July 31, 2009 By Wayne Hanson
An investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) into the June 22 crash of two Washington, D.C., Metro trains is now focused on electrical circuits, sensors and 30-year-old electrical components. According to an NTSB release, track circuit modules -- each of which contain 20 circuit boards with capacitors, resistors and transistors -- showed "anomalies" which are under further investigation. In a Washington Times interview, Metro General Manager John B. Catoe said that findings could affect rail operations around the country, as many systems use the same type of equipment.
A report following the accident also says that use of cell phones, PDAs or other such devices by operators will be cause for immediate termination.
All over the country, community leaders are looking to boost economic development through various initiatives. One key element in many of those initiatives is the use of information technology. When local governments build IT infrastructure, create e-government applications, assist high-tech startups or otherwise focus on technology, they create conditions that draw businesses to their communities and help retain skilled workers. This paper discusses and provides examples of these various ways local government can use technology to ultimately make a community more attractive to businesses, visitors and residents.