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Executive Office of the President Provides Justice40 Interim Guidance (7-2021)
The Executive Office of the President issued interim guidance on the Justice40 Initiative, which provides direction to agencies on how Federal offices can make certain investments to support disadvantaged communities. The initiative aims to make more strategic investments in transportation, housing, water resources, and health care that provide benefits to disadvantaged communities and sets a goal that 40 percent of the overall benefits of such investments be directed to these communities to advance equity.

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Webinar Recording Highlights COVID-19 Mobility Adaptations (7-2021)
The Eno Center for Transportation hosted a webinar on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on local infrastructure and transportation decision making. The webinar describes local mobility adaptations to infrastructure in response to COVID-19, including changes to allocation and use of roadway space. It provides recommendations to expand the state of knowledge through case study research and data collection across different cities.

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Port of San Diego Will Deploy First All-Electric Tugboat in 2023 (7-2021)
Crowley Maritime Corporation recently announced the development of the first all-electric powered harbor tugboat. The 82-foot vessel will operate at the Port of San Diego’s Tenth Avenue Marine Terminal and will be operational by mid-2023.

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USDOT Expands Equal Opportunity and Access Through Title VI Update (6-2021)
USDOT updated its Title VI Program Order, which ensures that Federally funded programs provide equal opportunity and access regardless of race, color, or national origin (including limited English proficiency). The updated Title VI Order ensures that the Department’s programs are in compliance with nondiscrimination requirements. This Order helps address environmental justice in traditionally underserved communities.

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FTA Announces Grants to Expand Low or No Emission Transit Vehicles & Facilities (6-2021)
The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) is providing funding to 49 projects in 46 states and territories for low and no emissions buses and bus facilities. These projects contribute to the Biden-Harris Administration’s goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by fifty percent by the end of the decade. The goal is to take dirty busses off the road and replace them with a cleaner, more efficient fleet.

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USDOT Announces Awards for the Infrastructure for Rebuilding America (INFRA) Grant Program (6-2021)
USDOT intends to award $905.25 million to 24 projects in 18 states under the INFRA discretionary grant program. USDOT evaluated 157 eligible applications from 42 states and Guam, and prioritized funding to rural areas and projects that had the capacity to improve local economies, and create jobs. Other rating criteria included how projects would address climate change, environmental justice and racial equity.

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USDOT Issues Request for Information on Transportation Equity Data (5-2021)
USDOT recently announced a Request for Information (RFI) to receive input from the public on the data and assessment tools available to assess transportation equity. Equitable access to transportation is a civil right, and this RFI is one action that USDOT is taking in response to EO 13985. Responses are requested no later than 5:00 pm (eastern time) on July 22, 2021.

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USDOT Announces Leadership Speaker Series on Innovation, Sustainability, and Equity in Transportation (5-2021)
The Leadership Series will kick off in June and go through September, exploring how the transportation sector can work together to address the profound climate crisis while ensuring that decision‐making and investments also address transportation equity.

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USDOT Announces More Than $10 Million Funding Opportunity for Transit Planning to Address Climate Change and Equity in Communities Nationwide (4-2021)
The U.S. Department of Transportation’s (USDOT) Federal Transit Administration (FTA) has released a Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) for FTA’s Pilot Program for Transit Oriented Development (TOD) Planning. Funds will be used to support comprehensive planning efforts that help connect communities, improve access to public transportation and affordable housing, and support the current administration’s call to combat climate change, advance environmental justice, and promote equitable delivery of benefits to underserved communities. Applicants must be an existing FTA recipient as either a project sponsor of an eligible transit project or an entity with land use planning authority in the project corridor. Applications are due June 21, 2021.

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U.S. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg Announces Availability of $1 Billion to Modernize and Create New American Infrastructure (4-2021)
The U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) has released a Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) to apply for $1 Billion in Fiscal Year (FY) 2021 discretionary grant funding through the Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity (RAISE) grants. Projects will be evaluated based on inclusion of safety, environmental sustainability, quality of life, economic competitiveness, state of good repair, innovation, and partnership. Prioritization will be given to projects that can demonstrate improvements to racial equity, reduce impacts of climate change, and create good-paying jobs. Interested parties must submit their applications by July 12, 2021.

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Publications
Photograph of a rural, divided, four-lane highway on a sunny day. Each lane pair has orange and white striped barrels along the middle lane stripe. Two trucks are traveling in the left lane of the farthest road.
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Report Details How the COVID-19 Pandemic Affected Shared Micromobility (8-2021)
The North American Bikeshare Association released the 2020 State of the Industry Report on shared micromobility systems (e.g., electric scooters and bikeshare systems). The report compares mobility patterns identified in the 2019 report and discusses trends observed in 2020, such as free and discounted rides offered to essential workers and an increase in first-time riders. The findings indicate shared micromobility ridership decreased in early 2020, but rebounded more rapidly than other shared modes.

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TRB Releases Consensus Study Report on Investing in Transportation Resilience (8-2021)
This report reviews current practices by transportation agencies for evaluating resilience and conducting investment analysis for the purpose of restoring and adding resilience. These practices require methods for measuring the resilience of the existing transportation system and for evaluating and prioritizing options to improve resilience by strengthening, adding redundancy to, and relocating vulnerable assets.

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First Comprehensive Equity Blueprint Released for Federal Agencies (7-2021)
PolicyLink released the very first racial equity blueprint, detailing tools and resources necessary for Federal leaders to take steps to advance equity. Some of these tools include the specific roles the federal government can play, how to best conduct initial equity assessments, and how to develop a strategic vision to improve equity.

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TRB Publishes Research Roadmap for Transportation System Resilience (7-2021)
TRB’s NCHRP Research Report 975: Transportation System Resilience: Research Roadmap and White Papers highlights knowledge gaps within American Associated of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) and state departments of transportation, plans to address gaps, and critical issues.

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TRB Publishes Guidelines for Integrating Safety and Cost-Effectiveness into Resurfacing, Restoration, and Rehabilitation (3R) Projects (7-2021)
The TRB National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP) released a report that presents a rational approach for estimating the cost effectiveness of including safety and operational improvements in a 3R project. 3R projects can be funded by the Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1976, and these guidelines, along with the two spreadsheet benefit-cost analysis tools included can be used to examine the best way funds can be utilized.

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Report Examines Pandemic-Related Traffic Fluctuation in Metropolitan Areas (6-2021)
The Texas A&M Transportation Institute released an annual report on traffic congestion patterns in large metropolitan areas across the United States. The findings indicate that the COVID-19 pandemic reduced roadway congestion as daily commuter traffic dropped by nearly 50 percent compared to 2019. The report describes approaches to addressing congestion in the long term, highlighting measures such as added capacity for alternate modes (e.g., expanding pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure) and transforming land development patterns.

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USDOT Releases Report on Smart Cities and Communities (6-2021)
USDOT has released the Putting People First – Smart Cities and Communities report. The report covers the benefits, goals, challenges, and success factors associated with smart cities and communities (SC&C) and gives a glimpse of the path forward.

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TRB Releases Guide on Mainstreaming System Resilience Concepts into Transportation Agencies (6-2021)
The TRB National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP) released a research report to provide transportation officials with a self-assessment tool to assess an agency’s current progress towards improving resilience of the transportation system. The guide focuses on mainstreaming resilience concepts into an agency’s decision-making procedures and applying the self-assessment tool to a broad array of natural and human-caused threats to transportation systems and services.

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TRB Examines Transportation Resilience Practices in State DOTs (6-2021)
The TRB National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP) released a document that continues the work from the NCHRP Research Report 970: Mainstreaming System Resilience Concepts into Transportation Agencies: A Guide. This document examines the concept of transportation system resilience and how state departments can mainstream resilience-related approaches and procedures into their culture.

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Photograph of a male, dressed for work, riding a bike in a bike lane next to a moving car. The bike rider is wearing a safety helmet and a backpack.
Upcoming Events
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60th Annual Workshop on Transportation Law
September 13–15, 2021
Lawyers, engineers, and transportation planners will meet and hear from federal, state and local government transportation attorneys and private transportation practitioners through in-depth sessions regarding significant legal issues in transportation. Subject matter practitioners include senior attorneys from FHWA, FTA, and FRA.

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Innovations in Freight Data Workshop
September 21–23, 2021
TRB’s Freight Data Workshop aims to bring together a broad community of data users and data developers to share recent advances in the application of emerging data sources for broad multi-modal freight applications.

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Rails-with-Trails Webinar: Best Practices and Lessons Learned
September 28, 2021
This webinar will discuss a new report from the USDOT that examines safety, design, and liability issues associated with the development of shared-use paths and other trails adjacent to active railroad and transit rights-of-way.

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Conference on Virtual Public Engagement for Transportation Planning
September 28, 2021
From tools, strategies and best practices for large-scale and inclusive public participation, to effective techniques for measuring success and reporting on community input, this one-day conference, sponsored by MetroQuest, will uncover how to develop actionable and equitable plans that align with community needs and help get projects approved with the backing of strong public support.

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Websites

Federal Government Links

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Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) NEPAssist web-based application

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Federal Facilities Environmental Stewardship and Compliance Assistance Center Transportation Program Area

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USDOT Transportation Planning Capacity Building (TPCB) website

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