Transportation Policy Task Force
Transportation's Uncertain Future: Politics, Roads & High-Speed Rail
Friday, May 18
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 will focus on how infrastruture investment can impact the road construction industry and a company like UPS. Speakers will also discuss what California has planned in high-speed rail and what it could mean for the rest of the country.
Michael Gillum, Deputy Program Director - Southern California
California High-Speed Rail Authority
Michael Rouse, VP for Philanthropy and Community Affairs
Bert Sandman, Executive Director
Brian D. Taylor, Ph.D.
UCLA Professor of Urban Planning & Director, Institute of Transportation Studies
Pat Thomas, Vice President of Public Affairs
Key issues to be discussed:
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.
The Road Construction Industry's Future
Indecision in Washington and state capitals has had a significant impact on the industry responsible for building the nation’s roads. We’ll learn what a renewed commitment to infrastructure investment could mean to the industry and to the nation’s economy.
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 and what it might mean for the rest of the country.
Consideration of Suggested State Legislation & Policy Resolutions
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. Throughout his career, he has contributed his time, energy, and ideas to industry, civic, and community organizations. He was twice appointed by Gov. Gray Davis to the Contractors State License Board, and served as chairman of that group. Back to speakers.
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 the 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. He began his career with UPS in 1985 as a peak-season delivery driver. He held numerous positions of increasing responsibility in operations and human resources including supervisor, center manager and employee relations manager. He became the West region public affairs manager in1998. He was given the additional responsibility of coordinating the Pacific, Northwest and Southwest regions in 2001. In 2002, he joined the Corporate Public Affairs office in Washington, D.C. In addition to managing state and local initiatives, he has also managed UPS’s international portfolio, overseeing a team of international policy managers and advocating for issues such as trade facilitation, customs and international aviation. 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. Back to speakers.