In millions of transportation-related jobs in the United States-- from the U.S. and State DOTs to the rail carriers, transit agencies, freight shippers, airlines, bus companies, ferry services and more--your fellow Americans think day and night about the importance of transportation in our everyday lives so you don't have to.
But for one week each year--National Transportation Week--we like to remind folks that transportation moves America.
Our national transportation system gets you where you need to go and even gives you choices for getting there. Need to get to work? Many of us can drive, ride rail or bus transit, bike, or walk. Traveling for business? Add flying or intercity passenger rail to the range of options. Taking classes? Again, you've got choices. Doctor, grocery, hardware store? We'll get you there.
Trucks, trains, planes, and marine vessels move our food from farm to grocery, with an occasional stop along the way to transform grain into breakfast cereal or milk into ice cream. Roads, rails, and rivers lead iron ore from mines in Minnesota to steel mills in Ohio; then, they steer that steel on to factories across the U.S. And when the manufacturing process is complete, our transportation network takes finished goods to markets, both locally and abroad.
At every step of the way, transportation is either creating opportunities or making them accessible to tens of millions of Americans. If we aren't adding value, we're making it possible for others to add value.
- In an era when we must reduce transportation's reliance on oil and reduce the harmful emissions some modes create, DOT is taking on those twin challenges with historic fuel efficiency requirements.
- When new distractions threaten our safety as we move about on America's roadways, DOT is taking on that challenge by raising awareness of the dangers posed by texting or talking on a cell phone while driving.
- When our roads need repair, DOT is taking on that challenge with alternative techniques that last longer and can be delivered more quickly.
- And when roads in some areas are hopelessly congested, DOT is taking on that challenge with marine highways and high-speed rail.
The challenges on this sample list are relatively new, but we at DOT have hit the ground running so Americans can continue enjoying the mobility so central to our lives.
Over the past four and a half years, I have had many occasions to say that this is not your grandfather's DOT. Today, as we begin a week-long celebration of all things transportation, I am proud to say it again.