percent higher than the $352 average domestic fare in the second quarter of 2008, the previous quarterly high. See for historic data.

Average domestic air fares in the third quarter of 2008 were up 10.4 percent from the third quarter of 2007 in the largest year-to-year increase since the second quarter of 2006, and average fares increased 7.4 percent above the previous July-to-September high set in 2000. The third-quarter 2008 average fare was up 22.0 percent from the post-9/11 third-quarter low of $297 in 2004.

Average fares increased 25.8 percent from the third quarter of 1995 to the third quarter of 2008 compared to a cumulative 42.8 percent inflation rate. Third quarter 2008 fares increased 10.4 percent from the third quarter of 2007 compared to a 4.9 percent inflation rate.

Average fares are based on domestic itinerary fares, round-trip or one-way for which no return is purchased. Fares include taxes and fees. Averages do not include frequent-flyer or "zero fares" or a few abnormally high reported fares. Average fares in this release may not be comparable to BTS fare press releases before the second quarter of 2007 which did not exclude frequent flyer fares or abnormally high fares. Bulk fares continue to be excluded as in earlier releases.

Spirit Airlines failed to file its report for the third quarter. Data from Spirit for the second quarter of 2008 was not included in this release or the October 2008. Atlantic City, NJ, is not included because Spirit operates more than 90 percent of the flights there. The Atlantic City average fares in the July 23, 2008 press release were based on incorrect data. The data available on the BTS database for the fourth quarter of 2007 and the first quarter of 2008 have been revised to eliminate Spirit's submissions. See Spirit has been notified about the incorrect data. The failure to file was referred to the Department's Office of General Counsel for review.

Beginning with the first quarter 2008 release, BTS does not include Alaska, Hawaii and Puerto Rico airports in average fare totals and rankings. Average fares for those airports are available on the BTS Air Fare web page:

Of the top 100 airports based on originating passengers, the highest third-quarter average fares were in Cincinnati; followed by Knoxville, TN; Greenville/Spartanburg, SC; Grand Rapids, MI; and Madison, WI. The lowest fares in the top 100 airports were at Dallas Love; followed by Orlando, FL; Burbank, CA; Long Beach, CA; and Islip, NY. See the BTS Air Fare web page for average fares for the top 100 airports.

The largest year-to-year average fare increases for the third quarter among the 100 largest airports, ranked by 2007 originating passengers, was 26.8 percent in Minneapolis/St. Paul; followed by Islip, NY; Chicago Midway; Knoxville, TN; and Columbus, OH.

The biggest year-to-year average decrease was 4.8 percent in Long Beach, CA; followed by Burlington, VT; Salt Lake City, UT; Atlanta; and San Antonio, TX.

The largest average fare increase from the third quarter of 1995 was 212.0 percent at Dallas Love, followed by Lubbock, TX; Colorado Springs, CO; El Paso, TX; and Houston Hobby.

The largest average fare decrease from the third quarter of 1995 to the third quarter of 2007 was 39.0 percent in White Plains, NY. The other top five average fare decreases over this period took place at Manchester, NH; Akron/Canton, OH; Providence, RI; and Newburgh, NY.

For more information visit


posted by transport blogs @ 8:30 PM permanent link   | Post a Comment | 0 comments

Monday, January 26, 2009

Statement of U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood on CAFE Standards

Less than a week into his term, President Obama today signed a Presidential Memorandum directing the U.S. Department of Transportation to finalize CAFE standards for 2011 model year vehicles and to proceed expeditiously on setting standards for later years. CAFE is a top priority for this Administration, and the Department of Transportation and its National Highway Traffic Safety Administration are poised to move quickly on new fuel economy standards for passenger cars and light trucks.


posted by transport blogs @ 8:47 PM permanent link   | Post a Comment | 0 comments

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Dr. Karlin Toner to Lead Interagency Coordination of NextGen

The Department of Transportation today announced the appointment of Dr. Karlin Toner to serve as the senior DOT staff advisor to the Secretary and Deputy Secretary of Transportation concerning the transformation of the air transportation system. Dr. Toner will also be senior DOT staff liaison between Joint Planning and Development Office (JPDO) partnering departments and agencies and the Office of the Secretary.

Dr. Toner comes to the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) on detail from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Her appointment follows an executive order signed by President Bush on Nov. 18, 2008 to advance the transformation of the national air transportation system. The executive order directed DOT to establish within the Office of the Secretary of Transportation a staff to support the Secretary as chairman of the interagency Senior Policy Committee that is overseeing the development of the Next Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen).

She will work directly under the Secretary of Transportation and coordinate inter-agency development of the NextGen program that also involves the departments of Defense, Homeland Security, and Commerce, as well as NASA, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, and the FAA.

Dr. Toner brings to her new position 15 years of experience at NASA, where she served from August 2006 to December 2008 as director of airspace systems programs. She previously held a number of key positions at NASA in aerospace and aeronautical planning and research. She has doctoral and master's degrees in aerospace engineering from the University of Florida and a bachelor's degree in applied mathematics from the Indiana University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Toner manages the NextGen Human Factors group at the FAA.


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Sunday, January 18, 2009

Statement from U.S. Secretary of Transportation

The American people can be confident and assured by the miraculous outcome of the U.S. Airways splashdown in the Hudson river that was the result of years of diligent work and training by safety professionals, brilliant actions of the pilot and his crew, heroic recovery efforts of first responders, and FAA employees who have created the safety standards that worked yesterday. Not a single family will receive disappointing news. The efforts of everyone who played a part in this incredible story, who trained and practiced to be ready, indeed performed. And 155 souls remain with us today. I want to congratulate everyone for this superb effort, both those who were visible in New York and those who worked behind the scenes. We at DOT will continue to work hard to keep our aviation system the safest in the world. - Mary E. Peters


posted by transport blogs @ 9:21 PM permanent link   | Post a Comment | 0 comments

Sunday, January 11, 2009

U.S. Department of Transportation Provides $2 Million in Immediate Emergency Relief for Flood-Damaged Washington Roads

SEATTLE, WA - U.S. Secretary of Transportation Mary E. Peters today announced that the federal government is making $2 million available immediately to help cover the cost of repairing flood-damaged roads in Washington state.

"Opening the more than 65 state highways that were closed because of the rain will be tough. Fixing these drowned roads shouldn't be held up in a flood of red tape," Secretary Peters said.

The announcement was made during a visit to Washington state with Governor Christine Gregoire, Senators Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell and other federal, state and local leaders. They viewed Washington's flooded areas and received a briefing from Washington Department of Transportation officials on the extent of damage.

"This is an immediate boost for recovery efforts that are already underway," said Senator Murray, Chairman of the Senate Transportation Appropriations Committee. "This funding will help to get debris cleared and get our roads and highways up and running again. It is also the first step in bringing additional federal resources back to Washington state to assist communities in the recovery process. Critical emergencies like this are exactly why I fought to include Emergency Relief Funding in the annual transportation budget."

The quick-release funds, which do not require a local match like most federal-aid, are a down payment on future funding which will be made available once the state has completed damage assessments and repair costs are more fully known, Secretary Peters said. Specific locations along the damaged roads targeted for the emergency funds have not yet been identified, she added.

The state can use the funding made available today to pay for clean-up and recovery work, including clearing debris and re-routing traffic, as well as for new construction to replace damaged sections of highway.


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Thursday, January 8, 2009

Statement on the Dulles Rail Project

U.S. Transportation Secretary Mary E. Peters today made the following statement regarding the Bush Administration's decision to approve the Full Funding Grant Agreement for phase one of the Dulles Corridor Metrorail Project and send the project to Congress for its 60 day review.

"I commend the long-term commitment of the Commonwealth of Virginia, the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority, the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, Dulles Transit Partners and the Virginia Congressional delegation to address the valid concerns we had previously raised about the viability of this project. Through a collaborative effort between local, state, and federal governments and the private sector, I think the project is now stronger, more financially sound and a better deal for commuters and taxpayers. I urge the project partners to continue their diligent efforts to contain costs and address any other issues that may arise, and wish them well in realizing the long-term aspiration of bringing rail to the Dulles corridor."


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Monday, January 5, 2009

U.S. Department of Transportation Signs Agreement with Kansas City Southern Railway to Relieve Freight Congestion at Laredo Border

WASHINGTON - An alternate route for freight rail traffic to and from the United States and Mexico to improve cross-border goods movement is one step closer to reality thanks to an agreement signed this week by the U.S. Department of Transportation and Kansas City Southern Railway, U.S. Transportation Secretary Mary E. Peters announced today.

The East Loop Bypass project proposes a new rail bridge east of Laredo, Texas, continuing across the border and south into Mexico.

"Border congestion creates an unnecessary obstacle to efficient trade with our international partners. Providing alternative routes for freight transport is good for the economy and the American people," Secretary Peters said.

The project is part of the Department's Transportation Border Congestion Relief Program designed to facilitate and accelerate transportation-related capacity and operational improvements at border crossings. Other projects include the Otay Mesa East Port of Entry project and the Cascade Gateway Expanded Cross-border Advanced Traveler Information System project in Blaine, Washington.

The new railroad bridge and East Loop Bypass project would improve freight movement dramatically in the region by increasing rail transport capacity at the Laredo gateway and diverting freight vehicular traffic onto rail and off congested roads. The project also would enhance safety by eliminating numerous highway-rail grade crossings.

"This project is a great example of a public-private partnership that will create more opportunity for America's businesses while simultaneously improving safety," said Federal Highway Administrator Tom Madison.

Secretary Peters also added that as part of the congestion relief program, the project would receive priority access to many of the Department's assistance programs, including loans and other innovative financing mechanisms.


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Thursday, January 1, 2009

FRA Issues Record of Decision for the Replacement of 100 Year-Old Portal Bridge Over Hackensack River in New Jersey

The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) has issued a Record of Decision for the Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) for the Portal Bridge Capacity Enhancement Project over the Hackensack River, between Secaucus and Kearny, NJ. The FEIS, prepared in cooperation with Amtrak and New Jersey Transit, considered four build alternatives in addition to a No Action Alternative.

The FRA has decided to proceed with the alternative which includes a three-track fixed northern bridge, a two-track moveable southern bridge built on a new southern alignment, and a track over track grade separation to eliminate crossover movements. This alternative is expected to cost $1.344 billion in 2008 dollars and take 66 months to complete. Replacing the bridge with additional tracks will result in enhanced capacity, improved service, and operational flexibility. The existing Portal Bridge is a two-track, moveable swing-span bridge that was constructed by the Pennsylvania Railroad and began operation in 1910.

The bridge, owned by Amtrak, is a bottleneck along the Northeast Corridor that conflicts with marine traffic and impedes efficient and reliable passenger rail service. Nearly 500 trains utilize the bridge every weekday, and both Amtrak and NJ Transit anticipate additional growth in the future. The FEIS and additional information is available on the Portal Bridge website. Contact: Rob Kulat (202) 493-6024.


posted by transport blogs @ 8:32 PM permanent link   | Post a Comment | 0 comments




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