President Johnson signed an act on October 15, 1966 creating the Department of Transportation. Directly from the text the U.S. Department of Transportation has four goals. They are to ensure the safety of all forms of transportation, protect the interest of consumers, conduct planning and research for the future, and to help cities and states meet their local transportation needs. Transportation safety is an ongoing challenge. Minimizing transportation related injuries and deaths has always been a goal of the DOT. Whether it is on ground or by air the official website for the Department of Transportation says “safety remains DOT’s top priority” (Dot.gov). A current issue they are facing is drinking or texting while driving, and is why the DOT is generating strategies for “combating distracted driving and other dangerous behaviors” (Dot.gov). The DOT would like to protect the interest of consumers. After airline deregulation in 1978, pricing was no longer controlled and the remaining regulations were given to the DOT. To this day the air carriers are free to charge what they want for their services. Pricing freedom is instrumental in generating a competitive market, and a competitive market is good for the consumer. Just one example of how the DOT protects buyers’ interest by keeping prices down. Research is being conducted to find more efficient ways to transport goods. Planning for the future the DOT wants to see reduced greenhouse gas emissions. The website says “the transportation sector is a significant source of greenhouse gas emissions, accounting for 33 percent of total U.S. GHG emissions in 2009” (Dot.gov). Planning for the future the DOT would like to reduce those numbers by encouraging freight to use more fuel efficient vehicles. Roads and routes that are predictable making travel times less volatile can also reduce the GHG emissions. Different cities and states have different transportation needs, and the DOT is willing to help them meet those needs. In Seattle there is a tunnel being built to replace the Alaskan Way Viaduct, and the DOT is paying for part of it. The DOT wants the infrastructure to work as a whole so it is very willing to help in spots. Advancements of efficiency and performance are the types of things the DOT encourages to reduce the cost of maintaining infrastructure. “We will enhance the economic and social well-being of all Americans by creating and maintaining a reliable, integrated, and accessible transportation network” (Dot.gov). Safe, affordable, and reliable are characteristics the DOT wants the transportation network to possess, such characteristics help meet all four of the DOT’s goals. The current Secretary of Transportation is Anthony Foxx and was appointed by President Obama on July 2, 2013. He is the seventeenth Secretary and the agency currently has over 55,000 employees and a $70 billion dollar budget. His main goals are “to ensure that America maintains the safest, most efficient transportation system in the world” (Secretary). Foxx had been the Mayor of Charlotte prior to his current position where he invested city money into transportation in efforts to help their economy and create jobs. Foxx’s goals as a politician revolved around transportation because he realizes how vital transportation is to any economy. As Secretary of Transportation it is his job to carry out the National Transportation Policy. According to the text the National Transportation Policy “agenda revolves around six key themes” (Kane) that fulfill both short- and long term needs. 1. Maintain and expand the Nation’s transportation system: “We cannot afford inadequate, inefficient transportation” (Kane) so the government seeks to maintain infrastructure. The government is providing incentives to “renew the capacity and performance of the transportation system” (Kane), and keeping facilities and assets in sound condition is an “immediate task.” 2. Foster a sound...
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