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Category Archives: Transportation

EPA Notifies Fiat Chrysler of Clean Air Act Violations

“The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today issued a notice of violation to Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V. and FCA US LLC (collectively FCA) for alleged violations of the Clean Air Act for installing and failing to disclose engine management software in light-duty model year 2014, 2015 and 2016 Jeep Grand Cherokees and Dodge Ram 1500 trucks with 3.0 liter diesel engines sold in the United States. The undisclosed software results in increased emissions of nitrogen oxides (NOx) from the vehicles. The allegations cover roughly 104,000 vehicles. EPA is working in coordination with the California Air Resources Board (CARB), which has also issued a notice of violation to FCA. EPA and CARB have both initiated investigations based on FCA’s alleged actions. “Failing to disclose software that affects emissions in a vehicle’s engine is a serious violation of the law, which can result in harmful pollution in the air we breathe,” said Cynthia Giles, Assistant Administrator for EPA’s Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance. “We continue to investigate the nature and impact of these devices. All automakers must play by the same rules, and we will continue to hold companies accountable that gain an unfair and illegal competitive advantage.” “Once again, a major automaker made the business decision to skirt the rules and got caught,” said CARB Chair Mary D. Nichols. “CARB and U.S. EPA made a commitment to enhanced testing as the Volkswagen case developed, and this is a result of that collaboration.” The Clean Air Act requires vehicle manufacturers to demonstrate to EPA through a certification process that their products meet applicable federal emission standards to control air pollution. As part of the certification process, automakers are required to disclose and explain any software, known as auxiliary emission control devices, that can alter how a vehicle emits air pollution. FCA did not disclose the existence of certain auxiliary emission control devices to EPA in its applications for certificates of conformity for model year 2014, 2015 and 2016 Jeep Grand Cherokees and Dodge Ram 1500 trucks, despite being aware that such a disclosure was mandatory. By failing to disclose this software and then selling vehicles that contained it, FCA violated important provisions of the Clean Air Act.  FCA may be liable for civil penalties and injunctive relief for the violations alleged in the NOV. EPA is also investigating whether the auxiliary emission control devices constitute “defeat devices,” which are illegal. In September 2015, EPA instituted an expanded testing program to screen for defeat devices on light duty vehicles. This testing revealed that the FCA vehicle models in question produce increased NOx emissions under conditions that would be encountered in normal operation and use. As part of the investigation, EPA has found at least eight undisclosed pieces of software that can alter how a vehicle emits air pollution. FCA US LLC is a wholly owned subsidiary of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V., a multinational corporation.”

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An Economic Geography of the United States: From Commutes to Megaregions

An Economic Geography of the United States: From Commutes to Megaregions, Garrett Dash Nelson, Alasdair Rae. PLOS. Published: November 30, 2016 . “The emergence in the United States of large-scale “megaregions” centered on major metropolitan areas is a phenomenon often taken for granted in both scholarly studies and popular accounts of contemporary economic geography.… Continue Reading

Data drive overview of Washington DC City Bikeshare

tableau public – Washington DC Capital Bikeshare – metadata available from 2011-2017 – “Ridership is highest on weekdays during commuting hours and leisure hours during the weekends.” Continue Reading

New Uber site provides anonymized data from over 2 billion trips

News release: “Every hour of every day, people use Uber to get around the more than 450 cities we serve. From Sydney to Summit, we’ve been working hard to get to know these cities, with the goal of making them cleaner, more efficient and less crowded. Along the way, we’ve found that local leaders, urban… Continue Reading

GAO Report on Climate Change

Climate Change: Improved Federal Coordination Could Facilitate Use of Forward-Looking Climate Information in Design Standards, Building Codes, and Certifications, GAO-17-3: Published: Nov 30, 2016. Publicly Released: Jan 3, 2017. “The houses we live in, buildings we work in, and roads and bridges we use daily are supposed to be built to last—whatever the local forecast… Continue Reading

The Rise and Nature of Alternative Work Arrangements in the United States, 1995-2015

The Rise and Nature of Alternative Work Arrangements in the United States, 1995-2015. Lawrence F. Katz, Harvard University and NBER and Alan B. Krueger, Princeton University and NBER. First Draft: March 29, 2016 This Draft: September 13, 2016 Abstract: “To monitor trends in alternative work arrangements, we conducted a version of the Contingent Worker Survey… Continue Reading

Metro to install WiFi at all underground stations starting in summer 2017

WaPo – Metro to install WiFi at all underground stations starting in summer 2017 – “Metro started a pilot program in August to test WiFi at six downtown stations. Now, General Manager Paul J. Wiedefeld has “greenlighted” an expansion to all underground stations.” Continue Reading

Report – Artificial Intelligence, Automation, and the Economy

Artificial Intelligence, Automation, and the Economy – Executive Office of the President, December 2016 “Accelerating artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities will enable automation of some tasks that have long required human labor. These transformations will open up new opportunities for individuals, the economy, and society, but they have the potential to disrupt the current livelihoods of… Continue Reading

Uber V. Regulation: ‘Ride-Sharing’ Creates a Legal Gray Area

Crespo, Yanelys, Uber V. Regulation: ‘Ride-Sharing’ Creates a Legal Gray Area (December 1, 2016). 25 U. Miami Bus. L. Rev. 79 (2016). Available for download at SSRN: “Technological innovations are quickly re-shaping our world and even changing the way we travel from place to place. Although the concept of “ride-sharing” only just emerged in… Continue Reading

Magnitude of space junk is a legal, environmental and transportation issue

Our future is in ruins: the archaeology of space, satellites and orbital junk – James Purtill: “Next year will mark six decades of space travel. Orbiting above us are more than one hundred million pieces of debris from this age of exploration – everything from specks of paint and flecks of plastic, to the tool… Continue Reading

U.S. DOT Advances Deployment Of Connected Vehicle Technology To Prevent Hundreds Of Thousands Of Crashes

“Citing an enormous potential to reduce crashes on U.S. roadways, the U.S. Department of Transportation issued a proposed rule today that would advance the deployment of connected vehicle technologies throughout the U.S. light vehicle fleet. The Notice of Proposed Rulemaking would enable vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) communication technology on all new light-duty vehicles, enabling a multitude of… Continue Reading

Open Data Network

Via Socrata – Publish data and share. Find data and build. Answer questions. Search Data Categories that include: finance, public safety, infrastructure, environment, demographics, transportation, economy, health, education, housing & development, social services, politics and recreation. Users may use an API or link to the host data. Continue Reading