- San Jose Mercury News: Roadshow: Rules on disabled parking spaces
- San Francisco Examiner: Bike lane improvements blooming all over SF
- San Mateo Daily Journal: Millbrae roads to receive repairs: Officials carving out spending plan for streets that require maintenance, according to report
By JENNIFER SCHOLTES
SENATE COMMERCE PRESSES ON WITH FAA REVAMP: For the third time this month, the Senate Commerce subcommittee that handles aviation issues holds a hearing to talk over ideas for reauthorizing the FAA. The agency’s associate administrator for aviation safety and NTSB Chairman Christopher Hart will testify today alongside aviation industry officials. The National Air Transportation Association’s president and CEO, Thomas Hendricks, is expected to caution senators against moving too quickly on injecting more private-sector practices into the FAA’s operations. His organization, he says, “cannot support any de facto ‘leap of faith’ proposals that would put general aviation’s fate in the hands of undefined management structures or leave unresolved its contribution to the system.” http://bit.ly/1Ih6AZI. Watch the hearing live at 2:30 p.m.: http://1.usa.gov/1zbBmBp.
Hero pilot testifies: Families of those who died in the 2009 crash of Colgan Air Flight 3407 will again be filling the audience at today’s hearing and have cheered the inclusion of Capt. Chesley Sullenberger as a witness. Sullenberger is most known for executing an emergency landing in the Hudson River after his plane was hit by a flock of geese, saving all 155 passengers and crew on the U.S. Airways flight, a month before the Colgan Air crash. The group is trying to persuade lawmakers to resist pressure to scale back qualification requirements for regional airline co-pilots. “To totally reverse course in this FAA reauthorization and bend to lobbying pressure with concessions to the airlines would be completely irresponsible and send the wrong message to the industry that the old status quo of code share contracts and the ‘race to the bottom’ are once again acceptable,” Karen Eckert, whose sister Beverly died in the Colgan Air crash, said in a written statement Monday. “And there can be no more well-qualified person to make this case than Capt. Sullenberger.”
BUSINESS TRAVEL CONFERENCE DELIVERS STAR LAWMAKER LINEUP: Members of the Global Business Travel Association come together this morning for the second day of their three-day legislative conference, bringing in Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart, chairman of the House Appropriations Committee’s transportation panel, for a lunch speech, followed by remarks from the head of the Commerce Department’s National Travel and Tourism Office. Later this afternoon, the group’s members will hear from Rep. Jeff Denham, chairman of the House T&I rail subcommittee, as well as Rep. John Katko, chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee’s transportation panel. http://bit.ly/1DvtBS1
TAKING ON TUESDAY: Good morning and thanks for reading POLITICO’s Morning Transportation, your daily tipsheet on trains, planes, automobiles and ports.The winner of this week’s award for most innovative transportation advocacy goes to the guy drawing weenies around potholes “to make people smile and draw attention to the problem.” Thank you, “Wanksy” and HuffPost. You surely made us smile. http://huff.to/1PQ272s Reach out: @jascholtes or firstname.lastname@example.org.“Gonna sail right out of Colorado. Catch a ride on a warm trade wind to Puerta, no one knows.” http://bit.ly/1byxIq1
** A message from the Auto Care Association: The auto care industry is a coast-to-coast network of more than 500,000 independent manufacturers, distributors, parts stores and repair shops that keep every motorist moving. Our four million employees generate 2.3 percent of America’s gross domestic product. Our network delivers products at the speed that keeps America’s cars on the road. autocare.org **
CONNOLLY GOES EASY ON SILVER LINE COST INCREASE, CONSTRUCTION DELAY: Rep. Gerry Connolly, who represents D.C.’s Virginia suburbs, isn’t coming down too hard on the airports authority for delivering news this week that the latest phase of the Silver Line (to Dulles Airport and beyond) is going to cost more and take longer than expected. Connolly said in a written statement that the delays “are primarily the result of a brutal winter and necessary safety-related design changes. While we all want to see the Silver Line completed as soon as possible, it’s more important to get it right and make safety our top priority.” And the congressman said he is pleased that the cost increases aren’t expected to jack up toll rates on the Dulles Toll Road, “particularly after the congressional delegation helped secure federal financing to freeze tolls for 5 years.”
Cost catchup: The Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority says the first phase of construction on the Metro line, which opened last summer, will be done by the end of this year, including another 64 rail cars. Downplaying the $76 million cost increase and 13-month pushback on completion, the airports authority says the changes won’t necessarily drive up the overall cost because the second phase might come in under budget. (But when has a public transportation project ever turned out to be cheaper and quicker than expected?)
NELSON URGES BREAKTHROUGH IN TAKATA AIRBAGS INVESTIGATION: Sen. Bill Nelson is pushing for investigators to quickly figure out why Takata airbags are sending metal shrapnel flying at passengers at high speeds, citing new data the company provided to Congress showing that the airbags have killed at least six people and injured more than 100 others. “We need to get to the root cause of the problem,” the Senate Commerce Committee’s ranking member said on the Senate floor Monday. “And we need to make sure we know why these defective airbag inflators are failing.”
CABINET OFFICIALS GRIMACE AT GAS TAX PLANS: Top Obama administration officials are still not embracing the idea of a gas tax increase, even as the Highway Trust Fund drains toward an operational low. Our Heather Caygle reports that Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx and Treasury Secretary Jack Lew were both lukewarm to the idea of a gas tax hike on Monday, “instead continuing to push the administration’s long-shot plan of refilling the Highway Trust Fund via a comprehensive tax overhaul.” More from Pro: http://politico.pro/1GpUXuX.
CBO LAYS OUT HIGHWAY TRUST FUND OPTIONS: A Congressional Budget Office analyst laid out the facts about the Highway Trust Fund’s waning balance and lack of congressional cash infusion this week, speaking to members of the International Bridge, Tunnel and Turnpike Association. In her presentation, Sarah Puro presented three options for Congress: reduce budgetary resources beyond 2016, impose a 10- to 15-cent gas tax increase to fund current spending or kick in $16 billion from the general fund for fiscal 2016, with another $11 billion to $18 billion annually in years to come. Puro’s presentation: http://1.usa.gov/1Ihhkr5.
U.S.-JAPAN DEAL ON AUTO TRADE EXPECTED IN COMING WEEKS: The United States and Japan are likely to wrap up talks on auto trade in the next few weeks, a Japanese source close to the discussions has told POLITICO. Pro’s Adam Behsudi explains: “The deal between the two largest TPP economies on reducing Japanese agricultural and U.S. automobile tariffs is considered critical to clinching the massive Asia-Pacific trade agreement, which would cover an estimated 40 percent of world GDP. Trade ministers are expected to meet in late May in Singapore where they could conclude the talks. Negotiators from both countries are meeting this week in Washington to try to hammer out the remaining issues.”http://politico.pro/1b84Ap2
PRIVATE JET COMPANY’S PILOTS SUE OVER UNIONIZATION ISSUES: Flexjet pilots are suing the private jet company, accusing their employer of retaliating against workers for wanting to unionize. Pro’s Marianne LeVine reports that “the lawsuit alleges some pilots were fired for being ‘unhappy,’ while one pilot was fired for insubordination, after declining to speak about union issues with Flexjet Chairman Kenn Ricci on the phone.” http://politico.pro/1zhDFD9
NTSB DIVULGES INFORMATION ABOUT 2013 N.D. TRAIN EXPLOSION: The National Transportation Safety Board has opened the accident docket this week in the ongoing investigation into the December 2013 oil train explosion in Casselton, N.D., releasing 1,800 documents, including interview summaries: http://1.usa.gov/1DRpmAK.
MOVING ON UP: The Intelligent Transportation Society of America’s board of directors has just appointed Regina Hopper as president and CEO. Before taking this post at the high-tech transportation association, Hopper served as president and CEO of America’s Natural Gas Alliance and as executive vice president of USTelecom, as well as the American Trucking Associations. She was also previously a correspondent for CBS News, where she earned an Emmy for investigative reporting on “48 Hours.”
— The American Association of Port Authorities has chosen Jim Quinn as its board chairman for 2015 and 2016. Quinn is president and CEO of New Brunswick’s Port Saint John, and he previously served as chief financial officer in the Canadian International Development Agency.
THE AUTOBAHN (SPEED READ):
— How the microtransit movement is changing urban mobility. CityLab: http://bit.ly/1DF7qda
— NTSB declines request to reopen Buddy Holly crash investigation. AP: http://abcn.ws/1Ft0GE3
— Truckers strike against four shipping companies at Southern California ports. Reuters: http://reut.rs/1HM7HzX
— NYC’s MTA moves to ban political and other controversial ads. The Wall Street Journal: http://on.wsj.com/1DREIVK
— Captain of doomed South Korean ferry sentenced to life in prison. AP: http://abcn.ws/1QCRJMP
— Alexandria city staff pick a preferred site for the proposed Potomac Yard Metro station. The Washington Post:http://wapo.st/1b8gIqk
— GrabTaxi hailing a lot of growth. The Wall Street Journal:http://on.wsj.com/1Ihs34A
— Boeing CEO sees 747 jumbo sales reviving as air freight rebounds. Bloomberg Business: http://bloom.bg/1GA4jqp
— Another way to help humanitarian efforts in Nepal: Start mapping. CityLab: http://bit.ly/1GA22eK
— NYC MTA official warns board that fare and toll increases may be needed. The New York Times: http://nyti.ms/1KoTEjz
THE COUNTDOWN: Highway and transit policy expires in 33 days. DOT appropriations run out and the FAA reauthorization expires in 155 days. The 2016 presidential election is in 561 days.Tags: policy, transportation