The Month in Transportation – April

By John Halpin | Associate Account Director

Welcome to our latest review of news from across the transportation world.

Every month, we’ll share interesting links, thoughts and more about the transformation of transportation.

Don’t miss your connecting flight … er, bus

Beginning in June, American Airlines will work with the Landline Company to provide connections between two airports by bus, rather than airplane. The move will be a “time-saver,” according to the airline.

American and Landline will launch this effort with connections between Philadelphia and nearby airports in Lehigh Valley and Atlantic City. The argument is that such regional travel will take less time by bus (including parking, check in, etc.) than connections.

Landline already has similar initiatives with other airlines at locations in Colorado, Minnesota and Wisconsin. Would you prefer the bus option to a short, regional airline connection?

The race for the first pickup “tank turn”

Rivian got plenty of attention in 2019 for this video that showed one of its vehicles doing a “tank turn,” which is basically turning while staying in the same place (just watch the video – it’ll make sense). But according to InsideEVs, Ford has matched Rivian’s patent for this feature, and might even debut it first in the F-150 Lightning.

If you want to turn your pickup truck in your living room without hitting a wall, this technology is for you. (Seriously, this technology is pretty cool.”)

White House lends a jolt to EV charging

The new Joint Office of Energy and Transportation has recently helped 44 states with technical assistance as part of the White House’s $7.5 billion deployment to build a national electric vehicle charging network.

According to Transport Topics, the Joint Office aims to accelerate EV adoption so that 50 percent of new vehicles sales are electric by 2030. Charging corridors designated by the U.S. Department of Transportation “can be placed at major national highways and the National Highway Freight Network as well as at ports, intermodal centers and warehouses.”

Inland port effort in CA

Did you know that ports aren’t always on the coast? Some are “inland ports” – hubs that help speed the flow of containers and cargo to and from seaports and reduce the cost of domestic transportation. One HMH client, the North Carolina State Ports Authority, has an inland port in Charlotte.

Per JOC.com, California has announced plans for a $30 billion, 400-mile corridor that will connect the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach to Sacramento, and include four major inland hub ports along with seven smaller satellite ports along the way. The goal is to relieve congestion at seaports while increasing cargo velocity to and from those seaports.

So how, exactly, does this help? Here’s an example from the JOC.com article:

Agricultural exporters represented by the Agriculture Transportation Coalition (AgTC) support the CIP project because it would give them access to empty containers at locations closer to where their products are grown and away from the congested freeways on the coast, thereby reducing their overland transportation costs.

The impact of autonomous trucking

Many people think that when trucks can fully use autonomous driving technology, then drivers will lose their jobs. This article from VentureBeat cites research that disagrees with the notion, and suggests that we’ll see “job changing and job expansion more than job loss.”

Per the article: “The responsibilities of a truck operator extend beyond driving, so even if driving is automated, fleets will need human drivers to assist with customer service, loading, and other tasks.”

Mask update 

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) announced a new recommendation on May 3 that masks be worn by all persons 2 and older “in indoor areas of public transportation (such as airplanes, trains, etc.) and transportation hubs (such as airports, stations, etc.).” The CDC also encouraged people to wear “in crowded or poorly ventilated locations, such as airport jetways.”

To clarify: This was a recommendation, not a mandate.

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