December 21, 2009
Check the classifieds in this issue for information about numerous managerial and supervisory positions!
FHWA Administrator Stresses Intermodal Benefits of Public Transit
“We cannot maximize the benefits of intermodal transit unless the systems are in good repair,” said Victor Mendez, administrator of the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), Dec. 8 at APTA’s monthly Transportation Tuesday session—the first time an FHWA administrator spoke in the APTA offices in Washington, DC.
Stressing repeatedly that “at the end of the day, what we do is for the taxpayer,” Mendez pointed out that, while safety is the number one priority within DOT, “we can only engineer so much into the infrastructure.” Individual personal responsibility must also be present, he said.
One area on which Mendez focused was the newly implemented FHWA program titled “Every Day Counts,” which explores new ways to speed delivery of projects. “We have to get more creative to deliver faster on our major highway projects—and to deploy the latest technology and innovation sooner,” he explained.
The latter part of the presentation focused on funding. While Mendez noted that he had no inside word on federal transportation authorization, he did say: “The issue for us is to ensure that collectively we move forward—moving transportation into the 21st century.” He mentioned the Highway Trust Fund (“an issue we will have to contend with”) and said that public-private partnerships and many other funding options “that make our tax dollars go further will be on the table.”
He added: “It’s not just about the auto but creating a system that addresses all the needs out there. We’re hoping to promote the integration of various modes of transportation.”
Mendez closed by saying: “This is a great time in history to be engaged in transportation … a time for all of us to make a difference.”