• NTSB calls for ban on use of mobile phones by commercial drivers

    Citing distraction from the use of a mobile phone by the driver of an 18-wheel semi truck as the probable cause of a crash that killed eleven people, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) recommended banning the use of mobile phones by commercial drivers except in emergencies

  • Parking attendants part of U.S. anti-terrorism effort

    More than 7,000 parking professionals have been trained in the First Observer parking-specific program developed by the International Parking Institute with the DHS and the Transportation Security Administration

  • Groups seek FCC ruling on BART’s cell phone shutdown

    An ongoing legal battle in California over whether law enforcement agencies can shut off cell phone service could set the precedent for policies across the United States; in response to the Bay Area Rapid Transit’s (BART) decision to shut down its mobile phone service during a planned protest, several digital rights groups are urging the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to take swift action

  • Secret Service gets two hi-tech buses

    For President Obama’s latest three-day tour of the Midwest, the Secret Service will be using two new armored buses to provide better security; in the past, the Secret Service would lease buses when they needed them and then customize them with security and communications equipment, but officials say these measures were often inadequate

  • Anonymous retaliates against BART

    The hacking collective Anonymous released personal data on Sunday belonging to more than 2,000 public transport customers in the San Francisco area in retaliation for the Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) system’s shutdown of mobile phone service on Thursday night

  • San Francisco to install real-time surveillance on buses

    Thanks to a $6 million DHS grant San Francisco’s MUNI buses will soon be equipped with a network of sophisticated high-tech video cameras that will allow the transit agency to view footage in real-time

  • Report warns Amtrak vulnerable

    A new report by the DHS Inspector General warns that Amtrak is vulnerable to terrorist attacks, despite the $1 billion that has already been spent to bolster security; the inspector general found that DHS officials did not ensure that the money was being spent efficiently securing Amtrak’s most vulnerable stations resulting in security gaps

  • Mica cuts 40 percent from House transportation spending

    Last Thursday, Representative John Mica (R-Florida) unveiled the House Transportation Reauthorization bill which would allocate $230 billion to infrastructure projects over the next six years; the bill has generated fierce criticism as it would cut transportation spending for America’s roadways by nearly 40 percent

  • RAILENIUM awarded 550 million Euro boost from French government

    RAILENIUM, the European Institute for Technological Research in Rail Infrastructure, has been selected by the French government as a leading investment project and has been awarded 550 million Euros in funding; the equipment and research platforms that RAILENIUM will provide will be unique in Europe; this will include a 5 km rail test loop, a tramway test track, a fatigue-simulation track, running trial facilities, and service structures

  • New commuting method: Personal Aerial Vehicles

    Researchers in Germany have an idea for solving the growing congestions in urban centers: a Personal Aerial Vehicles (PAVs) for traveling between homes and working places; the PAVs will fly at low altitude in urban environments, thus making it unnecessary to change current air-traffic control regulations

  • New Jersey lawmakers protest transit security cuts

    On Tuesday Senator Frank Lautenberg (D-New Jersey) and Representative Rush Holt (D-New Jersey) urged lawmakers to restore funding for security measures to the nation’s railways; the House budget would cut funding for nine homeland security programs by 55 percent next fiscal year; in particular, funding to secure intercity passenger rail lines, freight trains, and mass transit systems would fall to $113 million down from $250 million, a 45 percent cut

  • Railroad protests $400 million in fines for smuggling drugs

    Railroad companies are protesting nearly $400 million in fines for illegal drugs smuggled aboard its trains; under U.S. law, all shipping companies are subject to fines of $500 per ounce of marijuana and $1,000 per ounce of heroin or cocaine if U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents find drugs hidden in their cargo; Union Pacific argues that they are being punished for the actions of drug smugglers which they cannot control

  • New Jersey Transit unveils new terror text hotline

    NJ Transit recently unveiled its new “Text Against Terror” initiative and is encouraging public transportation riders to report any suspicious items they see via text; the New Jersey transit system is the third largest in the nation with an estimated one million riders per day; New Jersey Transit officials are hoping to enlist the aid of its passengers in the fight against terror.

  • China reduces top speed on high-speed rail

    On Monday Chinese officials lowered the top operating speed for its flagship bullet train citing safety concerns; China’s Railway Ministry will now run trains at 155 to 186 miles per hour on the Beijing to Shanghai line instead of 236 miles per hour as was originally planned; the recent announcement comes as part of broader set of changes to the Railway Ministry after Liu Zhijun, the previous minister, was fired for corruption and mismanagement in February

  • Making high-speed rail tracks safer

    High-speed rail requires prestressed concrete railroad ties, as wooden cross ties are too flexible; for these ties to be effective, prestressing forces must be applied at a considerable distance before the rail load is applied; this is called the transfer length; to resist the heavy impacts the concrete ties utilize about twenty steel wires, each stressed to around 7,000 pounds; if the prestressed force is not properly transferred, failures can occur in the track