Transportation

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Transportation
11:37 am
Thu March 28, 2013

Meet The New Head Of WSDOT

Lynn Peterson
Photo Courtesy/WSDOT

The new head of the Washington Department of Transportation is exploring alternate funding models for the state's transportation projects, including tolls and fees based on mileage. Lynn Peterson spoke Thursday with The Conversation's Ross Reynolds.

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Air Traffic Control
12:24 pm
Tue March 26, 2013

Sequester Strikes Again! Control Tower At Tacoma Narrows Airport To Go Dark In April

For weeks you couldn’t seem to escape the word sequester and day by day the across-the-board spending cuts that went into effect are being felt. Most recently here in Washington state the closure of five airport control towers were announced, including the Tacoma Narrows Airport control tower. Ross Reynolds discussed the potential impacts of the closing of the Tacoma Narrows Airport tower with Pierce County Executive Pat McCarthy.

Paying To Drive
2:25 pm
Fri March 22, 2013

Toll Plan Cheat Sheet

Drivers who decide to pay tolls on the Tacoma Narrows Bridge with cash or credit card must use the cash-only lanes and stop at the toll plaza.
Flickr Photo/WSDOT

Washington state officials announced proposals on Tuesday to increase the toll rates on the Tacoma Narrows Bridge and the State Route 520 floating bridge. The tolls are being used to pay off bonds that support the financing of the bridge projects. The bond contracts for those bridges are very different, which means the tolling plans are different.

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Breaking Dreamliner Update
2:22 pm
Tue March 12, 2013

FAA Gives Boeing Go Ahead To Test New Battery System

The lithium-ion battery that started a fire on a 787 at Boston Logan Airport. An NTSB report said the fire injured one firefighter and was hot enough to melt steel.
NTSB Photo

Last Updated: March 12, 2013 5:30 p.m. 

In a statement, the FAA said Boeing could go ahead with its plan to test a redesigned battery system for the 787. The FAA also gave the green light to limited flights for two aircraft that will have test versions of the new systems.

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Airline Safety
11:57 am
Fri March 8, 2013

TSA Relaxation On Sharp Objects Gets Criticism From Airline Workers

Baseball bats will be permitted in carry-on baggage starting in April.
Credit Flickr Photo/Todd Lappin

TSA Administrator John Pistole has announced a change to the Prohibited Items List. Starting April 25 of this year, passengers can now include in their carry-on luggage some previously banned items such as small knives and bats. Pilot and air marshal unions have come out against the relaxation of the TSA's ban on sharp objects. Ross Reynolds talks with airline workers and frequent fliers about their thoughts on the TSA announcement. 

787 Crisis
5:16 pm
Thu March 7, 2013

Boeing's Battery Fix: Containment

The lithium-ion battery that started a fire on a 787 at Boston Logan Airport. An NTSB report said the fire injured one firefighter and was hot enough to melt steel.
NTSB Photo

  The National Transportation Safety Board says it still does not know the root cause of the battery fire that triggered the grounding of the Boeing Co. 787 fleet.

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Vision For State Transportation
4:03 pm
Thu March 7, 2013

Gov. Inslee On Transportation Needs And How To Fund Them

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee looks out the window of his plane as it flies over the Hanford Nuclear Reservation, Wednesday, March 6, 2013, on the way to Richland, Wash. Inslee toured the facility and met with Dept. of Energy officials.
AP Photo/Ted S. Warren

Governor Jay Inslee spoke with Ross Reynolds on The Conversation Thursday about the proposed gas tax increase and his vision for Washington's transportation needs. Expiring federal funds, booming population and the need for more jobs create an urgency for the Legislature to come up with bipartisan solutions, according to the governor.

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Transportation
11:55 am
Wed March 6, 2013

An Exit Interview With WSDOT Head Paula Hammond

Washington state Transportation Secretary Paula Hammond addresses a news conference of the Western Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials Tuesday, July 14, 2009.
AP Photo/Elaine Thompson

This Friday will be Washington Transportation Secretary Paula Hammond's last day on the job after 30 years with the state department of transportation. Ross Reynolds sits down with Paula Hammond to discuss her work as the head of the department, what it was like to lead an agency of 7,200 employees, the future of Washington transportation and her legacy. 

Politics Of The Port
7:24 am
Wed March 6, 2013

Daughter Of Former Washington Governor Tapped As New Port Commissioner

Courtney Gregoire, the new Port of Seattle commissioner.
Photo Courtesy/Port of Seattle

The newest Port of Seattle commissioner should be a familiar name to anyone who follows Washington state politics. She’s 33-year-old Courtney Gregoire, daughter of former Washington Governor Chris Gregoire.

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Ferry Construction
12:29 pm
Wed February 27, 2013

Will Competition In Ferry Market Save Taxpayers Money?

Where do you think Washington state ferries should be built?
Flickr Photo/A.Davey

Washington state lawmakers are considering ending a requirement that ferries be built in state. According to a recent state audit Washington is overpaying for ferries compared to other states. Ross Reynolds talks with ferry maker Brian Mannion about his thoughts on opening up state ferry production to outside competition. 

Megaproject Pontoon Problems
7:11 am
Wed February 27, 2013

WSDOT Admits 520 Bridge Problems Result Of Design Flaw

The first new bridge pontoon on its way to Lake Washington in 2012.
Flickr photo/WSDOT

Washington Secretary of Transportation Paula Hammond said Tuesday that cracks in the pontoons for the state Route 520 floating bridge project were largely the result of a flawed design by the state.

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Transportation
12:17 pm
Fri February 22, 2013

House Democrats Want To Rev Up The Gas Tax

House Democrats are proposing to raise the gas tax by 10 cents, to 47.5 cents a gallon, within five years, to pay for a $10 billion transportation package. The plan was introduced earlier this week by State Representative Judy Clibborn, D-Mercer Island, who chairs the House Transportation Committee. 

Ross Reynolds talks to Clibborn and  Sen. Tim Sheldon, a Democrat representing the 35th District, which includes all of Mason County and parts of Thurston, Kitsap and Grays Harbor counties.  He’s one of two Senate Democrats to join with Republicans to form a majority coalition this legislative session.

Paying To Get Around
7:38 am
Tue February 19, 2013

Looming Fiscal Cliff For King County Transit

A crowd gathers waiting for the #7 bus.
Flickr Photo/Oran Viriyincy

Bus service in King County could get some good news this week. Washington state lawmakers are expected to introduce a plan that could prevent a looming fiscal crisis.

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Public Transportation
11:21 am
Fri February 15, 2013

That Man On The Bus Is Saving You Money

Thanks, man, for saving us money!
Flickr Photo/Tinou Bao

The Texas Transportation Institute released its annual urban mobility report, which measures the amount of time spent in traffic for commuters and the role of public transportation in reducing congestion in major cities.  Ross Reynolds talks with transportation and urban policy blogger and University of Washington research scientist, Shane Phillips, about his analysis of the data.

Bikes As Transit
8:45 am
Wed February 13, 2013

Five Lessons For Seattle Bike Share Plan

Bike Sharing Kiosks in St. Paul, Minnesota.
Flickr/taestell

The plan to create a bike sharing program in Seattle is clicking into a higher gear. Puget Sound Bike Share hopes to launch in 2014 in parts of the University District, Eastlake, Capitol Hill, South Lake Union, Downtown and Queen Anne. Organizers updated Seattle officials Tuesday on their progress and said they hope to hire a vendor by the spring.

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