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Category Archives: Transportation

Gasoline prices tend to have little effect on demand for car travel

EIA: “The U.S. average retail price per gallon of regular motor gasoline has fallen 28% from its 2014 peak of $3.70 per gallon on June 23, to $2.68 per gallon on December 8. However, this price decline may not have much effect on automobile travel, and in turn, gasoline consumption. Gasoline is a relatively inelastic product, meaning changes in prices have little influence on demand. Price elasticity measures the responsiveness of demand to changes in price. Almost all price elasticities are negative: an increase in price leads to lower demand, and vice versa. Air travel, especially for vacation, tends to be highly elastic: a 10% increase in the price of air travel leads to an even greater (more than 10%) decrease in the amount of air travel. Price changes have greater effects if the changes persist over time, as opposed to being temporary shocks. Automobile travel in the United States is much less elastic, and its price elasticity has fallen in recent decades. The price elasticity of motor gasoline is currently estimated to be in the range of -0.02 to -0.04 in the short term, meaning it takes a 25% to 50% decrease in the price of gasoline to raise automobile travel 1%. In the mid 1990s, the price elasticity for gasoline was higher, around -0.08, meaning it only took a 12% decrease in the price of gasoline to raise automobile travel by 1%.”

2014 Livability Index of the 35 best cities for people 35 and under

The Livability Index: The 35 Best U.S. Cities For People 35 and Under  Our semi-exhaustive, largely scientific guide to America’s most livable cities, updated for 2014 “To reach our top 35, we started with the 100 most populous cities in America and used open-source Internet data to measure vital stats like salary and employment rates,Continue Reading

New GAO Report – College and Career Readiness, Health Care, Hurricane Sandy, Aviation Securrity

College-and-Career Readiness: States Have Made Progress in Implementing New Standards and Assessments, but Challenges Remain, GAO-15-104R: Published: Dec 12, 2014. Publicly Released: Dec 12, 2014. Grant Program Consolidations: Lessons Learned and Implications for Congressional Oversight, GAO-15-125: Published: Dec 12, 2014. Publicly Released: Dec 12, 2014. Grants Management: Programs at HHS and HUD Collect Administrative Cost Information butContinue Reading

New GAO Reports – Federal Retirement, Immigration Benefits, NASA, Public Transit, Unmanned Aerial Systems

Federal Retirement Processing: Applying Information Technology Acquisition Best Practices Could Help OPM Overcome a Long History of Unsuccessful Modernization Efforts, GAO-15-277T: Published: Dec 10, 2014. Publicly Released: Dec 10, 2014. Immigration Benefits: Improvements Needed to Fully Implement the International Marriage Broker Regulation Act, GAO-15-3: Published: Dec 10, 2014. Publicly Released: Dec 10, 2014. Information Technology: HUD CanContinue Reading

Reducing aerodynamic drag on tractor trailer trucks results in major fuel savings

American Physical Society’s Division of Fluid Dynamics. “Small modifications to tractor-trailers could save billions of gallons of gasoline each year.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 25 November 2014. “Each year, the more than 2 million tractor-trailer trucks that cruise America’s highways consume about 36 billion gallons of diesel fuel, representing more than 10 percent of the nation’s entireContinue Reading

Honda’s Early Warning Report Audit & NHTSA Special Order

Fact Sheet: “In September 2014, Honda commissioned a third-party audit of its TREAD Act reporting (also known as Early Warning Reports, or EWRs) to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) after certain discrepancies in reporting had been identified. NHTSA Special Order Once Honda received preliminary findings from the third-party audit, it requested a meetingContinue Reading

New GAO Reports – Health Care Transparency, Human Trafficking, Highway Projects, Public Transportation, Overseas Military Construction

HEALTH CARE TRANSPARENCY: Actions Needed to Improve Cost and Quality Information for Consumers, GAO-15-11: Published: Oct 20, 2014. Publicly Released: Nov 18, 2014. HIGHWAY PROJECTS: Many Federal and State Environmental Review Requirements Are Similar, and Little Duplication of Effort Occurs, GAO-15-71: Published: Nov 18, 2014. Publicly Released: Nov 18, 2014. HUMAN TRAFFICKING: Oversight of Contractors’ Use of Foreign Workers in High-Risk EnvironmentsContinue Reading

Automobile Industry Issues Consumer Privacy Protection Principles

“The automotive industry is developing innovative technologies and services that promise to deliver substantial benefits and enhance the driving experience. These technologies and services may assist in enhancing safety, reducing the environmental impacts of vehicles, diagnosing vehicle malfunctions, calling for emergency assistance, detecting and preventing vehicle theft, reducing traffic congestion, improving vehicle efficiency and performance, deliveringContinue Reading

EPA, DOE Release 2015 Fuel Economy Guide for Car Buyers

News release: “The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Department of Energy (DOE) …released the 2015 Fuel Economy Guide, providing consumers with a valuable resource to help them choose the most fuel-efficient and low greenhouse gas emitting vehicles that meet their needs. In comparison to previous years, the 2015 models include a greater number ofContinue Reading

UK Major Incident Procedure Manual Eighth Edition

“The London Emergency Services Liaison Panel (LESLP) was formed in 1973 and consists of representatives from the Metropolitan Police Service, City of London Police, British Transport Police, the London Fire Brigade, the London Ambulance Service and local authorities. The Port of London Authority (PLA), Marine Coastguard, RAF, Military and voluntary sector are also represented. LESLPContinue Reading

New GAO Reports – Airport and Airway Trust Fund, Food Safety, Information Sharing

FISCAL YEAR 2014 AGREED-UPON PROCEDURES: Excise Tax Distributions to the Airport and Airway Trust Fund and the Highway Trust Fund, GAO-15-152R: Published: Nov 6, 2014. Publicly Released: Nov 6, 2014. FOOD SAFETY: FDA and USDA Should Strengthen Pesticide Residue Monitoring Programs and Further Disclose Monitoring Limitations, GAO-15-38: Published: Oct 7, 2014. Publicly Released: Nov 6, 2014. INFORMATION SHARING: DHS Is Assessing FusionContinue Reading

McKinsey – A road map to the future for the auto industry

The China factor – “Fifty years of innovations in horsepower, safety, and rider amenities have helped automobile sales grow by an average annual rate of 3 percent since 1964. This is roughly double the rate of global population growth over the same period and makes for a planet with over one billion vehicles on its roads. ForContinue Reading