Transportation Policy Task Force: Transportation's Uncertain Future: Politics, Roads & High-Speed Rail
CSG Transportation Policy Task Force
Transportation's Uncertain Future: Politics, Roads & High-Speed Rail
May 18, 2012
Finance at the state and federal levels and alternatives to the gas tax are two major topics in the transportation discussion. In addition, as high-speed rail is put on the backburner elsewhere, the dream is still alive in California. This session focused on how infrastruture investment can impact the road construction industry and a company like UPS. Speakers also discussed what California has planned in high-speed rail and what it could mean for the rest of the country.
- Meeting Summary
- Meeting Minutes
- Capitol Ideas Today: Task Force Tackles Uncertainty in Long-Term Transportation Funding
The Politics of Transportation Finance
Regardless of what happens in Washington with a federal surface transportation authorization bill this year, the federal program (and as a result state transportation programs) will likely remain in a state of flux. The Highway Trust Fund has run out of money. Many question what the federal role in transportation should be going forward. And the gas tax remains an unsustainable revenue source to finance transportation at an adequate level. Our speaker will examine the politics of transportation finance at the state and federal levels, the debate over alternative finance mechanisms and where things might go from here.
Brian D. Taylor, Ph.D., UCLA Professor of Urban Planning & Director, Institute of Transportation Studies
California’s Infrastructure Crisis
According to a 2011 statewide transportation needs assessment, California’s unfunded needs are $295 billion through 2021. The non-profit coalition Transportation California has assessed a number of potential revenue mechanisms that could help the state meet those needs.
Bert Sandman, Executive Director, Transportation California
California’s High-Speed Rail Dream
While plans for high-speed rail in other parts of the country have experienced setbacks and ideological opposition, construction on a high-speed rail line in California could move forward later this year. We’ll find out what the state has planned.
Michael Gillam, Deputy Program Director - Southern California, California High-Speed Rail Authority
Infrastructure and Logistics
“We love logistics” is the business slogan of UPS. To a significant degree, the company relies on quality infrastructure to make those logistics and on-time deliveries possible. So how has the company been impacted by years of underinvestment in the nation’s infrastructure and uncertainty about federal investment? What would a renewed commitment to infrastructure investment mean for the company? And absent significant new funding, what can states and the federal government do to improve mobility, reduce congestion and improve the infrastructure to benefit companies like UPS and their customers?
Pat Thomas, Vice President of Public Affairs, UPS
Associates in Action: Toyota’s 100 Cars for Good Program
CSG’s Associates in Action program highlights our private-sector and association members who are aiding citizens through philanthropic efforts and innovative public-private partnership programs.
Michael Rouse, VP for Philanthropy and Community Affairs, Toyota
Speakers and Presentations:
Michael Gillam is an experienced project manager who has been involved in the planning, design, construction and management of rapid transit, railroad and high-speed ground transportation projects throughout the United States and abroad. He was on the senior management team for the Taiwan High-Speed Rail project for six years and then managed Parsons Brinckerhoff’s high-speed rail project in mainland China. He also spent a year in Hong Kong on high-speed rail and rail transit business development activities. He currently is responsible for all California High-Speed Train Project activities in Southern California as a member of Parsons Brinckerhoff’s program management team.
Michael Rouse’s responsibilities at Toyota include corporate diversity and inclusion, philanthropy, community relations, department strategic and long-range planning, the Toyota Vehicle Museum and the Toyota Video Production Center. He is also responsible for the company’s successful social media-based 100 Cars for Good initiative. He first joined Toyota in 1981. He has a bachelor’s in sociology from UCLA, a teaching credential from UC Berkeley and an MBA from California State University, Dominguez Hills.
Bert Sandman is the Executive Director of Transportation California, a non-profit coalition representing a broad spectrum of business, labor and planning agencies. He has been on the leading edge of California transportation advocacy and education for two decades. Initially as Chairman and now as Executive Director of the coalition, he has led efforts to educate California’s decision-makers and general public about such issues as protection for transportation funding and the need to develop new sources of funding for congestion relief, transportation safety and maintaining and rehabilitating the state’s aging transportation infrastructure. A veteran construction industry executive, Sandman began his career as a laborer in Local #185 and eventually became President and COO of A Teichert & Son, Inc., ARB, Inc., and President and CEO of American Civil Constructors.
Brian D. Taylor
Brian D. Taylor is a professor of Urban Planning at the University of California, Los Angeles. He directs the Lewis Center for Regional Policy Studies and the Institute of Transportation Studies at UCLA. His research centers on transportation policy and planning, including travel behavior and the politics of transportation finance. It explores how society pays for transportation systems and how these systems in turn serve the needs of people who—because of low income, disability, location or age—have lower levels of mobility. Taylor has a Ph.D. in urban planning and a Bachelor’s in geography from UCLA, as well as Master’s degrees in city and regional planning and civil engineering from UC Berkeley. Back to speakers.
Pat Thomas is Vice President of Public Affairs at UPS. A 27-year veteran of the company, he currently manages all aspects of state legislative and regulatory policy and political activities and directs a team of state and local public affairs managers throughout the country. He also oversees UPS’ Congressional Awareness Program, a comprehensive grassroots program designed to build successful relationships between UPS managers and every Member of Congress in their home district. Before joining UPS, he worked as a commercial pilot for various private corporations flying both people and cargo to airports throughout the U.S. He is also a certified flight instructor and has trained pilots. He earned a B.S. in Aviation Management from Southern Illinois University.