The safety, security, efficiency, and reliability of our Nations passenger transportation system and infrastructure will be world- class. We will waste less time and fuel while stalled in traffic jams, and less time and money will be wasted as a result of airline delays. There will be less transportation-generated pollution and noise in our communities. We will have increasing access to high- quality, public transportation during peak travel periods. Our vehicles will accommodate alternative fuels and new energy-saving technologies. America, as a result, will be significantly less dependent on foreign oil. Our transportation system will minimize greenhouse gas emissions and be prepared for the impacts of climate change. Technological innovation will improve the way that people and goods move around the country and the world.
The large increase in system preservation investment since 1997 has had a positive effect on the overall physical condition of the Nations highway and bridge infrastructure. The percentage of VMT on pavements with "good" ride quality rose from 39.4% in 1997 to 44.2% in 2004. The physical conditions of National Highway System (NHS) routes, which carry nearly 45% of total travel in the U.S., are better on average than the conditions of other roads.
Achieve "Twenty in Ten": President Bush announced the "Twenty in Ten: Strengthening Energy Security and Protecting the Environment" initiative in May 2007. The goal of the effort is to reduce projected gasoline usage by 20% in the next 10 years — 15% through the use of alternative fuels and 5% by increasing the fuel economy of cars and light trucks.
Strengthen Highway Safety Programs: U.S. DOT will expand efforts to reduce highway fatalities and injuries through behavioral safety programs, vehicle safety programs, continuance of the National Driver Register program to provide a credible source of vehicle driver records, and highway safety grant programs. Emphasis areas will include efforts to reduce the number of alcohol-related fatalities and injuries and to strengthen occupant protection.
Introduce Safety-Oriented Technology Programs: Many new safety-oriented technology programs are underway and nearing deployment, including the Intelligent Transportation System (ITS) Vehicle-Infrastructure Integration (VII) program directed at collision avoidance between vehicles and between the vehicle and the infrastructure.
Reduce Congestion: To counter congestion, the U.S. DOT announced a major initiative in May 2006, "The National Strategy to Reduce Congestion on Americas Transportation Networks." The "Congestion Initiative" brings together Federal, state, and local officials and stakeholders to deploy and demonstrate the effectiveness of tolling, other methods of congestion pricing, expanded transit service, strengthened telecommuting programs, and technological and operational approaches in the fight against gridlock.
Address Air Traffic Congestion That Clogs Our Busiest Airports and Airspace: U.S. DOT has started a process to help the busiest airports adopt new policies to efficiently address chronic airline overscheduling, which leads to long lines and delays on the tarmac.
Improve Air Passenger Complaint and Response Systems: The best way to protect consumers is to solve the underlying congestion and delay problems. As these problems are addressed, U.S. DOT is working on a number of initiatives to provide consumers with more information and protection.
Deploy NextGen: Over the next 20 years the Next Generation Air Traffic System (NextGen) is being deployed as one means to reduce air traffic delays. The new system involves major technology upgrades and replaces World War II-era ground-based radar technology with satellite operations.
Increase Role of Transit: By providing stable, predictable funds to urbanized areas, increasing funding for underserved rural communities, funding improvements to existing facilities and new multi-year construction projects, and improving transportation services to the elderly, the low-income population, and persons with disabilities, U.S. DOT is working to ensure that transit increasingly plays a vital role in the U.S. In addition, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is working in key high-threat urban areas to enhance security measures for critical transit infrastructure, including bus, rail and ferry systems.
Target Infrastructure Investment: Highway infrastructure quality numbers can be improved with more targeted investment strategies. There is a need to reconsider the infrastructure investment model and system performance criteria; spending options must be analyzed and existing systems must be managed more efficiently.
Transform Border Management and Immigration Systems: The US-VISIT program is the centerpiece of the U.S. governments efforts to transform our Nations border management and immigration systems through the innovative use of biometrically enhanced security measures and other technologies.
"For too long our Nation has been dependent on foreign oil. And this dependence leaves us more vulnerable to hostile regimes, and to terrorists — who could cause huge disruptions of oil shipments, and raise the price of oil, and do great harm to our economy."
President George W. Bush
"Successfully increasing the use of alternative fuels hinges on our transportation system. We need to ready the network for the biofuels economy, and this transition poses some complex delivery and distribution challenges."
Thomas J. Barrett
President Bush has asked us to join him in pursuing the goal of reducing U.S. gasoline usage by 20% in the next 10 years — Twenty in Ten.
America will reach Twenty in Ten goals by:
See figure: Energy use by Transportation Mode.
Urban Partnership Agreements (UPA) are a major component of the National Strategy to Reduce Congestion. Through UPAs, U.S. DOT is partnering with metropolitan areas to demonstrate strategies with proven effectiveness in reducing traffic congestion. Four strategies, collectively referred to as the "Four Ts," will be pursued. Each has a track record of effectiveness in reducing congestion:
Tolling: Implementing a broad congestion pricing or variable toll demonstration.
Transit: Creating or expanding express bus services or bus rapid transit, which will benefit from the free-flow traffic conditions generated by congestion pricing or variable tolling.
Telecommuting: Securing agreements from major area employers to establish or expand telecommuting and flex-scheduling programs.
Technology and operations: Utilizing cutting-edge technological and operational approaches to improve system performance.
U.S. Secretary of Transportation Mary E. Peters announced the first winners to receive lump-sum funding amounts to implement their traffic fighting plans: Miami, the Minneapolis area, New York City, San Francisco, and the Seattle area. Every Urban Partner proposed some form of congestion pricing.
Additionally, improved and expanded bus and ferry service will make it easier for commuters in these communities to leave their cars at home.
The plans also take advantage of new technologies to keep traffic moving and flexible work schedules and telecommuting to ease traditional rush hours.
"At the core of NextGen are infrastructure and operational capabilities to optimize air traffic management which, in turn, reduce congestion and delays in the system, save travel time for the public, and improve energy conservation and emissions."
Mary E. Peters
The aviation industry is critical to the economic growth and trade of the U.S., contributing approximately $640 billion to our economy and generating 9 million jobs equating to $134 billion in wages.
Today, the U.S. air traffic system is in trouble; delays are growing at many of the major airports. The current air traffic system cannot keep up with the projected demand.
Based on plans for updated procedures and new equipment, NextGen is envisioned as the answer to the Nations air system capacity problem.
Through NextGen, ground-based radar technology will be replaced by satellite-based operations. For the first time, pilots and controllers will have a common operational picture of the aircraft in U.S. airspace.
The new system together with other new technologies will allow aircraft to safely use airspace in much closer proximity and with less weather disruption.
Preliminary analyses indicate that NextGen capacity increases could yield economic growth as much as $175 billion through 2025.
By 2025, all aircraft and airports in U.S. airspace will be connected to the NextGen network and our air system will be better able to absorb the predicted increase in air transportation.
See figure: Air Passenger Demand 2000–2030.