Federal govt seeks national conversation on transportation

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WASHINGTON — Hoping to start a national conversation about future transportation needs, the Obama administration released a report Monday that identifies key population, environmental, cultural and technology trends expected to shape the way Americans get from one place to another over the next 30 years.

By then the U.S. population will grow by 70 million, the equivalent of adding another Texas, Florida and New York. Much of this increase will be in cities in the South and West. At the same time, the number of Americans over age 65 will increase 77 percent, and one-third of seniors will have a disability that limits their mobility.

At the same time, the nation’s 73 million millennials, the first generation to grow up with the Internet, will become an important economic engine. So far, they are driving less than their Generation X predecessors and many are gravitating to cities where they can bike, walk and take public transit to work or school.

Significant increases in freight shipments are forecast across all modes of transportation — highway, rail, maritime ship and aviation. Already, a 50 percent increase in crude oil production since 2008 is straining the capacity of America’s freight railroads.

Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx sat down to discuss the trends with Google Chairman Eric Schmid....

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