Shaun Courtney

Shaun Courtney is a federal transportation reporter at Bloomberg BNA. She covers congressional and regulatory news, including funding for the Department of Transportation and new technologies such as driverless cars and drones. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Political Science and a master’s degree in Investigative Journalism, both from American University.

Blog posts

Walmart or Doctor? Rural Transit Faces Tough Choices in Shutdown

A rural transit provider serving 87 Missouri counties faces a stark choice next week if the federal government shutdown drags on.

Low-income, senior and disabled residents depend on it to get to the grocery store, work and doctors. But soon, the first two types of trips may have to be curtailed to prioritize getting people to medical appointments, Dorothy Yeager, executive director at OATS Transit, one of the country’s largest rural transit providers, said in a telephone interview.

Gatwick-Style Drone Chaos Could Happen Here, Absent FAA Clarity

At a time London’s Gatwick airport is shut down because of an unsafe drone incursion, there’s no clear definition in the U.S. of how close to an airport is too close for unmanned vehicles to fly.

While it’s illegal to fly drones within a mile of the approach and departure ends of a runway, the Federal Aviation Administration Authorization (Public Law 115-254) signed Oct. 5 immediately repealed a requirement that recreational operators notify air-traffic control when they want to fly within five miles of controlled airspace

Driverless Cars Stall in Congress as Trial Lawyers Drop Support

A group representing trial lawyers is opposing legislation on self-driving vehicles after backing one section of the bill earlier this week, saying changes to other areas of the draft bill would harm consumer rights.

The American Association for Justice said Monday it could support key arbitration and preemption language in one section of the AV START (S. 1885) bill, which creates the first federal framework for self-driving technology.

McCarthy Intervenes for Bus Company Targeted by Spending Bill

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) intervened in House-Senate spending bill negotiations to exclude a bus manufacturer in his district from a proposed funding restriction, according to two people familiar with the negotiations.

Waymo, GM to Deploy Self-Driving Cars With or Without Congress

Congress is the closest it could be for at least a year to passing self-driving vehicle legislation, but if lawmakers fall short, companies such as Alphabet Inc.,’s Waymo and General Motors Co. plan to deploy commercially with fewer strings attached.

Scooters Trigger Backlash Among Cities That Felt Burned by Uber

It was after 10 p.m. on a Monday night when Rick Usher learned, via Facebook, that Bird Rides Inc. was bringing hundreds of its matte black electric scooters to Kansas City, Mo., in two days. Usher, Kansas City’s assistant manager for small business and entrepreneurship, got right on the phone.

2018 Post-Election Briefing with Bloomberg Government and Holland & Knight

On November 8, Bloomberg Government and Holland & Knight’s Public Policy & Regulation Group joined together for a post-election briefing, providing in-depth analysis of the midterm elections results.

Chao Defying Law on Self-Driving Auto Test Funds, Lawmakers Say

Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao ignored explicit congressional direction by shutting down a program to test self-driving vehicle technology at a handful of government-designated proving grounds, key lawmakers from both chambers say.

Self-Driving Shuttles Hit Brakes as Federal Agency Reviews Risks

Federal regulators overseeing the safety of self-driving cars stopped allowing some vehicles on public streets this summer while reviewing their agency’s risks and legal exposure from the emerging technology.

A National Highway Traffic Safety Administration review of its procedures for permitting self-driving vehicles on public roads led to the moratorium this summer.

Senate’s Self-driving Car Champions Make a Push for Agreement

The bipartisan co-sponsors of the Senate’s self-driving car bill are trying to create a renewed sense of urgency with a month’s end deadline for a deal that has thus far been elusive.

Sens. John Thune (R-S.D.) and Gary Peters (D-Mich.) want to get new AV START (S. 1885) language agreed to by early next week, quickly check that language among members, and hold a vote on the Senate floor before the chamber leaves at the end of October, several lobbyists and interest groups familiar with the negotiations tell Bloomberg Government.