Sunday, February 13, 2011

Reducing Transportation’s Funding Gap: New AASHTO Report Offers Solutions

WASHINGTON, D.C. – According a congressional commission, the gap between current revenues available for surface transportation and capital needs each year is $137 billion.

In recognition of the need to discuss a broad range of tools to address this “funding gap,” a new report from the AASHTO Center for Excellence in Project Finance outlines a number of options for meeting revenue needs.

This report is a result of a wide-ranging forum held for members of Congress and their staff in September 2010, at the U.S. Capitol Visitor Center. Entitled Funding and Financing Solutions for Surface Transportation in the Coming Decade, more than a hundred people took part in the discussions that were organized around six sessions that addressed:

    * Near- and medium-term funding options for the Federal surface transportation programs
    * Expanded applications of current Federal financing tools
    * Best funding and financing practices at the state and local level

Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR), House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman John Mica (R-FL), Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), and former Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell were among the many public and private sector leaders who participated in the forum and contributed to the conference report.

In addition, the AASHTO Center for Excellence in Project Finance has enhanced its website to include a new interactive map with detailed state-by-state transportation data from 1992 to 2008 for:

    * Demographics
    * State Roadway System
    * Toll Facilities
    * Revenue Sources
    * State DOT Spending
    * Motor Fuel Taxes

To view both the forum report and the state-by-state information, visit the AASHTO Center for Excellence in Project Finance website at

Monday, February 7, 2011

OZ road safety plan talks about mobile phone ban

An Australian road safety plan draft free by the Standing Committee on Transport in the federal Department of Infrastructure and Transport has debated a total ban on mobile phone use by drivers, at some indeterminate point.

The suggestion, seized on by the Sydney Morning Herald as “States urged to inflict total ban on mobile phone use in cars”.

The report recognizes speeding, drink driving, drug driving, not wearing seat belts and exhaustion as the main causes of deaths and serious injuries to Australian drivers.

Mobile phone use is sub-category of driver interruption, not even listed a top-five danger, along with the spread of sat-navs, onboard DVDs, complex sound systems, climate control, and extreme deployment of audio and visual signals for all aspects of vehicle operation.

The total ban on use (including hands-free use) is listed as an object to be arrived at by 2020. The road safety report notes that all states have by now tightened rules surrounding in-car mobile phone use.

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Sunday, February 6, 2011

State's roads congested, failing

Study calls for more transportation financial support
The state's failing roads and bridges are costing Maryland drivers in car repairs and medical bills, according to a new report.

Researchers found that nearly 30 percent of the state's roads are rated in poor state, nearly 20 percent of bridges are functionally out of date and that more than half of the state's urban highways are congested throughout peak travel times.

The report, "Future Mobility in Maryland: Meeting the State's Needs for Safe and Efficient Mobility," was released this week by The Road Information Program, or TRIP, a national transportation research group in Washington, D.C.

Representatives from the Maryland Chamber of Commerce, AAA Mid-Atlantic and the Maryland Transportation Builders and Materials Association used the document's release on Tuesday as a way to call for an increase in transportation funding.

State Sen. Robert Garagiola, D-Montgomery, said he plans to bring in legislation that would provide about $400 million annually to the state's transportation trust fund through an increase in the gas tax and vehicle registration fees. The trust fund is supposed to support the Maryland Department of Transportation's operations and projects.

"Maryland's roads and bridges are failing at a rate faster than the state can afford to repair them," said Carolyn Bonifas, the study's author and TRIP's associate director of research and communications. These figures "definitely are not a sign of failure … The organizations are doing a marvelous job (but) they are not able to keep up with these roads because they are so strapped for financial support."

The state Department of Transportation, the State Highway Administration and the Federal Highway Administration are among the organizations that provided the data used for the report.

The lack of funding has been an continuing issue for the State Highway Administration, so the report told it nothing new, spokesman David Buck said.

During the past fiscal year, the agency spent $22.7 million on road projects in Anne Arundel County. That total included resurfacing projects, the widening of Baltimore Washington Parkway and bridge rehabilitation efforts. The total spent in the county can fluctuate, depending on the scope of the work and there have been no major projects in the county in recent years.

"We have to be able to move our products, provide services and move our employees … in a safe way," said Kathleen T. Snyder, president and chief executive officer.

Friday, February 4, 2011

A general view on international car shipping

With the development of various types of technologies today it is possible for us to transport any type of vehicle to remote distances and in overseas countries too. Several reasons are attached as why one requires the service of auto transport. People hire such movers so as to fulfill the job of moving their vehicles from one place to another in a professional manner. Transporting your vehicle with them it is of sure that your shipment is going to be secured and safe as it will be handled with utmost care.

Such movers turn to be as international vehicle mover as for the reason they perform the task of moving vehicles from one country to another country. The act of moving vehicle on one’s own will be quite terrifying and inconvenient. Hence at such point of time hiring the services of such movers will make your job of moving much easier and safe too.

Business ventures can ask for the service of car shipping if in case it is shifting its place of business to another place; and showrooms can also utilize their services for the sake of shipping their show cars from the car makers.

Usually, terms and conditions that are prevailing for international auto shipment will predominantly vary from those which are meant for local one. Insurance coverage provided for an international move will be much more than the local move. Any how you must make sure to furnish all necessary documentations, which interests property rights for the customs control at the time of transporting automobile.

Most international car shipping organizations insist on paying full amount in advance. Thus you are required to be aware of the total amount of transportation that a shipping organization encompasses in its quotes. In addition to this auto transport quotes for an international automobile moving will usually be higher. Hence you are obliged to find out if there are any additional charges included in the quote, if so then for which service this fee is been charged. Once you become aware of such fees and conditions you can agree upon the stated terms and conditions that are concerning on price.

Any car shipping company that has a license for moving vehicles is also obliged to have insurance for cargo and liability as well. Documents for transporting a vehicle is required to be clear and filled with reliable details.

If you fail to furnish appropriate details then it will not only delay your move but it will also ask for additional charges. International car shipping is not an easy task when contrasted with local move of the car. Lots of formalities and obligations are required to be fulfilled before and after the move.

For the every document that you are going to furnish and sign along with them make sure to have a hard copy of it. This is because you will feel its need when a problem arises in your car. These documents will also be useful for you to check the voyage of your shipment.