Breaking News

USDOT Appointments Announced

The Biden Administration has appointed 39 key members of the U.S. Department of Transportation, with more to come. Among them are Amit Bose, Deputy Administrator of the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), and Nuria Fernandez, Deputy Administrator of the Federal Transit Administration (FTA). Both have held the positions previously.

UP’s 2020 capital program totaled $2.8 billion. One of the railroad's projects was the Dec. 29 installation of a new master retarder in Houston's Englewood Yard; work took close to eight hours (pictured).

UP’s ‘True Potential’ Shown in 4Q20 Results (Updated)

Union Pacific (UP) reported Jan. 21 that it earned $1.38 billion, or $2.05 per diluted share, in fourth-quarter 2020—comparable to fourth-quarter 2019’s $1.4 billion, or $2.02 per diluted share. Excluding a previously announced $278 million pre-tax, non-cash impairment charge related to its Brazos yard investment, adjusted fourth-quarter 2020 income was $1.6 billion, or $2.36 per diluted share.

Opinion

Third in a Series: Advocates Uncertain as Politics Comes Into Focus

My two previous reports in this series showed that companies and a union who could benefit directly from various DOT grants made highly favorable statements about Pete Buttigieg. That means little on its face, because the statements came from entities who could say little else. Advocates for the riders on Amtrak and transit are not bound by that constraint, and they have endured other DOT heads who have not been particularly favorable to the riders who are their constituents. I will conclude this series by reporting some comments from those advocates, examining Buttigieg’s political future, and proffering some suggestions about how he can help the riders (assuming that the Senate confirms his nomination).

Be Informative and Collective. Raise Awareness and Perceptions

A year ago, news was emerging from Wuhan, China about a new, dangerous form of flu. My stepson and his Chinese-born wife wisely cancelled their planned trip to China to celebrate the Chinese New Year with her family. Since then, we have all experienced significant disruption to our lives.

Second in a Series: Complete Streets, Incomplete Transit

In my last report, I looked at Pete Buttigieg, President-elect Biden’s nominee for Secretary of Transportation, and what he would bring to the post. I looked at his own concepts as he expressed them in his acceptance speech, how he might serve USDOT’s business constituents, and his background. Part of that background is the time he spent as mayor of South Bend, a post he occupied starting in 2012. As I will describe in this article, he can claim some credit as an urbanist with his “Smart Streets” policy for the city’s downtown area, but local bus service remains limited, and the passenger trains that ostensibly run to South Bend do not go anywhere near downtown.