Your Sept. 21 Pre-Trip: Groups press Congress to act on long-term transportation bill

Here are five things worth knowing today:

  1. U.S. Department of Transportation officials and various industry groups are continuing to urge Congress to pass a long-term transportation bill before Sept. 30, which marks the end of fiscal year 2015. According to the AASHTO Journal, groups want the cycle of short-term extensions to end. House Transportation Chairman Bill Shuster has not yet scheduled a markup session for his committee’s version of a long-term highway, transit and rail programs authorization, AASHTO reports. The Highway Trust Fund is currently authorized through Oct. 29. “The delay of immediate House action on a highway, transit and rail reauthorization measure, as lawmakers address other priorities, has stirred concern that Congress might opt to continue delaying action rather than pass a multiyear bill this fall,” AASHTO said.
  2. As transportation officials are urging Congress to pass a long-term transportation bill before the fiscal year ends on Sept. 30, the Oregon Department of Transportation just released a bridge condition report identifying the need for continual investments to protect the state’s economy. According to ODOT, if the state’s bridge system isn’t adequately maintained, in the next 20 years, Oregon could forfeit $94 million in production and 100,000 jobs. The good news, however, is that at the moment, the system still looks “pretty good,” ODOT reports. And if the state acts soon, it still has time to keep its bridges healthy.
  3. Volkswagen’s CEO Martin Winterkorn has apologized for breaking the trust of the dealer’s customers and the general public for its software algorithm designed to help Volkswagen cars cheat on official emissions testing. IEEE Spectrum reports that last week the EPA recalled almost a half million Volkswagen cars were recalled for their “defeat device” software that could detect whenever a car was undergoing official emissions testing and activate controls only during such testing. The emissions cheating software was found in four-cylinder diesel passenger cars that include Jetta, Beetle, Audi A3, Golf and Passat, according to IEEE.
  4. The West Virginia Trucking Association believes it has come up with a way to bring new blood to the industry. According to Associations Now, the trucking association plans to release as an attempt to drive interest to the field. The site touts itself as connecting “talented trucking and transportation industry professionals with employers, hiring managers and recruiters looking to fill job openings with companies offering great pay and stability.” The public launch is scheduled for Oct. 5.
  5. Ali Ashurov, CEO of FleetCor Technologies, sold 13,125 shares of the company’s stock for a total of $1,976,100, according to The Legacy. Following the transaction, Ashurov now owns 15,000 shares of the company’s stock – valued at approximately $2,258,400, according to the report. The Legacy noted that the firm has a market capitalization of $14.12 billion and a PE ratio of 35.12. FleetCor’s 50-day moving average price is $154.05 and its 200-day moving average price is $154.84. According to the report, FleetCor has a one-year low of $121.42 and a one-year high of $165.67.
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