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Archive for the ‘Guest Post’ Category

A Lasting Solution to the Transportation Funding Crisis

Monday, July 13th, 2015

Innovation Newsbriefs
Vol. 26, No. 6
Trust Fund spending could be curtailed by progressively shifting funding responsibilities for local transportation to the States and localities and limiting Trust Fund expenditures to projects and programs that represent core federal responsibilities or are of truly strategic or national significance.

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America’s Infrastructure is Key to Good Jobs, Economic Security and Quality of Life

Thursday, May 21st, 2015
Richard L. Trumka, President, AFL-CIO

Written by Richard L. Trumka, President of the AFL-CIO
Previous generations built an American infrastructure that was the envy of the world. Since then, we’ve been coasting on the wise investments made decades ago. Now it’s our turn to step up and rebuild that foundation so future generations can have the same opportunities we had…The path forward is not easy or pain free. There are no silver bullets, and ignoring our problems will not make them go away. Yet, while legislators wrestle with responsibly funding the necessary investments, the cost of inaction continues to rise.

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Mobile Infrastructure Is the Key to Telemedicine and Global Healthcare

Wednesday, February 4th, 2015
Mobile Medicine

Mobile connectivity—even with all the new, multi-media capabilities being added to it—is still basically about simple, direct communication. Healthcare in the U.S. is marrying technology, professional philosophy, and government programs to reach the same basic goal of improved communication. Because of this, healthcare infrastructure need not rely exclusively on the spread on high-speed access to ensure quality care access.

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Needed: A Fresh Approach to Funding America’s Infrastructure

Monday, February 2nd, 2015

Innovation Newsbriefs
Vol. 26, No. 2
With the prospect of a gasoline tax increase pretty much ruled out both by the White House and the Republican House leadership, and with various proposals for funding transportation through corporate tax reform meeting with skepticism from leading Republican lawmakers and thus facing an uncertain future (not to mention their unlikely passage before the current transportation measure expires at the end of May) perhaps the time has come to reconsider the way we fund transportation. Maybe we should abandon our 50-year old reliance on the gasoline tax and the Highway Trust Fund as the sole source of federal revenue and consider additional ways of paying for transportation infrastructure.

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Healthy Infrastructure – A Matter of Life and Death

Wednesday, January 21st, 2015
broadband

This month an opinion piece came out on the Forbes website proposing that telemedicine’s day has come. The piece, written by venture capitalist Skip Fleshman, basically predicts that 2015 will be the year that remote interactions between medical professionals and patients become not just possible, but practical. “I spend a lot of time crisscrossing the country chatting with leading healthcare providers and insurers about their technology needs,” he writes. “By far the area they are most interested in is telemedicine.”…The people who stand the most to gain from Telemedicine are, unfortunately, the ones least likely to have the infrastructure needed for it. The CDC issued a report two years ago highlighting the various disparities in healthcare access by population groups in the U.S. In no surprise the report revealed that when viewed as groups, a number of factors reduced the availability of healthcare access.

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The Gas Tax and Some Fresh Thoughts on How to Pay For Transportation

Thursday, January 15th, 2015

Innovation Newsbriefs
Vol. 26, No. 1
With gasoline prices at a five year low, isn’t this the perfect time to raise the federal gas tax? A growing chorus of voices including several infuential Republican Senators — John Thune (R-SD), Bob Corker (R-TN) Jim Inhofe (R-OK), and Orrin Hatch (R-UT)—seem to think so. So does the Washington Post and the New York Times. “Now is the best time Washington has seen in years to raise the federal gas tax,” a Post editorial said. “A modest increase in the gas tax would hardly be noticeable to most Americans,” echoed the New York Times…President Obama isn’t so sure.

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California High Speed Rail Could Earn the State Over $40 Billion in Profit

Monday, December 15th, 2014
ca_hsr_cover

Earlier this year I argued that the up-front cost of local transportation projects, like light rail and bus rapid transit, aren’t really comparable to the cost of California’s high speed rail system. While all of these investments are fighting for the same dollars to some degree, their long-term balance sheets look very different: Local transit typically requires a persistent operating subsidy, whereas even the low-ridership estimates for high speed rail forecast a consistent operating profit. As a result, longer time horizons favor high speed rail, as profits gradually eat away at the high initial capital costs required to build out the network.

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Rethinking Transportation Funding

Tuesday, December 9th, 2014

Innovation Newsbriefs
Vol. 25, No. 16
Has the time come to reconsider the way we pay for transportation? Should the Highway Trust Fund and its fuel tax revenue continue as the main source of funding for the federal transportation program? If not, what are the alternatives? And more broadly, is the age of long term reauthorizations and of heavy reliance on federal funding, drawing to a close?

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Green Highway Snow and Ice Control Cuts the Chemicals

Monday, November 24th, 2014
Xianming Shi with the industrial size mixer he uses to concoct green deicers and ice-free pavement. (Photo by Rebecca Phillips, University Communications)

By Rebecca Phillips, University Communications, Washington State UniversityPULLMAN, Wash. – Ice-free pavement. “Smart snowplows.” Vegetable juice ice-melt. Cold-climate researchers at Washington State University are clearing the road with green alternatives to the salt, sand and chemicals typically used for highway snow and ice control.As a nation, “we are kind of salt addicted, like with petroleum, […]

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Transportation Policy and Funding in the Post-Election Climate

Wednesday, November 12th, 2014

Innovation Newsbriefs
Vol. 25, No. 15
The mid-term elections have put an end to any lingering hope of passing a long-term transportation bill during the congressional lame duck session. Such hope was recently expressed by Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx, and two Democratic senators, Tom Carper (D-DE) and Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee…But with the November elections heralding a fiscally more conservative political climate and with Congress preoccupied with a whole lot of unfinished business, passing a massive multi-year multi-billion funding bill for transportation during the lame duck session will be the last thing on the lawmakers’ minds.

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