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Archive for the ‘transportation and travel’ Category

New From the GAO

September 29, 2014 Comments off

New GAO Reports
Source: Government Accountability Office

1. Disabled Dual-Eligible Beneficiaries: Integration of Medicare and Medicaid Benefits May Not Lead to Expected Medicare Savings. GAO-14-523, August 29.
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-14-523
Highlights –  http://www.gao.gov/assets/670/665492.pdf

2. Patient Protection And Affordable Care Act: Largest Issuers of Health Coverage Participated in Most Exchanges, and Number of Plans Available Varied.
GAO-14-657, August 29.
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-14-657
Highlights –  http://www.gao.gov/assets/670/665488.pdf

3. Freight Transportation: Developing National Strategy Would Benefit from Added Focus on Community Congestion Impacts. GAO-14-740, September 19.
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-14-740
Highlights – http://www.gao.gov/assets/670/665973.pdf

4. Managing for Results: Agencies’ Trends in the Use of Performance Information to Make Decisions. GAO-14-747, September 26.
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-14-747
Highlights – http://www.gao.gov/assets/670/666188.pdf

5. U.S. Currency: Reader Program Should Be Evaluated While Other Accessibility Features for Visually Impaired Persons Are Developed. GAO-14-823, September 26.
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-14-823
Highlights – http://www.gao.gov/assets/670/666172.pdf

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Incorporating Truck Analysis into the Highway Capacity Manual

September 29, 2014 Comments off

Incorporating Truck Analysis into the Highway Capacity Manual
Source: Transportation Research Board

TRB’s National Cooperative Freight Research Program (NCFRP) Report 31: Incorporating Truck Analysis into the Highway Capacity Manual presents capacity and level-of-service techniques to improve transportation agencies’ abilities to plan, design, manage, and operate streets and highways to serve trucks. The techniques also assist agencies’ ability to evaluate the effects of trucks on other modes of transportation.

These techniques are being incorporated into the Highway Capacity Manual, but will be useful to planners and designers working on projects with significant truck traffic.

Use of Mobility Devices on Paratransit Vehicles and Buses

September 26, 2014 Comments off

Use of Mobility Devices on Paratransit Vehicles and Buses
Source: Transportation Research Board

TRB’s Transit Cooperative Research Program (TCRP) Report 171: Use of Mobility Devices on Paratransit Vehicles and Buses describes the current and emerging issues which limit the use of mobility devices in paratransit vehicles and buses, and includes a guidance document to assist transit systems, manufacturers, and transit users in the implementation of potential accessible design and accommodation solutions for the short and long term.

New From the GAO

September 25, 2014 Comments off

New GAO Reports
Source: Government Accountability Office
1. Aviation: Impact of Fuel Price Increases on the Aviation Industry. GAO-14-331, September 25.
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-14-331
Highlights – http://www.gao.gov/assets/670/666127.pdf

2. Data Center Consolidation: Reporting Can Be Improved to Reflect Substantial Planned Savings. GAO-14-713, September 25.
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-14-713
Highlights – http://www.gao.gov/assets/670/666122.pdf

3. Cloud Computing: Additional Opportunities and Savings Need to Be Pursued. GAO-14-753, September 25.
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-14-753
Highlights – http://www.gao.gov/assets/670/666132.pdf

4. Overseas Real Property: State Department Needs to Improve Guidance and Records Management. GAO-14-769, September 25.
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-14-769
Highlights – http://www.gao.gov/assets/670/666159.pdf

5. Littoral Combat Ship: Navy Complied with Regulations in Accepting Two Lead Ships, but Quality Problems Persisted after Delivery. GAO-14-827, September 25.
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-14-827
Highlights – http://www.gao.gov/assets/670/666100.pdf

DHS OIG — DHS Does Not Adequately Manage or Have Enforcement Authority Over Its Components’ Vehicle Fleet Operations

September 25, 2014 Comments off

DHS Does Not Adequately Manage or Have Enforcement Authority Over Its Components’ Vehicle Fleet Operations (PDF)
Source: U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Office of Inspector General

In fiscal year 2012, Federal agency fleets consisted of more than 650,000 motor vehicles around the world. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) had the second largest civilian motor vehicle fleet in the Federal Government, owning or leasing about 56,000 vehicles, with reported annual operating costs of about $534 million. Our audit objective was to determine whether, for fiscal year 2012, DHS met requirements to rightͲsize its motor vehicle fleet composition, eliminate underused vehicles, and acquire vehicles that reduce petroleum use and greenhouse gas emissions.

DHS does not adequately manage or have the enforcement authority over its components’ fleet operations to ensure that its motor vehicle fleet composition is rightͲ sized. Each DHS component manages its own vehicle fleet, making it difficult for the DHS Fleet Manager to provide adequate oversight and ensure compliance with Federal laws, regulations, policies, and directives. Although the Department oversees and approves the components’ leasing of vehicles, it does not oversee and approve the acquisition of componentͲowned vehicles. In fiscal year 2012, not all acquisitions were alternative fuel vehicles, as required by DHS policy.

The Department does not have a centralized fleet management information system. For reporting on its motor vehicle fleet inventory, DHS must rely on multiple information systems that contain inaccurate and incomplete vehicle data from the components. In fiscal year 2012, all of the component vehicle fleets we reviewed included underused vehicles, but DHS did not ensure the components justified retaining the vehicles or removed them from their fleets. In that fiscal year, we estimate that operating these underused vehicles cost between $35.3 million and $48.6 million. For these reasons, DHS cannot ensure its vehicle fleet composition is cost efficient, complies with departmental requirements, and has the correct number of motor vehicles to accomplish its mission.

Animal transportation networks

September 24, 2014 Comments off

Animal transportation networks
Source: Journal of the Royal Society Interface

Many group-living animals construct transportation networks of trails, galleries and burrows by modifying the environment to facilitate faster, safer or more efficient movement. Animal transportation networks can have direct influences on the fitness of individuals, whereas the shape and structure of transportation networks can influence community dynamics by facilitating contacts between different individuals and species. In this review, we discuss three key areas in the study of animal transportation networks: the topological properties of networks, network morphogenesis and growth, and the behaviour of network users. We present a brief primer on elements of network theory, and then discuss the different ways in which animal groups deal with the fundamental trade-off between the competing network properties of travel efficiency, robustness and infrastructure cost. We consider how the behaviour of network users can impact network efficiency, and call for studies that integrate both network topology and user behaviour. We finish with a prospectus for future research.

Deloitte Survey: Where There is Reward for Travel, There is Risk

September 23, 2014 Comments off

Deloitte Survey: Where There is Reward for Travel, There is Risk
Source: Deloitte

Three-quarters (75 percent) of frequent travelers expect their loyalty program data to be secured to at least the same standard as a financial institution — but only 33 percent feel their accounts are secure enough, according to a new Deloitte study, “Loyalty data security: Are hospitality and travel companies managing the risks of their rewards programs?”

Few frequent travelers appear fully aware of the wider risks involved when loyalty data — including travel schedules and other personal data — is lost or stolen. Roughly one in seven (15 percent) are simply concerned that a breach would result in a loss of loyalty points, while the majority of travelers (76 percent) worry about the loss of credit card numbers.

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