Friday, May 4, 2012
News Roundup

Infrastructure in the News: May 4, 2012


New York Times: When Flying 720 Miles Takes 12 Hours
The major airlines have been paring service for much of the last decade. But their cutbacks accelerated three years ago as carriers merged, fuel prices spiked and the recession reduced demand for seats. Even after the economy started to recover and passengers came back, the big airlines did not restore many of their flights, particularly on routes to small airports, as they sought to bolster their profits.

The Hill: 17,000 transportation jobs lost in April
The transportation sector lost 17,000 jobs in April, despite a monthly jobs report showing the overall unemployment had dropped to 8.1 percent. Statistics released Friday by the Bureau of Labor Statistics showed the nation's economy added 115,000 jobs in April. But the agency said that 11,000 public transit and ground passenger jobs were lost, as were 7,000 couriers and messengers.

Fast Lane: A little TIFIA takes transportation projects a long way
While America waits for Congress to pass a comprehensive, long-term transportation plan, DOT and the Federal Highway Administration continue to help communities stretch the value of scarce local and state resources with our Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA) loan program.

Farm Bureau Voice of Agriculture: Transportation Bill a Big Deal for Farmers
We all use the roads, but when using those roads is big part of your business, how they're maintained affects your bottom line. American Farm Bureau Transportation Specialist Andrew Walmsley explains how a new transportation bill could make that part of farmers’ and ranchers’ businesses better. AFBF's Johnna Miller has the story.

Metropolis Mag: New Infrastructure to Evaluate Infrastructure
The Institute for Sustainable Infrastructure (ISI), based in Washington, D.C., and the Zofnass Program for Sustainable Infrastructure, at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design in Cambridge, launched the Envision™ Sustainable Infrastructure Rating System on April 3rd in D.C.. The new system’s goal is to create a holistic framework focusing on five key rating areas: Quality of Life, Resource Allocation, Natural World, Climate and Risk, and Leadership.


Central Valley Business Times: Delta advocacy group says restoring levees should be state’s top priority
Upgrading the levees in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta is needed as an essential flood protection for all the assets in the Delta -- with or without a peripheral canal, says the advocacy group Restore the Delta. "We should spend the $1 to $2 billion to bring levees up to a robust standard to protect the $20 billion in Delta infrastructure and to secure the water export supply," says Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla, executive director of Restore the Delta.

Southeast Michigan: Limiting Transit Options Limits Opportunities For Kids
Latiolais can't afford her own car without putting great strain on her finances. Purchasing a car means dipping into her savings, taking out a loan, paying for gas, maintenance and parking. That adds up quickly for someone who makes little more than $20,000 per year. Latiolais can take buses from Ann Arbor Transportation Authority's fleet but she finds the system doesn’t have the reach and speed she needs to get to kids she wants to tutor on the east side of Washtenaw County. Her experience isn't unique in a place where many of the young people who need help live in one section and many of the young people who can and want to help them live in another.

Atlantic Cities: Charlotte's Evolution from Sprawling Metropolis to City of Sidewalks
Initially, the city dealt with the onslaught of residents by building more roads and developing office space in the suburbs. Growth was accompanied by the familiar issues of sprawl, congestion, and urban decay. But Charlotte's top-tier workforce rebelled. According to Tom Flynn, former Charlotte economic development director, the city’s business community led the effort to transform the city in order to retain talent.

CBS DFW: $10 Billion Needed For DFW To Houston High-Speed Rail
Texas Central Railway is raising private investments to try and fund a $10 billion high-speed rail system connecting the metroplex with Houston and San Antonio. “We are not looking for a government subsidy on this project,” explained Eckels, “that’s one of the key elements to make this project work and is distinguished from others is that we would be a privately operated system.”


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