California transportation secretary advocates for life-cycle approach

California’s longstanding principle of relying on locally generated funds and suballocated state fuel taxes to improve the state highway system poses a principal-agent problem: Local funders have every incentive to fund expansions while leaving costly owner-operator responsibilities, including eventual reconstruction, to an increasingly cash-strapped state DOT. This month Transportation Secretary Brian Kelly published an op-ed urging a life-cycle approach that prioritizes system preservation.

UC/UCLA report: Changes needed to align transportation spending and policy goals

A new report outlines steps that federal, state, and local decision makers can take to bring California’s transportation spending in line with its environmental and energy goals. The paper came out of a one-day session that involved leaders from business, academic, and policy sectors, including high-level staff from the California DOT (Caltrans) and the California State Transportation Agency.

Should bike sharing be self-supporting?

Are bike sharing programs part of the city transportation system, or are they businesses disconnected from city services? That seems to be the question raised most recently in response to the financial problems of New York City’s Citibike, the largest and most prominent bike sharing system in North America.

Should bike sharing be self-supporting?

Are bike sharing programs part of the city transportation system, or are they businesses disconnected from city services? That seems to be the question raised most recently in response to the financial problems of New York City’s Citibike, the largest and most prominent bike sharing system in North America.

Shifting the transit-funding paradigm: Transit finance grows up

Development of creative financing and new revenue sources for transportation projects remains a hot topic in transportation circles. Public-private partnerships exist in highway transportation, often using tolls as the revenue source to attract private investment. Transit P3s, however, remain behind the curve in development of policies and best practices. A P3 proposed for the Purple Line light rail in the Maryland suburbs of Washington, DC, illustrates new opportunities for funding a major capital transit investment with a combination of public and private funding.

PennDOT begins posting bridge weight limits in light of failure of transportation funding

In late June, as the Pennsylvania legislature debated whether or not to raise the wholesale gas tax, PennDOT Secretary Barry Schoch warned that he would likely have to place weight restrictions on bridges across the state in order to extend their useful life if additional funding was not allocated. Some may have thought this was just a bargaining point, but now 1,000 bridges across the state have been posted with reduced weight limits.

Colorado's U.S. 36 project breaks new ground

The U.S. 36 project, now underway, will expand a four-lane facility to add an express lane carrying bus-rapid transit, high-occupancy vehicles, and tolled single-occupancy vehicles, as well as ITS systems and a commuter bikeway. Of particular interest to participants in a recent SSTI workshop was the fact that the project’s tolls will support the multimodal facilities.

Proceedings from SSTI Community of Practice Meeting – Making the most of the Transportation Alternatives Program (SSTI, 2013)

The findings and key points of the discussions from the May 7-9, 2013 “SSTI Community of Practice Meeting – Making the most of the Transportation Alternatives Program” are being made available for the public.