Department of Transportation (11 - 20 of 1,938 items)
Climate Change: Improved Federal Coordination Could Facilitate Use of Forward-Looking Climate Information in Design Standards, Building Codes, and Certifications
GAO-17-3: Published: Nov 30, 2016. Publicly Released: Jan 3, 2017.
Selected standards-developing organizations generally have not used forward-looking climate information—such as projected rainfall rates—in design standards, building codes, and voluntary certifications and instead have relied on historical observations. Further, some organizations periodically update climate information in standards, codes, and certifications, but others do not. Some standard...
Air Traffic Control: Experts' and Stakeholders' Views on Key Issues to Consider in a Potential Restructuring [Reissued on December 9, 2016]
GAO-17-131: Published: Oct 13, 2016. Publicly Released: Nov 15, 2016.
Experts, aviation stakeholders, and Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) officials GAO spoke to said that if Congress decides to remove air traffic control (ATC) from the FAA, many issues should be considered. Key issues identified, consistent with GAO's past work, relate to: (1) organizational management, (2) funding and financing, and (3) transition time and related costs.First, organizational...
Federal Building Management: Building Disposal Authorities Provide Varying Degrees of Flexibility and Opportunities for Use
GAO-17-123: Published: Dec 8, 2016. Publicly Released: Dec 8, 2016.
Twenty civilian federal entities reported they have at least one statutory authority that allows them to dispose of federally owned buildings under their control. Fifteen entities reported the authority to retain proceeds from building disposals. However, most of these federal entities reported limited use of their independent authorities during fiscal years 2011 through 2015. Seven entities that...
Freight Rail Pricing: Contracts Provide Shippers and Railroads Flexibility, but High Rates Concern Some Shippers
GAO-17-166: Published: Dec 7, 2016. Publicly Released: Dec 7, 2016.
While rail contracts and tariffs are similar, contracts offer the flexibility to customize rates and terms to a specific shipper, according to selected stakeholders GAO interviewed. Both contract and tariff rates are based on market factors, such as competition, according to representatives from the four largest U.S. freight railroads. However, they noted that in developing contract rates, a railr...
Hazardous Materials Rail Shipments: A Review of Emergency Response Information in Selected Train Documents
GAO-17-130: Published: Dec 2, 2016. Publicly Released: Dec 2, 2016.
To help emergency responders safely handle rail accidents involving hazardous materials, selected railroads transporting hazardous materials typically carry two sources of information: the Department of Transportation's (DOT) Emergency Response Guidebook ( ERG ) and information in the trains' documents. Federal Hazardous Material Regulations require railroads and other hazardous material transpo...
Motor Carriers: Establishing System for Self-Reporting Equipment Problems Appears Feasible, but Safety Benefits Questionable and Costs Unknown
GAO-17-132: Published: Dec 2, 2016. Publicly Released: Dec 2, 2016.
Establishing a system that would provide incentives for trucking companies to self-report equipment problems may not necessarily yield safety benefits. Most stakeholders GAO interviewed—including selected carriers and drivers—thought a self-reporting system would be unlikely to produce safety benefits, stating that it would not incentivize quicker repairs. If repairs are not made more quickly,...
IT Workforce: Key Practices Help Ensure Strong Integrated Program Teams; Selected Departments Need to Assess Skill Gaps
GAO-17-8: Published: Nov 30, 2016. Publicly Released: Nov 30, 2016.
Integrated program teams (IPT) are cross-functional or multidisciplinary groups of individuals that are organized and collectively responsible for delivering a product to an external or internal customer. GAO identified three characteristics that contribute to the creation and operation of a comprehensive IPT: (1) executive leadership through team support, empowerment, and oversight; (2) team comp...
Commercial Space: FAA Should Examine How to Appropriately Regulate Space Support Vehicles
GAO-17-100: Published: Nov 25, 2016. Publicly Released: Nov 25, 2016.
Company officials GAO interviewed identified potential uses for “space support vehicles”—which include a variety of aircraft from high-performance jets to balloons and the aircraft portion of a hybrid launch systems (a vehicle that contains elements of both an aircraft and a rocket-powered launch vehicle)—but the size of the market for these uses is unclear. Company officials said they pla...
Commercial Space Launch Insurance: Views Differ on Need for Change to Insurance Approach but Clarification Is Needed
GAO-17-88: Published: Nov 22, 2016. Publicly Released: Nov 22, 2016.
Of the 10 spaceport operators (entities that host launches from their property) that are currently licensed by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), 3 have had commercial activity in the last 5 years, and all 3 told GAO that they have both property and liability coverage to protect themselves from losses resulting from space launch mishaps. Federal laws and regulations do not require spacepor...
Hazardous Materials Rail Shipments: Emergency Responders Receive Support, but DOT Could Improve Oversight of Information Sharing
GAO-17-91: Published: Nov 17, 2016. Publicly Released: Nov 17, 2016.
Emergency planners from most of the 25 selected counties in 17 states that GAO surveyed reported that training for responders and information about rail shipments of hazardous materials affect preparedness. Emergency planners from almost all of the selected counties reported that a majority of the emergency response personnel, such as fire fighters, who arrive first at an accident receive basic tr...