Thursday, October 21, 2010

After the Election, What If?

This week's National Journal Transportation Expert Blog poses a question, assuming Republic gains in Congress next year and potential Republic control of the House, how would the debate around transportation change? What kind of attention would federal transportation legislation receive given this new Congressional reality?

Many experts who posted blog entries addressing this question concur that our future national reality, the context in which future transportation investments will be negotiated, is one of constrained resources; one in which the public seems to be calling for a narrowing of the federal scope. There is a corresponding call for defining what is truly in the national interest. This issue of a well defined national transportation system was a key discussion topic at NTPP’s workshop on transitioning to a performance-based federal surface transportation policy.

It is clear that given a constrained resource environment and numerous competing demands on the federal budget the transportation sector, like many other sectors, must look long and hard at the various options for funding the system. It is beginning to be recognized by transportation policy experts that the days of an ever-expanding federal-aid transportation program may have come to an end.

Emil’s entry on the National Journal Blog this week presents the case that in an environment of severely limited resources it is essential to apply outcome-based, performance-driven, accountability principles to policy. These principles are part of the driving force behind NTPP’s Performance Driven report. It is clear that wiser investment decisions are needed; carefully thought through in terms of return on investment.

Check out Emil’s full blog entry, as well as the entries and opinions of other leading transportation policy stakeholders, here.

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