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Category Archives: Transportation

Get away with Google Flights

Google Official Blog: “While winds howl, frost bites and snow falls, people dream of getting away from it all. Every year around this time, we see an uptick in searches for spring and summer travel from people who have had it up to here with winter. And in the middle of one of the coldest, snowiest, iciest winters on record in the U.S., you better believe people are gearing up to grab their suntan lotion and their carry-ons, and hop on a plane. Enter Google Flights, which makes it easy to plan the trip that’s right for you. Here are a few tips to help you book this year’s dream vacation. Flexibility is key when finding great deals – There’s a travel myth that you can always find the best deals on Tuesday. But actually, you can find good deals any day of the week—especially if you’re flexible with your travel dates. Though it’s sometimes hard to pull the trigger because you’re afraid the price will drop tomorrow (or next Tuesday, maybe?), our experience shows it’s usually best to book right away. Regardless of which day you sit down to plan your trip, you can use the calendar in Google Flights to scroll through months and see the lowest fare highlighted for each day. If you’re planning even further out, use the lowest fares graph beneath the calendar to see how prices may fluctuate based on the season, holidays or other events. You can also set preferences (such as direct flights only) and our calendar will adjust to show you just those flights and fares that fit the bill. Finally, if you can save more by using a nearby airport or flying on a different day, we’ll show you a tip at the top of your results.”

The U.S. Interstate Highways, Ranked

Mapquest – “Ranking the Lower 48’s two-digit, primary interstates—66 in all, 47,000 miles (and counting)—is a subjective business. What do you make of an I-70? In parts it’s bumper-to-bumper with commuters, elsewhere isolated fields of corn. To help, we turned to algebra, and created a “traffic rating” based on vehicle travel miles per mile ofContinue Reading

New GAO Reports – Defense Logistics, Defense Major Automated Information Systems, DHS, FAA, Private Pensions, Transportation Safety

Defense Logistics: Improvements Needed to Accurately Assess the Performance of DOD’s Materiel Distribution Pipeline, GAO-15-226: Published: Feb 26, 2015. Publicly Released: Feb 26, 2015. Defense Major Automated Information Systems: Cost and Schedule Commitments Need to Be Established Earlier, GAO-15-282: Published: Feb 26, 2015. Publicly Released: Feb 26, 2015. Department of Homeland Security: Progress Made, butContinue Reading

Occupational injuries, illnesses, and fatalities in public transportation

“Injuries and illnesses to bus drivers endanger not only their lives but also the lives of their passengers. In 2013, approximately 5,780 transit and intercity bus drivers experienced a days-away-from-work injury or illness while on the job. This article explores occupational injuries, illnesses, and fatalities to bus drivers and urban transit workers and examines howContinue Reading

Effects of Regional Temperature on Electric Vehicle Efficiency, Range, and Emissions in the US

Effects of Regional Temperature on Electric Vehicle Efficiency, Range, and Emissions in the United States. Tugce Yuksel and Jeremy J Michalek.  Environ. Sci. Technol., Just Accepted Manuscript DOI: 10.1021/es505621s Publication Date (Web): February 11, 2015. “We characterize the effect of regional temperature differences on battery electric vehicle (BEV) efficiency, range, and use-phase CO2 emissions inContinue Reading

DOT and FAA Propose New Rules for Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems

News release: “The Department of Transportation’s Federal Aviation Administration today proposed a framework of regulations that would allow routine use of certain small unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) in today’s aviation system, while maintaining flexibility to accommodate future technological innovations. The FAA proposal offers safety rules for small UAS (under 55 pounds) conducting non-recreational operations. TheContinue Reading

Geospatial Resolution of Human and Bacterial Diversity with City-Scale Metagenomics

Afshinnekoo et al, Geospatial Resolution of Human and Bacterial Diversity with City-Scale Metagenomics, CELS (2015), http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cels.2015.01.001 “The panoply of microorganisms and other species present in our environment influence human health and disease, especially in cities, but have not been profiled with metagenomics at a city-wide scale. We sequenced DNA from surfaces across the entire NewContinue Reading

Report – Beyond Traffic, Trends and Choices 2045

US Department of Transportation report – “Can we imagine a future in which traffic jams decline? Yes. How do we get beyond traffic? Essentially, three strategies need to be employed—all of which demand increased funding and new, more adaptive policymaking at the federal, state and local levels. First, we have to take better care ofContinue Reading

Advancing a Multimodal Transportation System by Eliminating Funding Restrictions

“One of the most pervasive, durable, and detrimental myths in transportation policy is that highways pay for themselves, while public transportation does not. In reality, both modes require significant public subsidies, as user fees—such as fuel taxes and farebox revenues—cover only a portion of total costs. States and the federal government supplement these user feesContinue Reading

New GAO Reports – Defense Logistics, Depot Maintenance, Supply Chain Security

Defense Logistics: DOD Has a Strategy and Has Taken Steps to Improve Its Asset Visibility, but Further Actions Are Needed, GAO-15-148: Published: Jan 27, 2015. Publicly Released: Jan 27, 2015. Depot Maintenance: Status of the Public-Private Partnership for Repair of the Dual-Mode Transmitter in the F-16 Fire-Control Radar, GAO-15-249R: Published: Jan 27, 2015. Publicly Released:Continue Reading

New GAO Reports – Aviation Safety, Defense Headquarters, Polar Weather Satellites, VA Construction

Aviation Safety: Issues Related to Domestic Certification and Foreign Approval of U.S. Aviation Products, GAO-15-327T: Published: Jan 21, 2015. Publicly Released: Jan 21, 2015. Defense Headquarters: DOD Needs to Reassess Personnel Requirements for the Office of Secretary of Defense, Joint Staff, and Military Service Secretariats, GAO-15-10: Published: Jan 21, 2015. Publicly Released: Jan 21, 2015.Continue Reading

New GAO Reports – Commercial Aviation, Nutrition Assistance

Commercial Aviation: Raising Passenger Facility Charges Would Increase Airport Funding, but Other Effects Less Certain, GAO-15-107: Published: Dec 11, 2014. Publicly Released: Jan 12, 2015. Nutrition Assistance: Additional Guidance Could Assist States in Reducing Risk of Online Sale of Infant Formula, GAO-15-94: Published: Dec 11, 2014. Publicly Released: Jan 12, 2015.