Northeast Corridor from the Air

Pictures from an unlimited-visibility flight up the Northeast Corridor, from Washington DC to Boston. The density of this megalopolis makes it perfect for real high speed rail.

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DOT and FTA Leadership at TRB

FTA Administrator Peter Rogoff moderating a panel of eight former UMTA/FTA Administrators

FTA Administrator Peter Rogoff moderating a panel of eight former UMTA/FTA Administrators

A panel of past Administrators of the Federal Transit Administration (and its predecessor, the Urban Mass Transportation Administration) shared their perspectives on transit history and politics over the last 50 years at the Transportation Research Board Annual Meeting.  Peter Rogoff, reportedly promoted to Acting Undersecretary of Policy at USDOT, opened with a quotation from President Kennedy’s 1962 transportation address (written by Daniel Patrick Moynihan): “Our national welfare therefore requires the provision of good urban transportation, with the properly balanced use of private vehicles and modern mass transport to help shape as well as serve urban growth.”  Among other topics, the panel touched on White House memos on the cost of “subterranean tunnels” and modal divisions within the US Department of Transportation.

In a speech that afternoon, Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx outlined his priorities as the incoming head of USDOT.  First:

In recent years, we’ve been a nation careening from crisis to crisis…keeping our foot on the brakes of economic growth… creating uncertainty… all over disagreements about a deficit…

It’s just not the deficit most people think of.

Because I’m not talking about our budget deficit, I’m talking about our infrastructure deficit.

Investing to overcome our growing infrastructure deficit will be a hot topic this year, especially with the expiration of MAP-21 and the impending insolvency of the Federal Highway Trust Fund.