Category:

Transportation

Considerations for Employer-Provided Abortion Benefits

Following the ruling of Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization and subsequent reversal of Roe v. Wade, employers have begun to re-strategize how to help their employees legally access abortions. Several U.S. companies, including Amazon, Meta, Apple, and Microsoft, have released statements that they will cover transportation costs to other states for employees seeking an abortion.

“Get an Electric Car,” They Said, “It’s Good for the Planet,” They Said

The human impact on the environment has become increasingly more apparent, and more and more people intend to do their part to live a greener life. Over the past few years, governments and car manufacturers alike have been touting electric or hybrid cars as an easy switch anyone can make to do their part to fight emissions and climate change. Some states have even gone as far as offering financial incentives for driving hybrids or electric cars. But while electric vehicles may indeed have lower emissions than gas-powered cars overall, they are not exactly environmentally friendly either.

Delivery Drones Are Arriving

Using a machine to replace human workers is a practice that continues to grow in the electronic age. The logic of drone delivery is to provide a sustainable option for the last-minute shopper or for the caffeinato that wants to order coffee online and receive it at their doorstep within minutes. For many years, drone deliveries have just been mere speculation based on unreliable technology utilized in the drones. However, it seems that technology has advanced once again. Drone companies have recently been cleared to expand their operations across the United States, in cities and rural areas as the technology becomes more reliable and faster. But how soon should we be able to order our daily necessities and luxurious items straight to our doorstep via drone? That all depends on federal regulation.

Fly Me (Safely) to the Moon: Regulating Commercial Space Travel

The recent successful trips to the edge of space by Jeff Bezos and Richard Branson are predicted to boost consumer confidence in the possibility of using commercial spaceflight as a global transportation system. However, as interest and involvement in commercial spaceflight grows, safety regulations are failing to keep up. The Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) has the authority to regulate spaceflight, but there is currently a moratorium on regulating the industry until 2023 to encourage innovation.

The Aircraft Certification Process under the Federal Aviation Administration

Though the idea of a plane crash or any other incident with air travel is extremely unsettling, only about one accident per 2.5 million flights is fatal. Additionally, plane crashes also have about a ninety-five percent survivability rate. The regulations behind aviation are designed to implement the highest safety standards in all aircraft to prevent injury from occurring. The Federal Aviation Administration (“FAA”) is an agency of the U.S. Department of Transportation (“DOT”) that manages commercial and general aviation flights with a mission to provide safe air travel. The FAA is a crucial part of what makes air travel safe.

Cargo Congestion at America’s Container Ports

Container ports from coast to coast are inundated with empty cargo containers. The Federal Maritime Commission has commenced an investigation into America’s import and export flows, as many ports are overcrowded with empty containers that have yet to be collected or transported back to their point of origin. Carriers that fail to remove empty containers from the port run the risk of incurring fines or penalties, but there is widespread inconsistency with regard to port authorities and their enforcement practices. In addition, the global pandemic has exacerbated container congestion, as shipping flows reached an all-time high in 2020 and citizens around the world have become increasingly reliant on online retailers to deliver household goods.

Re-Regulating the Automotive Industry & the Road Ahead

A new President and a changing administration mean new priorities across some, if not all of the major executive agencies. One of the more heavily impacted industries will be transportation—specifically the automotive sector. From re-instating stricter emissions standards to moving forward with automated vehicle regulations, the automotive industry in the early 2020s should see innovation and progress at the forefront of the country’s new federal regulatory scheme.

Access Denied: How the City of Chicago’s Built Environment Fails to Meet the Reasonable Accommodation Standard

Most everyone knows how painful a rush hour commute in Chicago can be –– from cramming into packed buses and train cars to navigating construction and busy streets. Now, imagine navigating that same commute without access to your nearest L stop or waiting fifteen minutes for a bus only to find you’ll have to wait for another because there’s a crowd of people standing in the area designated for wheelchair users. This is a reality that many Chicago residents with disabilities must overcome to go about their day-to-day lives. According to a 2018 community survey, over 520,000 Chicagoland residents, about 10.1 percent of the City’s total population, have a disability. Unfortunately, the city of Chicago’s transit system is not adequately accessible for this community.

The Road to Regulation

The implications arising from fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions standards set by the Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) and the Department of Transportation (“DOT”) in the early 2010s spelled out a cautionary tale for automotive manufacturers wondering how to comply with increasingly strict regulations.

Regulatory Shortcuts Taken in Creation of 737 Max Jets

Boeing’s fleet of 737 Max jets remain grounded in the wake of two crashes that occurred shortly after takeoff and within five months of each other. Both crashes killed all passengers on board, a total of 346 people, and the jets’ black box data recorders have revealed many similarities between the two incidents. Both jets were equipped with Boeing’s newly implemented stall-prevention software called the Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System (MCAS). The system automatically adjusts the pitch of the aircraft, but it malfunctioned in both crashes when MCAS seized control from the pilots and plunged the jets into the ground. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has not yet announced when these jets will be allowed to fly again, although test flights have recently been conducted.