Transportation steering toward e-government

The Transportation Department announced Monday the availability of several Web sites that will allow customers to pay for goods, services and registrations over the Internet.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration now operates a Web site (www.fmcsa.dot.gov) that allows commercial truck and bus operators to use the Internet to apply for registrations and pay fines for violations of federal motor carrier safety regulations.

The Office of Pipeline Safety (diy.dot.gov/pipeline) and Office of Hazardous Materials Safety (diy.dot.gov/hazmat) both have sites that customers can use for Freedom of Information Act request, assessment and civil penalty payments.

The sites are part of the agency's move toward electronic commerce and paperless business, said David Kleinberg, DOT deputy chief financial officer. The idea is to make it simpler for customers to do routine business with the agency, such as buying medals and registering for training, he said.

People can get to the sites through the home page for the individual operating administration, he said. Credit cards are accepted and the sites have security built in.

Other sites include:

    * Maritime Administration (diy.dot.gov/marad/) for firefighting training and FOIA requests and to obtain medals for World War II merchant mariners.

    * National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (diy.dot.gov/nhtsa) to get highway technical information and FOIA requests.

    * Federal Railroad Administration (diy.dot.gov/fra) to deal with safety and hazardous materials violations and FOIA requests.

Transportation Secretary Rodney Slater also announced future Web sites that will be available this year:

    * Federal Aviation Administration for aircraft registration and airman data.

    * Federal Highway Administration for National Highway Institute course registration.

    * Research and Special Programs Administration for hazardous materials training, outreach and registration and information on the Transportation Safety Institute.

    * U.S. Coast Guard for personnel debts.

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