The MIT Operations Research Center won a contest to design a solution to Boston Public Schools' transportation problem, in which buses were often late and were costing the system a lot of money. After 30 minutes, MIT's solution "created a system-level route map that was 20 percent more efficient than the ones done by hand," and the district saved $5 million.
Michael Shcwarz, Mircrosoft's chief economist, said at the IBTTA Summit that satellite tolling has the potential to support "ubiquitous congestion pricing" by tolling small amounts continuously rather than large tolls to enter cities, for example. While satellite tolling may be unpopular politically, it could push transportation toward higher rates of car-pooling and ride-sharing.
The Florida Department of Transportation reassigned Paul Wai, who was executive director of Florida's Turnpike Enterprise last year during the failed roll out of SunPass. Wai will be replaced by Nicola Liquori, currently CEO of Central Florida's commuter rail system SunRail.
The Florida Department of Transportation is widening Interstate 275, part of the Gateway Expressway project started in 2017. The $596 million project includes two new four-lane tolled roads and expanded toll lanes on I-275.
A group of Maryland business owners have started a non-profit group called Citizens4TrafficRelief to advocate in support of Gov. Larry Hogan's plans to ease congestion in the suburbs of D.C. by widening Interstates 495 and 270. The group's founder, Emmet Tydings, says the group is an effort at "grass-roots advocacy."
Alex Whalen, Vice President of the Atlantic Institute for Market Studies, is arguing against Canadian Sen. Percy Downe's proposal to reduce or eliminate the toll on the Confederation Bridge. Whalen says any change to the existing contract for the bridge will cost taxpayers, and sets bad public policy.
North Carolina Department of Transportation officials say widening of Interstate 77 from Charlotte to the border with South Carolina is not likely to begin until fiscal year 2029. The 11-mile project is expected to cost a billion dollars, and had been slated for a 2027 start.
United Parcel Service has invested an undisclosed sum of money to take a minority stake in the autonomous truck startup TuSimple. UPS's freight business is providing cargo for haul between Phoenix and Tucson on trucks guided by TuSimple's autonomous system.
The Richmond-San Rafael Bridge is slated to undergo an $85 million rehabilitation and renovation project next year, with $19.9 million of the cost covered by California state gas tax dollars. The funds were approved by the California Transportation Commission on Thursday.
Companies who place losing bids on the Interstate 10 Mobile River Bridge and Bayway project may be eligible for reimbursement up to $2 million, a standard part of most public-private partnership contracts. Alabama Department of Transportation spokesman Allison Gregg said the three bidders are likely to incur more than $10 million in expenses to submit their proposals, and information submitted becomes the intellectual property of the ALDOT.
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