Inside these posts: Ray LaHood

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U.S. prepares to ban e-cigarettes from planes

U.S. transportation regulators this spring plan to ban smokeless electronic cigarettes on airplanes, the Associated Press reported Friday, citing a letter from Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. Get the full story »

Illinois gets $42M of Wisconsin, Ohio rail money

In this April 26, 2010 file photo, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, left, accompanied by. Sen. Christopher Dodd, second from left, get off an Amtrak train in Hartford, Conn. (AP Photo/Jessica Hill, File)

The Obama administration is taking $1.2 billion in high-speed rail money away from Ohio and Wisconsin and awarding it to other states, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said Thursday.

Both Ohio and Wisconsin have elected incoming Republican governors who oppose the rail projects. So LaHood said he is awarding their money to rail projects in states that are eager to have it.

High-speed trains will not only improve transportation but reinvigorate manufacturing and put people back to work in jobs that pay well, LaHood predicted in a statement. Get the full story »

Illinois, other states happy to take rail money

Wisconsin governor-elect Scott Walker speaks to reporters Nov. 3, 2010. (AP Photo/Scott Bauer)

High-speed rail projects in Wisconsin and Ohio appear close to derailment, with Wisconsin’s outgoing governor saying Monday he’ll leave the future of his state’s project to his Republican successor, who has vowed to kill it, and Ohio’s incoming governor saying again he plans scrap his state’s project.

Jim Doyle, Wisconsin’s outgoing Democratic governor, told The Associated Press that although he thinks a high-speed rail line to connect Milwaukee with Madison is a good idea, he feels obligated to leave the project’s future up to Republican Gov.-elect Scott Walker.

Minutes after Doyle made his comments, Walker said he remains opposed to the $810 million project. Get the full story »

Ban on texting by haz-mat haulers proposed

Targeting distractions behind the wheel, the Obama administration proposed Tuesday to bar truck drivers from sending text messages while hauling hazardous materials.

The requirements would complement separate rules being finalized by the Transportation Department that prohibit commercial bus and truck drivers from sending text messages on the job and restrict train operators from using cell phones and mobile devices on duty. Get the full story »

New rules would mean fewer hours for sleepy pilots

Some airline pilots would fly fewer hours and others would fly longer under proposed rules to help prevent dangerous fatigue, transportation and labor officials said Friday.

The proposal would set different requirements based on the time of day, number of scheduled flight segments, flight types, time zones and likelihood that a pilot is able to get enough sleep, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said in his blog. The proposal is being released Friday. Get the full story »

Justice Department OKs United-Continental merger

Passengers at the United and Continental kiosks at O'Hare International Airport, May 3, 2010. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

The Justice Department approved the proposed merger of United and Continental airlines Friday, closing an unexpectedly speedy four-month investigation that paves the way for the mega-deal to close by Oct. 1.

To win the blessing of federal antitrust regulators, United and Continental agreed to lease slots for 18 round-trip flights to Southwest Airlines at Newark Liberty International Airport, beginning in March 2011.

Justice officials said the slot transfer was struck in “response to the department’s principal concerns” regarding the merger, which critics have warned will speed consolidation and eventually leave the three largest U.S. carriers with a lion’s share of the market. Get the full story »