SAN JOSE, Calif., May 28, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The recent Skagit River Bridge failure in Washington State has put a global spotlight on the critical condition of US transportation infrastructure. Journalists around the country are describing it as a wake-up call. Earlier this year the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) gave a "D" grade to U.S. road and transit infrastructure.*
Why is our nation now falling behind the rest of the world when the US once was a global leader? How to regain that leadership will be examined during June 1 workshop at the American Public Transportation Association's (APTA) Rail Conference at the Downtown Philadelphia (PA) Marriott's Grand Ballroom Salon C. "Transportation Finance: Catching Up with the Rest of the World" will begin at 1 p.m. with a keynote by Federal Transit Administrator Peter Rogoff. The workshop is co-sponsored by APTA and the Mineta Transportation Institute (MTI), a transportation research policy center created by Congress and affiliated with San Jose State University.
San Francisco Bay Area Metropolitan Transportation Commission executive director Steve Heminger will introduce Administrator Rogoff. The workshop will examine ways to regain America's leadership position in the transportation world. An expert panel will address the acceptability of various transportation financing options; funding successes; public-private partnerships; equity in transportation; and transportation legislative strategies. MTI will also present results from the latest national poll on public acceptance of transportation funding options, along with four years of trends.
"The failure of this bridge has shown the world that our US infrastructure is in serious crisis for a nation that once was a leader in transportation innovation," said Rod Diridon, executive director of MTI. "Our expert panel at this workshop will address that issue – especially ways to finance the improvements that must put the US in a leadership position again."
The discussions will be moderated by Mr. Heminger, with the expert panel including Asha Agrawal, PhD, director of MTI's National Transportation Finance Center; Julie A. Cunningham, president and CEO of the Conference of Minority Transportation Officials (COMTO); Michael P. Melaniphy, president and CEO of APTA; and Bud Wright, executive director of the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO).
Mr. Diridon noted that the most recent failure is not an isolated incident. He said, "Previous bridge failures have cost people their lives. TV documentaries have warned about the imminent crisis, and we have not paid attention. This workshop will present ways in which we can rebuild and maintain not only our infrastructure, but our world leadership."
NEWS MEDIA ARE WELCOME. Please arrive with media credentials. If interviews are desired with Administrator Rogoff or other panelists, please contact Donna Maurillo, MTI Communications Director, at [email protected] or phone 831-234-4009.
* ASCE gave a D+ grade to U.S. infrastructure overall, which includes wastewater, ports, public parks, hazardous waste, and other areas. The highest grade went to solid waste, which earned only a B-. Inland waterways and levees earned the lowest grades, at D-.
ABOUT THE MINETA TRANSPORTATION INSTITUTE (MTI):
MTI conducts research, education, and information transfer programs focusing on surface transportation policy and management issues, especially related to transit. MTI was established by Congress in 1991 as part of the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act and won national re-designation competitions in 2002, 2006 and 2011. The Institute is funded by Congress through the US DOT Research and Innovative Technology Administration, by the California Legislature through Caltrans, and public and private grants. In 2006 the US Department of Homeland Security selected MTI as a National Transportation Security Center of Excellence. The internationally respected members of the MTI Board of Trustees represent all major surface transportation modes. MTI is affiliated with San Jose (CA) State University's College of Business. Visit transweb.sjsu.edu
Contact: Donna Maurillo
MTI Communications Director
donna.maurillo (at) sjsu.edu
SOURCE Mineta Transportation Institute