Blog: Working to Improve Transportation Efficiency, Performance


By:  Anthony Foxx
Date: July 18, 2013
Location: Unknown

During my public swearing-in at DOT headquarters last week, I said that this Administration has an important mission: to build a stronger America, to create jobs, and to prepare the next generation to succeed in a global economy. For DOT that means working to improve the efficiency and performance of our existing transportation system. But, it means doing so in an era when we must work harder than ever to stretch our transportation dollar.

That's no small challenge. The American people are counting on us to be good stewards of their tax dollars even as we also build and maintain the roads, bridges, ports, buses, rails, and runways they need.

The good news? This Department has been getting better and better at improving the way we deliver the benefits of transportation to the American people.

For example, the Federal Highway Administration's Every Day Counts initiative has been promoting innovation and saving money on projects across the country. One tool in this initiative is Warm Mix Asphalt. And, while that may not be a household phrase, but it's quietly saving taxpayers millions every year. Warm Mix Asphalt is a new paving technology that allows asphalt to be produced and placed on the road at a lower temperature. It uses less fuel, reduces emissions, and extends the paving season into colder weeks, which allows road crews to keep working longer.

Under Every Day Counts, the use of Warm Mix has skyrocketed, already resulting in an estimated savings of more than $100 million. By 2020, we project that Warm Mix Asphalt will save more than $3.5 billion dollars---simply by using less fuel in the production and placement of asphalt.

We're not just saving money on our roads and highways. The Federal Transit Administration is cutting red tape to get new rail and bus projects off the ground faster than ever before--while maintaining our commitment to both the environment and safety. This means shovels in the ground sooner, workers on the job quicker, a shorter wait for improved transit, and savings for taxpayers.

And the Federal Aviation Administration is modernizing our airspace by moving towards NextGen satellite technology. Right here in metro Washington, DC, airlines are already using NextGen procedures to fly into Reagan National and Dulles Airport. We estimate that this will save $2.3 million in fuel per year and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 7,300 metric tons.

That's not only easy on the nation's pocketbook--it's good for our planet.

These are just a few examples of the great work DOT has done to improve transportation efficiency and performance--to save Americans time and money. Now, our job is to build even more momentum, to get even more out of every taxpayer dollar we are entrusted with.

And we will.

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