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Archive for the ‘National’ Category

Obama’s Disappointing Legacy on Transportation Policy

Monday, October 20th, 2014

Innovation Newsbriefs
Vol. 25, No. 14
For a long time, the nation’s transportation policy escaped critical scrutiny. Not any longer. The Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) — hardly a partisan anti-Obama cabal —has published a hard-hitting but carefully balanced critique of the Administration’s handling of the federal transportation program. Authored by Rebecca Strauss, associate editor of CFR’s “Renewing America” policy briefs, the article singles out a series of failed policy initiatives, notably Obama’s signature high-speed rail project (“it has turned into an embarrassment”), proposals for a $10 billion infrastructure bank and a $50 billion “Fix-it-First” program (both ignored by Congress); and failure to submit to Congress a legislative proposal for a multi-year surface transportation program for the first five-and-a-half years of the presidency.

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Infrastructure Investment Creates American Jobs

Monday, October 20th, 2014
Figure 1. Comparing Annual Percentage Change in DOT Budget, GDP and Population

DUKE CENTER ON GLOBALIZATION, GOVERNANCE & COMPETITIVENESSExecutive SummaryFederal investment in transportation infrastructure can drive employment and boost our national competitiveness. Increased investment in transportation infrastructure will provide jobs in many sectors, including in construction and manufacturing, while addressing the long-term deficiencies in the state of U.S. infrastructure. Businesses depend on a state-of-the-art transportation infrastructure to […]

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Millennials in Motion: Changing Travel Habits of Young Americans and the Implications for Public Policy

Friday, October 17th, 2014
Figure 2. Change in Number of Trips per Capita among 16 to 34 year-olds, 2001 to 2009

U.S. PIRG EDUCATION FUNDExecutive SummaryOver the last decade—after 60-plus years of steady increases—the number of miles driven by the average American has been falling. Young Americans have experienced the greatest changes: driving less; taking transit, biking and walking more; and seeking out places to live in cities and walkable communities where driving is an option, […]

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Re-Programming Mobility: The Digital Transformation of Transportation in the United States

Tuesday, October 7th, 2014
10 scenario highlights

RUDIN CENTER FOR TRANSPORTATION & POLICY MANAGEMENT
For decades, transportation experts have anticipated a sweeping technological transformation of the way Americans travel, and the transportation system they use to do so. That transformation has arrived, as the same digital technologies that have reshaped other sectors of the economy, from finance to retailing, are rapidly re-wiring the networks that provide mobility to hundreds of millions of Americans. The changes associated with these innovations are being felt at all scales – from individual trip planning to the design and management of regional mass transit systems.

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Will There Be a “Tipping Point” for High-Speed Rail in the U.S.?

Monday, October 6th, 2014

Innovation Newsbriefs
Vol. 25, No. 13
Count me among the skeptics…Former Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood liked to justify a national HSR program by drawing a parallel with the commitment to build the Interstate Highway system. But the analogy is misleading. What made the Interstate highway program politically feasible and financially sound was the concept of a user fee collected from millions of highway users and dedicated exclusively to the program. A national rail program could not hope to have this kind of revenue stream. Instead, it would need to depend on massive federal subsidies for years to come.

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Intergovernmental Challenges in Surface Transportation Funding

Wednesday, October 1st, 2014
All Levels of Government Fund Highways and Transit

THE PEW CHARITABLE TRUSTS
This analysis examines the role that each level of government plays in paying for highway and transit infrastructure (referred to here as “surface transportation” or “transportation”), the key problems facing this multilayered system of funding, and their causes. In addition, it identifies central principles that policymakers need to consider as they weigh options and consider solutions.

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Advantage Local: Why Local Energy Ownership Matters

Monday, September 29th, 2014
Local Ownership Means More Jobs & More Local Economic Impact

INSTITUTE FOR LOCAL SELF-RELIANCE

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Public Private Partnerships: Balancing the needs of the public and private sectors to finance the nation’s infrastructure

Friday, September 26th, 2014
Figure 1: PPPs Worldwide, Nominal Cost (in Billions), 1985-2011

HOUSE TRANSPORTATION & INFRASTRUCTURE COMMITTEE
Around the world, P3s play a significant role in the development and delivery of transportation and infrastructure projects. Internationally, P3s have had a mixed record of success and failure. The Panel found that successful P3s have several common elements, including leveraging the strengths of the public and private sectors, appropriate risk transfer, transparent and flexible contracts, and alignment of policy goals…Unlike most other countries, the United States possesses a robust municipal bond market of approximately $3.7 trillion, of which a significant portion is for infrastructure financing. The Panel found that this is one major reason why the U.S. P3 market has not grown as quickly as in other countries (which do not offer tax-exempt municipal bonds) and why the potential for P3s in the United States is limited.

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Catching Up: Greater Focus Needed to Achieve a More Competitive Infrastructure

Thursday, September 25th, 2014
Figure E-1: Real Public Infrastructure Expenditures, Average Annual Percentage Growth

NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF MANUFACTURERS
Modern economic growth and development depends on high-quality infrastructure. There is no getting around it. However, what, exactly, does that involve? Infrastructure spans a wide range of public and private assets, including highways and bridges, airports, ports and inland waterways, electricity plants and transmission lines, information and telecommunication networks and water and sewage facilities. Such assets are indispensable for facilitating production across various industries—not least of which include agriculture, energy, mining and, in particular, manufacturing. The ability to safely and efficiently move goods from a manufacturing facility to a customer located far away is crucial to the industry’s long-term health and global competitiveness. In other capital-intensive industries, such as telecommunications and electricity distribution, infrastructure plays an equally important role. Beyond the manufacturing industry, basic infrastructure also underlies the daily occupational and recreational activities of U.S. households. Our energy, mobility, information and travel capabilities all depend on safe, accessible and reliable infrastructure.

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Highway Boondoggles: Wasted Money and America’s Transportation Future

Monday, September 22nd, 2014
Figure ES-2. Vehicle-Miles Traveled per Capita in the United States, 1946-2013

U.S. PIRG EDUCATION FUND
Americans drive no more in total now than we did in 2005, and no more on average than we did at the end of Bill Clinton’s first term as president. The recent stagnation in driving comes on the heels of a six decade-long Driving Boom that saw steady, rapid increases in driving and congestion across the United States, along with the investment of more than $1 trillion of public money in highways…But even though the Driving Boom is now over, state and federal governments continue to pour vast sums of money into the construction of new highways and expansion of old ones—at the expense of urgent needs such as road and bridge repairs, improvements in public transportation and other transportation priorities.

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