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Tuesday, October 27, 2009

FMCSA conducts First National Drug and Alcohol Strike Force targeting Commercial Bus and Truck Drivers

WASHINGTON - The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) proclaimed 77 commercial bus and truck drivers are off the road and over 80 carriers face enforcement action as a result of FMCSA's first national drug and alcohol strike force.

From September 8 to September 18, 2009 FMCSA safety investigators inspected the drug and alcohol safety records of commercial drivers employed by bus companies, together with school bus drivers, interstate passenger carriers, hazardous material transporters and general freight long-haul trucking companies.

"Safety is the number one priority for the Department of Transportation. Parents need to know when they put their child on a school bus that the driver will get them there safely and that they are drug and alcohol free," said U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. "Violators of our drug and alcohol policies have no business driving a commercial vehicle. Programs like the drug and alcohol strike force are helping remove the most dangerous offenders from our roadways."

The 77 commercial drivers who face the prospect of civil penalties for failing to stick on to federal drug and alcohol regulations can no longer operate a commercial motor vehicle and will likely face a pecuniary fine. Additionally, 84 commercial carriers face pending enforcement action for violations such as using a driver that has tested positive for prohibited drugs and for not instituting a drug and alcohol testing program.

The goals of the strike force were to recognize motor carriers in violation of federal drug and alcohol testing requirements and to remove from the road commercial truck and bus drivers who skip from carrier to carrier to try and evade federal drug and alcohol testing and reporting requirements.

Both drivers and carriers will have an opportunity to challenge the alleged violations and the amount of the civil penalties.


posted by transport blogs @ 5:34 AM permanent link   | Post a Comment | 0 comments

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Choosing a Safe and Reliable vehicle Transport Service

If you are going to relocate and intend shipping your car to the new destination, then you will have do some home work as auto shipping of cars is quite a daunting task. If you want your car to reach your new destination safely, within reasonable time, in a cost-effective manner and without any damage - then you will have to find a reliable and affordable auto transport company that has been in auto shipping business for sufficiently long.

Your car has been for you a big investment and chances are you are also sentimentally attached to your car. Even if you entrust the auto shipping of your car to a reliable and reputed auto transport company, you must make sure your auto carrier insures your car. Those who have had bad experience of receiving cars shipped to them with dents and scratches will tell you the value of insurance.

When auto transporting your car, you have quite a few options on how to have your car transported. You can choose door-to-door or terminal to terminal, enclosed or open, and rail service among others. Make sure you understand the details of each option and make an informed decision. Pick up time is the amount of time it takes from receipt of your order to pick up your automobile and load it onto the trailer. Transit time depends on the distance between the two destinations and the route taken.

More importantly, you should consider whether the auto shipping company allows you to cancel the transaction if they are late for pick up, or at least refund a certain amount if they deliver you car late, or with damage. If the delivery is delayed, your car transport company should inform you ahead of time so that you are not unduly anxious.

It is critically important to have everything written down and well-documented on paper, to avoid future misunderstandings. Have the transport service inspect your car before and after transport so you can assess whether there was any damage sustained during transit. This is standard operating procedure of many auto transport services all over.

Finding the right car transport company to fit your specific needs and budget should not be difficult if you care to spend some time and effort. In today's market there are literally hundreds of car transport companies out there, and you should succeed in selecting the right carrier. But please bear in mind that the cheapest shipper need not necessarily be the right one. What should really matter are the reputation and reliability of car transport Company and its track record. Always investigate the past transactions of the transport company to see if there are any potential problems regarding their service.

Transporting your automobile from one place to another can be very stressful - but if you choose the right auto transport company that closely adheres to your requirements, you can be confident and comfortable. An auto transport company is not only doing business for individuals who are relocating from one place to another but also for automobile dealers

It is very common these days to buy everything through the Internet and auto transport companies are there to help the automobile dealer deliver vehicles to different locations. With the trade and commerce becoming increasingly global, there is a commensurate increase in business for car shipping companies.


posted by transport blogs @ 10:35 PM permanent link   | Post a Comment | 0 comments

Monday, June 15, 2009

First-Quarter 2009 Airline Financial Data: Network Airlines Report Sixth Consecutive Quarterly Loss Margin

Monday, June 15, 2009 - The seven network airlines, as a group, reported an operating loss margin of -4.0 percent in the first quarter of 2009, the sixth consecutive quarterly loss margin since the group reported a profit margin in the third quarter of 2007, the Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) of the U.S. Department of Transportation reported today in a release of preliminary data.

BTS, a part of the Research and Innovative Technology Administration, reported that five of the seven reporting network airlines, most of the industry's largest carriers, reported an operating loss margin in the January-to-March period. Only Alaska Airlines and Northwest Airlines reported an operating profit.

The low-cost and regional airlines groups both reported operating profit margins for the first quarter. Only low-cost carriers Virgin America and Southwest Airlines and regional carrier ExpressJet Airlines reported loss margins. The loss for Southwest was the first after 71 consecutive quarters with an operating profit. Operating margin measures profit or loss as a percentage of the airline's total operating revenue.

The seven network airlines spent 22.2 percent of their operating expenses in the first quarter of 2008 on fuel, compared to 14.7 percent five years earlier in the first quarter of 2004. For airline fuel expenses.

The total industry collected $566.3 million in baggage fees in the first quarter of 2009, up 13.6 percent from the $498.6 million collected in the fourth quarter of 2008 and up 362.1 percent from the $122.6 million collected in the first quarter of 2008. Beginning in the second quarter 2008, most of the scheduled passenger carriers began charging for the first and second bags checked by passengers. Previously, additional charges were not applied until the third bag was checked. American Airlines collected $108.1 million in the first quarter of 2009, the most of any carrier. for the 10 airlines that collected the most in baggage fees in the first quarter.



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Friday, June 12, 2009

£3.265 million facelift for the A96

Local communities along the A96 between Aberdeen and Inverness will benefit from a £3.265 million road improvement package due to get underway this summer.

The programme kicks off later this month with works between Cowfords and Marchfield. Further upgrade schemes will also be carried out between the Huntly Roundabout north and Westerton Farm, and between Wittet Drive, Elgin and Oakwood, which are planned for late summer and early autumn.

The initial phase will see the much needed reconstruction and resurfacing of almost one mile of carriageway between Cowfords and Marchfield. This part of the programme, worth £964,000, is set to start on Monday 22nd of June for four weeks.

Local communities will benefit from the extension and resurfacing of the footpath and cycleway which runs alongside this section of road. Bear Scotland, who is supervising the programme on Transport Scotland's behalf, will also use this opportunity to carry out drainage works.

Stewart Stevenson, Minister for Transport said:

"The A96 is a vital link in the north east and this £3 million plus investment demonstrates this Government's commitment to improving roads in the region. As a Government we are always looking at ways to encourage people out of their cars and onto sustainable forms of travel like walking and cycling which is why we are extending the cycle way and foot path along this route.

"Projects such as this also provide a vital boost to the construction industry in Scotland, helping our hard pressed construction workers in this challenging economic climate."

The A96 is a key trunk road used by over 15,000 vehicles each day. The volume of traffic has lead to general wear and tear, especially as the HGV traffic makes up 12% of the total traffic on this busy route. This programme of essential improvement works will ensure that this section of road continues to operate safely for many years to come.


posted by transport blogs @ 12:21 AM permanent link   | Post a Comment | 0 comments

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

More frequent and more secure rail services for London and the South East

Passengers in London and the South East can look forward to more frequent rail services, improved stations, more staff and better security, Transport Secretary Andrew Adonis said today as he awarded the South Central rail franchise to Southern Railways Ltd., a subsidiary of Govia Ltd - the current franchise operator.

The new franchise, which starts on 20 September this year, requires the new operator to introduce longer suburban trains at peak times and more trains on key lines during evenings and weekends. Passengers will also be able to travel more safely on the network thanks to a significant increase in the number of stations staffed at night and the introduction of CCTV on all trains.

Andrew Adonis said:

"This new franchise provides more regular trains, more services at busy times and more station and train security for passengers across London and the South East. It will greatly improve the quality of service and give passengers better value for money.

"We have worked closely with rail user groups such as Passenger Focus to ensure that this new franchise works for passengers. We have had four candidates entering bids for the franchise, showing that there is still a strong level of interest from private firms in running rail services."

Key train service enhancements will include:

  • Longer suburban services made up of ten car trains, with delivery starting in 2011 and being completed by 2013.

  • Four trains per hour on most routes in South London until around 2300 Monday to Saturday and new late night services in South London on Friday and Saturday nights with most routes running trains until 0030

  • Additional services in South London on Sundays with four trains per hour on most routes.

  • A new hourly Brighton to Southampton service on Sundays and additional late night services from Brighton to Worthing.

  • Later services on the London to Uckfield route.

  • A new service to Southampton Airport and an additional Gatwick Express service from Brighton at peak times.

Under the new franchise agreement, all stations and trains on the South Central network will be fitted with CCTV by June 2011 and all stations across the franchise will be required to maintain or increase the presence of customer-facing staff, leading to a safer and improved passenger-friendly experience.

In addition, new ticket gates will be installed at 22 stations (on top of the 14 South London stations being gated prior to the franchise commencement) and almost all South London stations will be staffed from the first to last service of the day.

The franchise will also deliver at least 1,000 extra car parking spaces and 1,500 additional secure bicycle spaces. Every station across the network will be cleaned and refreshed, while there will also be enhancements to 34 stations in the region, including major refurbishments at Brighton, Haywards Heath, Hove, Lewes, Redhill, Three Bridges and Worthing.

In addition, the Government has required the operator to set targets for passenger satisfaction and provide additional investment if these targets are not achieved.



posted by transport blogs @ 10:22 PM permanent link   | Post a Comment | 0 comments

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Disaster Assistance Grants Awarded to States to Cover Costs of Railroad Emergency Repairs Following Natural Disasters

Federal Railroad Administrator Joseph C. Szabo today announced the award of $15 million to nine states for emergency repairs to damaged railroad infrastructure resulting from natural disasters.

Funding from the Federal Railroad Administration's (FRA) Railroad Rehabilitation and Repair Program (RRRP) will go to state Departments of Transportation to reimburse short line and regional railroads for the cost of repairs.

"Freight railroads are critical to local economies and we are committed to helping them restore rail service after a major disruption," said Szabo. “This funding will help the carriers defray repair costs and keep the trains running.”

Funds awarded under the RRRP can cover up to 80 percent of the total cost of a selected project, with the remainder to be provided from non-federal sources. Grants may be used to repair bridges, signals and other infrastructure which are part of the general rail transportation system. The grant recipients are as follows:

Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities

  • Flood repair for the Alaska Railroad - $637,440
  • Flood repair for the Alaska Railroad - $945,680

Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department

  • Emergency repairs to Missouri and Northern Arkansas Railroad - $737,292

Illinois Department of Transportation

  • Flood control on the Indiana Harbor Belt Railroad - $569,700

Kansas Department of Transportation

  • Repair of flood damage to the Gorilla Subdivision on the South Kansas & Oklahoma Railroad - $405,702

FRA 03-09

Indiana Department of Transportation

  • Flood damage repair on the Indiana Southern Railroad - $1,244,217

Iowa Department of Transportation

  • Flood damage restoration to rebuild a bridge and repair signals on the Cedar Rapids and Iowa City Railway - $6,965,163

  • Flood damage restoration for the Keokuk Junction Railway Yard - $459,200

  • Replacement of the Waterloo Bridge over the Cedar River for the Iowa Northern Railway - $2,174,880
Missouri Department of Transportation

  • Flood damage repair on Missouri & Northern Arkansas Railroad - $353,600
North Carolina Department of Transportation
  • Repair of washouts and debris removal On the Carolina Coastal Railway - $11,101
Wisconsin Department of Transportation

  • Repair of flood damage and washouts on the Wisconsin & Southern Railroad - $354,006

Under the Consolidated Security, Disaster Assistance, and Continuing Appropriations Act, 2009, FRA was authorized to make $20 million available for grants to repair and rehabilitate railroad infrastructure damaged in areas declared by the President as a major disaster.

The FRA intends to issue another solicitation for the remaining $5 million in funds through a Notice of Funding Availability to be published in the Federal Register that will be available on a competitive basis.



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Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Transport Direct welcomes 50 millionth user

Over 50 million users have now visited the Department for Transport's pioneering travel information and journey planning service, Transport Direct.

For five years the website has provided travellers with a unique guide to virtually all domestic transport on land, sea and air by drawing information from over 40 different sources each week.

It offers users the chance to tailor a journey to their own needs, by combining the content of up to eight different websites in one and plotting their route from door-to-door.

Transport Minister Paul Clark said:

"This website is about allowing the public to find a route that suits them best.

"People can see where to find a GP, make sure they get to their job interview on time, or plan a night out with friends.

"The versatility of Transport Direct is matched only by the scale and precision of its travel information - 96 per cent of users say they'd use it again."

The site, launched in December 2004, now attracts more than 25 million users each year - over eight times as many as it did in its first year.

Transport Direct Chief Executive, Nick Illsley, said:

"It's a great resource for anyone who needs simple directions in hurry, and it helps people plot the quickest route to their destination.

"Transport Direct lets people plan more efficient journeys at times when the transport system is less busy, saving time and allowing for more comfortable trips."

Real time information on road and rail disruption allows travellers to avoid unnecessary delays to their journey while extensive maps show the locations of bus stops and train stations, and also suggest where traffic congestion may occur.



posted by transport blogs @ 10:12 PM permanent link   | Post a Comment | 0 comments




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Previous Posts
  • FMCSA conducts First National Drug and Alcohol Str...
  • Choosing a Safe and Reliable vehicle Transport Ser...
  • First-Quarter 2009 Airline Financial Data: Network...
  • £3.265 million facelift for the A96
  • More frequent and more secure rail services for Lo...
  • Disaster Assistance Grants Awarded to States to Co...
  • Transport Direct welcomes 50 millionth user
  • Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood Reminds Driver...
  • Gov. Gregoire signs historic transportation budget...
  • Over 400,000 passengers benefit as Stirling Alloa ...



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