All posts in "Transportation & Infrastructure"

Economic Buzz About Tucson May Be Right, Despite Lackluster Numbers

 

Via tucson.com

That was the unexpected message UA economist George Hammond delivered in his 2018 economic forecast.

An economist telling us to ignore data and trust our feelings?! Well, it wasn’t that simple, but Hammond noted that the preliminary survey data delivered by the Bureau of Labor Statistics and used by state of Arizona in its employment reports don’t seem to add up. For some of the months in late 2017, they’ve shown job losses in the Tucson area compared to the same time last year, at a time when we were supposed to be growing steadily.

“Before you get too concerned about that, I think that those estimates are way too pessimistic,” Hammond told us Friday during a luncheon at the Westin La Paloma. “I think that data, which is preliminary data, is going to be revised up significantly. Once it is revised up, that’s going to square a lot better with the buzz around town about how Tucson is doing.”

 

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OnTrac Ranked 12th Fastest Growing Company And Privately Held Company In Arizona

 

Via businessinsider.com

CHANDLER, Ariz., Dec. 11, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — OnTrac, a logistics company specializing in delivery services in the Western United States, received the high honor as the 12th Fastest Growing Company as well as the 12th Ranked Privately Held Company. Both distinctions were part of the annual Arizona Corporate Excellence (ACE) awards put on by the Phoenix Business Journal. The recognition event took place on Thursday, November 2, 2017 at the Scottsdale Center for the Arts. The event brought together the largest private companies in Arizona that together generate revenues of over $15 billion per year, employ over 40,000 employees throughout the state, and over 56,000 employees worldwide.

The ACE awards is a nomination-based program that ranks by 2016 revenue and further company information such as the number of local and companywide employees, a company profile, professional bio for the top local executive and the year that company was founded locally. Based on this information along with company interviews and further research by accounting firm CliftonLarsonAllen, the top private companies list is created. The goal of the ACE awards is to develop a sense of knowledge-sharing and community among private companies in Arizona and provide a means for executives at all levels to expand their professional networks.

In additional to receiving recognition at the 2017 ACE awards, OnTrac has received two additional awards this fall. Transport Topics ranks the 100 largest for-hire carriers in North America, which OnTrac ranked number 5 among the top package/courier carriers and tied for number 56 for all sectors. Companies operating in the United States and Canada are ranked on the basis of annual revenue. Additionally, OnTrac was ranked as 41 at the 2017 Chandler 100 event, which ranks the top 100 business located in Chandler, Arizona.

 

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Chinese Startup TuSimple Just Raised $55 Million For Self-Driving Trucks In AZ

via fortune.com

TuSimple, a China-based autonomous truck technology startup that is backed by Nvidia(NVDA, -3.53%), has raised $55 million in a Series C funding round led by Composite Capital.

Existing investors Sina (SINA, -2.58%), operator of China’s biggest microblogging site Weibo, and ZP Capital also participated in the round. In August, the company announced $20 million in funding from investors that included Nvidia and Sina. The company is working on a “full-stack solution,” an industry term that means it’s developing and bringing together all of the technological pieces required for autonomous driving. TuSimple is developing a Level 4 system is a designation by the SAE that means the vehicle takes over all of the driving in certain conditions.

The autonomous trucking startup, which was founded in 2015, plans to use the new influx of capital to scale up its testing to two full truck fleets in China and the U.S. The eventual plan is to introduce commercial autonomous trucking services in 2019. The company will start truck fleet testing in 2018, beginning with two routes: 120-mile highway stretch between Tucson and Phoenix in Arizona and another segment in Shanghai.

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Major Traffic Closure In Southwest Phoenix Will Last For Months

 

Via azfamily.com

The Arizona Department of Transportation will close Southern Avenue between 51st and 67th avenues starting Monday, Nov. 27.

“We’re going to need to have it closed for several months here into the spring while we do the construction on the south half of the interchange. That includes putting at least much of the bridge in place over Southern Avenue,” said Nintzel.

Traffic will be detoured to Baseline and Broadway Roads. Nintzel said the project planners are working with the City of Phoenix on things like the timing of traffic lights, to allow a smooth flow of traffic on those two streets who will pick up the majority of the cars that would normally be on Southern Avenue.

 

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Phoenix Dealership Educates Customers At Home

 

Via carlist.my

With the sheer number of features that cars come equipped with these days, it’s no surprise that many customers can feel a little overwhelmed in trying to learn how everything works; the result is a lot of these features may end up going unused as customers either don’t know they’re there, or simply can’t be bothered to use them. While this problem is becoming less of an issue with things like Android Auto and Apple CarPlay providing seamless integration between smart devices and cars, there are still a number of customers who never even touch features like autonomous parking.

Two years ago, a JD Power survey showed that twenty percent of new car buyers don’t use a significant number of features their cars come equipped with, and what they found is that the first thirty days of an owner’s experience with a car determines whether they want to use in-car features or not. But one Ford dealer in Phoenix, Arizona is taking it upon themselves to fix this- even if it means going to their customers’ driveways personally and spending time with them to explain everything clearly.

It’s called the Start Team, and it comprises of four dedicated individuals that travel directly to customers’ homes at their convenience in order to show them how all of the features in their new purchases work. The Start Team at Sanderson ensures there is always at least one member in the office or in the field, to meet customer demand and members even travel statewide to provide at-home, hands-on training.

 

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WATCO Acquires Cargill Transload Facility In Phoenix

 

Via ajot.com

Pittsburg, KS – Watco Transloading, L.L.C, a wholly owned subsidiary of Watco Companies, L.L.C. (“Watco”), has acquired Cargill Incorporated’s transload facility in Phoenix, Arizona, and is doing business as Watco Terminal & Port Services.

“Our first day of operations (Nov. 15) went very well,” said Senior Vice President of Operations, Doug Manuel. “It was virtually seamless because we were able to bring on all of the employees from the previous third party provider.”

Team members at the facility transload food-grade products from rail to truck and are responsible for food-grade truck washing. Going forward, plans are to bring in new business and offer the food-grade truck cleaning services to other providers.

 

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Nonstop Flights To Austin, TX Coming To Tucson International Airport

 

Via tucson.com

Tucson travelers will soon have one more nonstop flight option out of Tucson International Airport.

Starting January 18, Via Air, a Florida-based airline, will offer nonstop flights to Austin, Texas.

Service to Austin will operate Mondays, Thursdays and Fridays aboard 50-seat Embraer ERJ-145 jets.

To introduce the new service, Via Air is offering a special one-way fare of $119 through Nov. 28.

 

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Bike Sharing Rolls Into AZ

 

Via azcentral.com

The latest evolution in bike-share programs gained its first Arizona foothold in Scottsdale.

LimeBike launched Tuesday with 150 bikes placed throughout the city and plans to expand in the coming months, LimeBike spokeswoman Mary Caroline Pruitt said.

Unlike the Grid Bike Share program in Phoenix, Tempe and Mesa, LimeBike is a dockless share system that relies on GPS.

 

Via azcentral.com

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Airbus Signs Biggest Deal Ever, $50B

 

Via canadianmanufacturing.comThe Airbus A320neoDUBAI, United Arab Emirates—Airbus signed a $49.5 billion deal on Wednesday to sell 430 airplanes to the Phoenix-based private equity firm that owns Frontier Airlines, striking the European aerospace company’s biggest deal ever at the Dubai Air Show.

The surprise announcement came after Airbus suffered the embarrassment of believing it had struck a major deal with the state-owned carrier Emirates to sell its A380 double-decker jumbo jet, only to see Boeing sit on the podium with the airline and sign a $15.1 billion deal.

A320neos list for $108.4 million apiece and A321neos at $127 million. Airlines and manufacturers negotiate lower prices for big deals like these, something Indigo’s managing partner Bill Franke was quick to stress afterward speaking to journalists.

 

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NATSO Opposes Commercialized Rest Areas in Arizona

 

Via truckinginfo.com

NATSO, a national association representing truckstops and travel plazas, has come out against the Governor of Arizona’s push to commercialize rest areas along interstate highways.

In a letter to Department of Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey (R) asked that Arizona be exempted from a federal law that prohibits commercial activity at the state’s rest areas. Gov. Ducey is requesting that Arizona be granted federal permission to launch a pilot program to commercialize rest areas in order to pay for their upkeep.

The federal law had the effect of privatizing highway services in 1960 when Congress prohibited states from offering commercial services at rest areas along the Interstate Highway System. NATSO stated that commercializing truckstops could displace restaurants, travel plazas, truckstops, convenience store,s and other businesses that already exist throughout the state.

 

 

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