Commentary

Long Term Transportation Funding? ?Let’s Wait? ? Best Bet

With all that is going on in Washington, long term transportation funding bills for both surface and aviation have taken a back seat. Given all that is going on this is probably for the best! Who wants Chairman Oberstar’s bill on the surface side loaded with things like Office of Public Benefit, Office Livability etc.?

Perhaps we will in fact have time to have an honest debate as to what the next bill should look like.

For the best “state of play” article look at “Waiting for Multi-Year Legislation” by Audrey Dutton in the Bond Buyer.

Important in the article is a quote from Jack Finn, Sr. Vice President and national director or tolls services for HNTB:

“The delay in finding a new revenue source could spark more participation from the private sector and more public-private partnerships. If Congress does not raise fuel taxes significantly, states and localities will look more and more to the private sector for capital to support their needs. ”

Now how bad can that be?

Shirley Ybarra is a former senior transportation policy analyst at Reason Foundation, a nonprofit think tank advancing free minds and free markets.

Ms. Ybarra served as Secretary of Transportation for the Commonwealth of Virginia from 1998 to 2002, overseeing a budget of $3.2 billion and a staff of 13,000 people. Between 1994 and 1998, Ybarra was Virginia's Deputy Secretary of Transportation.

Ybarra also served as senior policy advisor and special assistant for policy for U.S. Secretary of Transportation Elizabeth Dole from 1983 to 1987. In that role, Ybarra managed the transfer and privatization of Dulles and National Airports to the Washington Metropolitan Airport Authority.

Ybarra authored Virginia's Public-Private Transportation Act of 1995, considered the model public-private partnership legislation in the United States.

In 2001, Ybarra received the American Road and Transportation Builders Association's "Public-Private Ventures Entrepreneur of the Year Award" for her leadership in designing innovative infrastructure financing.

She holds a Master's degree in Economics and a Bachelor's degree in Business Administration from the University of Nebraska, Lincoln.