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LaHood on Trains: If You Build It, They Will Come

Samuel Staley
May 6, 2010, 3:21pm

I attended, the U.S. Department of Transportation's fourth "listening session" on transportation reauthorization in Houston on Wednesday, May 5th. The event was well attended--several hundred listened Secretary Ray LaHood and two panels of U.S. DOT staff and other experts discuss key priorities for transportation reauthorization. U.S. DOT staff and Secretary Ray LaHood were attentive and sincerely interested in hearing what participants had to say (although many seemed to be pushing pet ideas and technologies).

The U.S. DOT also took the opportunity to announce its five strategic priorities for the department moving forward:

These priorities will be used to frame how the department moves forward on transportation reauthorizationi.

I won't go into an extensive commentary on the discussion, but I'll provide a few admittedly selective quotes (from my personal notes) made by Secretary LaHood:

I will also note that several regional planning representatives made pleas for directing funds directly from the U.S. DOT to the MPOs to avoid going through state departments of transportation which have different priorities.

Samuel Staley is Research Fellow

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