Wednesday, March 30, 2011

No quick repair for aging bridges

Bridges in New York and across America are well into middle age, and much like some people of that certain age, are deteriorating faster than they are being cared for.

A report issued Tuesday by the not-for-profit group Transportation for America put New York near the average nationally, with about 12 percent of the state's 17,365 bridges rated as structurally deficit. That is better than the worst, Pennsylvania, at 27 percent, but far from the best, Nevada, at 2 percent.

Deficient bridges are not deemed imminently unsafe, but require repairs or posting for reduced vehicle weights. The average bridge in the U.S. is 42 years old, and most were built to a useful life of 50 years, which can be extended through regular maintenance, or shortened by a lack of it.

Even though New York has more than 2,000 deficient bridges, the state did not make the report's list of the worst 100 U.S. counties. Also, Albany County ranked much better than the national average and was fourth among the state's 62 counties, with just 4.2 percent of its 342 bridges ranked as deficient.

Read more:

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Oklahoma Department of Transportation celebrates 100 years

The Oklahoma Department of Transportation is celebrating its centennial with numerous events, including an exhibit of vintage automobiles from collections of members of the Sooner Regional Group of the Horseless Carriage Club of America.

The exhibit at the Oklahoma History Center, 800 Nazih Zuhdi Drive, includes an 1899 Knox three-wheeler steered with a tiller, a 1903 Oldsmobile and a 1909 wooden-body Ford Model T originally owned by an Oklahoman.

Science Museum Oklahoma, 2100 NE 52, will host an ODOT Day May 13. The event will feature road-building equipment with crew members to answer questions, hands-on activities such as bridge building and using survey equipment and a liquid nitrogen experiment with road salt.

ODOT’s eight division headquarters will have open houses..

For more information, go to and click on “Celebrating 100 Years.”

Read more:

Monday, March 28, 2011

Transport and roads to be focus of first 100 days

BARRY O'FARRELL will outline the plan for his government's first 100 days in office by the middle of the week, once his cabinet has been sworn in.

However, a number of incoming ministers had met departmental heads before the vote, with work believed to be under way within the public service on some of the policies and programs outlined by the Coalition.

Yesterday the Premier-elect said a plan was being finalised, with the focus on public transport and roads.
Advertisement: Story continues below

''My biggest priority will remain transport,'' he said.

However, a Herald/Nielsen poll last week found that half of voters wanted the government to focus on the health system, against 19 per cent for transport and 17 per cent for education.

The survey also found that given a choice between maintaining the state's ''triple-A'' credit rating and ''borrowing to fund infrastructure'', 63 per cent chose funding, with just 29 per cent wanting the triple-A rating maintained.

Mr O'Farrell conceded there was pressure to fix the health system, while pointing out this is not a matter for the state government alone.

Read More

Friday, March 25, 2011

A-1 Auto Transport Website Makeover Focuses On The User Experience

auto transport
A-1 Auto Transport launches their newly redesigned website to better serve their customers. The new website focuses on the user experience, is much easier to navigate and one of the best information resources on the web for those who wish to ship their car.

A-1 Auto Transport's newly redesigned website now allows their users to utilize a variety of enhanced features such as free instant online auto transport quotes, both domestic and international. The site also provides an abundance of informative links to help the user become fully knowledgeable about the auto transport industry before they ship their car.

"The auto transport industry is largely misunderstood.", said Marketing Director, Joe Webster. "Customers looking for auto transport services oftentimes don't know how to prepare their car for shipping or how to approach car shipping legal contracts. The new website has an abundance of expert information so customers can have a better understanding in the process of auto transportation, to save them both time and money."

By using, users can easily and efficiently research the car shipping industry as a whole, as well as compare the rates and services of multiple auto transport companies with free real time auto transport quotes.

Another amazing feature that can be found on the new innovative website is real-time satellite tracking of your vehicle. From the comfort of your home or any Wi-Fi hot spot, you can now track your car by GPS satellite throughout its entire journey.

Read more:

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Next Step for Airport Security: Scanners for Your Shoes

Transport Security
The Transportation Security Administration announced this week that it’s accepting proposals for a “shoe scanner” device. It could be a way to cut down on the aggravations of airline travel while still allowing officials to check for weapons and explosives inside a terrorist’s Reeboks. The idea crashed and burned when the Department of Homeland Security first proposed it years ago.

The current push to acquire the devices kicks off on April 25, when would-be designers will have the chance to submit proposals for the scanners.

What will the next scanners look like? Will they use X-ray or millimeter wave technology? Will they be held in a TSA agent’s hand, or will you have to put your feet on some kind of scanning pedestal? We’ll have to wait until the full request is published on April 25. But a TSA spokeswoman, Sarah Horowitz, tells Danger Room that the agency “is not limiting the types of technologies that can be considered, as long as they meet TSA’s requirements, including those for safety and detection standards.”

Ever since would-be shoe bomber Richard Reid tried to blow up a transatlantic flight in December of 2001 with explosives concealed in his shoes, TSA has made airline passengers remove their shoes for X-raying, in the belief that terrorists will emulate Reid’s failed effort. Nearly 10 years later, TSA’s effort still contributes to long lines at security gates.

So, while TSA is still committed to the scanning approach to security, it wants the experience to be more convenient. It’s looking to “identify mature shoe scanning technology to support a future procurement which will eliminate the need for passengers to remove their shoes at the checkpoint,” says Horowitz.

Why “mature” tech? Because in the past, TSA has been stepped on when trying to scan shoes.

Read More

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

US Public Transport Could Be Hampered by Rising Gas Prices

We are, quite honestly, not sure if this story is good or bad. What we do know is that more Americans need to adopt the idea of public transportation and get away from the single car/single user way of life (yes, even with the uptick in hybrid and electric cars). However, we’re not sure that a huge surge in gas prices forcing people to use poorly structured public transport that will buckle under its increased usage is really how we wanted to see that go down. Unfortunately, one report implies that may be exactly what’s happening.

According to a report issued this month to Congress by the American Public Transportation Association (ATPA), if gas prices continue to rise, there may be problems. Already, according to the report, spiking gas prices are causing an increase in demand for public transportation across the United States. The numbers predicted, in fact, are somewhat staggering.

Read More

Monday, March 21, 2011

IATA Predicts Japan Air Transport Downturn

Japan Airlines
The International Air Transport Association (IATA) expects a “major slowdown in air travel” to Japan in the short term, but says it is too early to assess the financial impact. “The fortunes of the industry will likely not improve until the effect of a reconstruction rebound is felt in the second half of the year,” Director General and CEO Giovanni Bisignani says.

According to IATA, Japan represents 6.5% of world airline traffic and 10% of its revenues. The biggest international markets connecting with Japan are the U.S. (at an annual $10.5 billion in revenues), China ($6.5 billion), South Korea ($3.1 billion) and Taiwan ($2.1 billion). IATA estimates that the length of the current downturn “will depend critically on developments in the nuclear power situation.”

Several airlines, including Cathay Pacific and United Continental, have reported weaker demand for services to Japan. However, that trend is not seen in other regions yet. European airlines are still experiencing strong demand for Japan travel, both inbound and outbound.

The association estimates that the fuel reserves at Japanese airports will last for 10 days, although some fuel facilities have been damaged

Read More

Friday, March 18, 2011

Greek public transport workers, journalists strike

Journalists and public transport workers in the Greek capital Athens have walked off the job on a 24-hour strike to protest austerity measures.

The journalists' strike, which began at 6 a.m. (0400GMT) Thursday, pulled all television and radio news programs off the air, and news websites were not being updated. No newspapers will be printed for Friday.

In the Greek capital, workers at the city's metro, tram and trolleys walked off the job, with only public buses continuing to run. Commuters headed to work in their own cars or in taxis, snarling traffic.

Transport workers have held a series of strikes in recent months against transit reforms aimed at cutting spending and waste.

Read More

Airlines face "major slowdown" due to Japan: IATA

The International Air Transport Association said it was too early to assess the long-term impact but with the $62.5 billion Japan market representing 6.5 percent of scheduled worldwide traffic and 10 percent of industry revenues "the fortunes of the industry will likely not improve until the effect of a reconstruction rebound is felt in the second half of the year."

IATA said the most exposed international market to Japanese operations was China, where Japan accounts for 23 percent of its international revenues.

Taiwan and South Korea were equally exposed with 20 percent of their revenues related to Japanese operations, followed by Thailand (15 percent), the United States (12 percent), Hong Kong (11 percent) and Singapore (9 percent).

France was the most exposed European market at 7 percent, followed by Germany (6 percent) and Britain (3 percent).

Earlier on Friday, Deutsche Lufthansa (LHAG.DE) said a sharp rise in fuel costs could hurt its profit, although economic recovery should boost the airline's revenues and operating profit this year and next.

Japan produces 3-4 percent of global jet fuel supply, some of which is exported to Asia, IATA said.

Read More

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Fuel prices 'top transport concern'

The spiralling price of fuel is a "critical issue", with the public placing it top of their transport concerns, a new survey has revealed.

The research carried out for the RAC Foundation showed that more than two-thirds of those surveyed - 68% - regard the cost of filling up as a priority for government ministers, up from 46% at the end of March last year.

Professor Stephen Glaister, director of the RAC Foundation, said: "The price of fuel has become a critical issue, and it is not hard to understand why. A year ago the price of a litre of unleaded was 117p, today it is around 132p."

The survey, based on 991 face-to-face interviews by Ipsos MORI with people aged 16 plus, asked participants to select two or three transport issues they considered a high priority for the Government to address.

The conditions of roads and pavements in England, Scotland and Wales came second on the list, with 44% of people placing it in their top three.

The cost of train travel was of high priority for 32% of people, while issues such as congestion on local roads and road safety, were were seen as key problems for 24% and 22% of people respectively.

The impact of transport on the environment concerned 15% of interviewees, while high speed rail was at the bottom of the list with just 4% of people saying it was a concern to them.

Prof Glaister added: "The results show that people do not see grand plans for the future, like high speed rail, as priorities when there is so much to be done by ministers in the here and now: not just addressing the cost of filling up, but also tackling the state of the roads and the price of travelling by public transport.

"The average household already spends more on transport than any other area of expenditure including mortgages, food, domestic heating and entertainment."

Read More

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Qantas Tokyo Flights to Stop in Hong Kong as Quake Disrupts Transportation

Qantas Airways Ltd. (QAN) added Hong Kong stopovers to six flights serving Tokyo’s Narita Airport after an earthquake and nuclear-power plant emergency disrupted transport links in Japan.

Tokyo flights linking Sydney and Perth will stop in Hong Kong through March 19, according to a statement on the airline’s website. There are no plans to cancel any services, Simon Rushton, a spokesman, said by phone.

The carrier added the stop so it could swap crews in Hong Kong as there are intermittent difficulties in transporting staff to hotels in Tokyo, Rushton said. The move is a precautionary step to ensure that employees don’t have to work double shifts on the 10-hour flights between Australia and Japan.

Deutsche Lufthansa AG yesterday moved all its Tokyo services to the southern Japanese cities of Nagoya and Osaka. The carrier, along with Air France-KLM and Austrian Airlines AG, has added stops in Seoul for crew changes.

Singapore Airlines Ltd. (SIA) and Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd. are operating flights to Japan as normal today, according to statements on their websites.

Read More

Monday, March 14, 2011

Transport strike begins

MINIBUS operators and taxi operators started their protest in Half-Way-Tree, St Andrew this morning.

The members, who are representative of Jamaica Association of Transport Owners and Operators (JATOO), last week warned that starting today they would be taking to the streets in protest against the failure of transport officials to meet with them to address several concerns.
"We need to stand up for our rights," said one operator at the transport hub this morning.

The group started gathering at 10:00 am but the movement is facing some resistance from organisation members who still want to operate as normal.

"Work we a work,” said one driver, indicating that he was not a part of the strike.

Operators planned to pull their buses from several routes in Portmore and the Kingston and Metropolitan Transport Region (KMTR).

Under what is dubbed as 'Black Monday', the operators said they will be staging a peaceful protest in Half-Way-Tree while wearing items of black clothing to register their dissatisfaction.

Read more

Aftershock causes transport disruptions in Tokyo

A magnitude-6.2 aftershock Monday in Japan caused widespread transportation disruptions in Tokyo on the first day that rail service had returned to normal there since last week's quake and tsunami.

Japan Rail, the country's largest rail operator, stopped traffic on all city lines except four, but service on those lines were also disrupted.

Only 10 per cent of the trains on the important east-east train line through Tokyo were running, Japanese TV reported.

Travellers crowded stations but waited patiently for a seat. Waiting lines often flowed down platforms, into corridors and into station concourses.

Train service to Tokyo's Narita airport was also suspended.

Many commuters in Tokyo were stranded Friday after a magnitude-9 quake struck off north-eastern Japan, causing a tsunami. Train service and highways were closed.

Read More

Friday, March 11, 2011

Major tsunami damage in N Japan after 8.9 quake

A powerful tsunami spawned by the largest earthquake in Japan's history slammed the eastern coast Friday, sweeping away boats, cars, homes and people as widespread fires burned out of control. A local news report said at least 15 people were killed.

The magnitude 8.9 offshore quake was followed by at least 19 aftershocks, most of them of more than magnitude 6.0. Dozens of cities and villages along the 1,300-mile (2,100-kilometer) stretch of the country's eastern shore were shaken by violent tremors that reached as far away as Tokyo, hundreds of miles (kilometers) from the epicenter in the sea off the northeastern coast.

A tsunami warning was issued for dozens of Pacific countries, as far away as Chile.

Kyodo news agency said 15 people were killed. The government confirmed only five deaths.

"The earthquake has caused major damage in broad areas in northern Japan," Prime Minister Naoto Kan said at a news conference.

Even for a country used to earthquakes, this one was of horrific proportions.

Large fishing boats and other sea vessels rode high waves into the cities, slamming against overpasses. Upturned and partially submerged vehicles were seen bobbing in the water.

Read More

TSA revises estimates on using private airport security screeners

A long-simmering dispute on the use of private security screeners at U.S. airports boiled over again this week as the top House Republican on transportation issues accused the Transportation Security Administration of inflating the cost of using such screeners in an effort to keep federal screeners on the job.

Under a program overseen by the TSA, 16 airports - including ones in Kansas City, Rochester, N.Y., and San Francisco - use private screeners to inspect airline passengers, baggage and cargo; all other airports rely on federal transportation security officers.

TSA Administrator John S. Pistole suspended the program in January, saying he did not see the advantage of expanding it at this point.
An agency study published in 2007 estimated that using private screeners would cost 17 percent more than federal screeners. But according to a Government Accountability Office report released this week, the agency revised its estimates in January and now says that private screeners would cost just 3 percent more.

Read More

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

South China city considering congestion fees against traffic jams

China's southern economic powerhouse Shenzhen is studying the possibility of collecting congestion fees and further raising parking fees to unsnarl its clogged roads.
Huang Min, director of the Shenzhen Traffic and Transport Commission, said the city is working on a package of measures to cub traffic jams, including further improving the management of vehicles and roads.
Shenzhen will speed up construction of the metro and track traffic and open more bus routes to encourage more local residents and tourists to use the city's public transportation facilities, China Daily on Tuesday quoted Huang as saying.
Wang Guowen, a researcher from the Shenzhen Comprehensive Development Institute, said the collection of congestion fees indicates the government is learning the experience of some other countries and regions to tackle traffic problems by introducing market principles.
Lu Huapu, a professor from Tsinghua University, said collecting congestion fees would certainly help ease traffic jams in Shenzhen, but it cannot tackle the problem at its roots.
Relevant departments should further improve the city's public transport systems and lower the charges for using public facilities before congestion fees are collected, Lu said.
According to a five-year plan of improving the city's public transport capacity, Shenzhen is expected to become the country's first city to build special high-occupancy vehicle lanes in the Chinese mainland, Huang said.
Shenzhen will build an additional 150 kilometers of special bus lanes this year, and another 100 km in 2012, Huang said.

Read More

Friday, March 04, 2011

Beijing to Track Citizens Through Cell Phones

Chinese authorities in Beijing will track its citizens through phones, using location data from telecom China Mobile, in a bid to ease traffic congestion but raising privacy concerns over misuse.
The project, called the "Beijing Residents Real-time Travel Information Platform," will aggregate information on mobile users' movements around the Beijing, including their time of departure, destination and means of transport. Municipal officials hope to use this information to understand population flow at different times of the day and in certain parts of the city.
Tests will take place in two highly-populated districts in June and the plan could go a long way towards redeeming Beijing's reputation as the worst traffic blackspot in the world. Last year, it notoriously suffered a nine-day, 62-mile-long traffic jam.
"By sending dynamic travel information to citizens, they can adjust their trip plan in downtown areas to effectively relieve traffic congestion," said Li Guo-guang, deputy director of the Commission. "It is also fairly beneficial for population management. Information obtained through the mobile phone location is more thorough in terms of figuring out the population of a certain dwelling district."

Read More