The National Summit on Transportation Operations
For the past two years, the U.S. transportation community has engaged in an intensive
dialogue about "transportation operations."* The dialogue culminated
in a "National Summit on Transportation Operations," held on October
16-18 in Columbia, Maryland and attended by more than 200 invited transportation
professionals. Continuing our coverage of this initiative, we offer below a report
of the meeting.
A Transportation Agenda for the 21st Century
The New Politics of Mobility Continuing our series "A Transportation Agenda for the 21st Century,"
we offer below a commentary by Robert D. Atkinson, Vice President of the Progressive
Policy Institute, the think tank of the Democratic Leadership Council whose past
chairmen include former President Clinton and House Minority Leader Richard Gephart
(D-MO). Mr. Atkinson's views have struck us as providing an excellent foundation
for a bipartisan consensus on a transportation policy agenda for the 21st century.
The Prospects for Intercity Passenger Rail in the Aftermath
of September 11
The events of the 11th of September have heightened the interest in intercity
train service as an alternative to flying. Rail advocates contend that the increased
use of Amtrak in the wake of the terrorist attacks has underscored the need for
a national system of high-speed passenger rail services. Amtrak was quick to exploit
these sentiments. It asked for an emergency cash infusion of $3.2 billion as part
of the federal relief package, even though, as critics point out, it suffered
no loss of passengers or revenue as a result of the terrorist attacks. But even
if Amtrak is successful in obtaining emergency help, its problems are by no means
The Hybrid Car
Hybrid cars offer a relatively painless way to conserve fuel without changing
Americans' driving habits. They are lauded by environmentalists for their fuel
economy, praised by their owners for spunky performance and promoted by the Bush
administration as an alternative to modifying the current corporate average fuel
efficiency (CAFE) standards. Ever since Honda and Toyota launched their hybrid
car entries in America last year, interest in them has soared. Then why are U.S.
automakers so slow in bringing the hybrids to the market?
Can Mobility Be Made "Sustainable"? An initiative to develop a vision of "sustainable mobility" that
will meet the needs of society by the year 2030 has been launched by the World
Business Council for Sustainable Mobility (WBCSD). The council, whose members
read like a Who's Who in world automotive industry, has been conducting a series
of "stakeholder meetings" to obtain different regional perspectives
on the challenges to sustainable mobility.* Concurrently, the Council commissioned
the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, with participation by Charles River
Associates (CRA), to prepare a report assessing the current state of mobility
and identifying the research needed to develop the Mobility 2030 vision. The report
, which was released on October 11, is available at www.wbcsdmobility.org. The
Sustainable Mobility Project now moves into its next phase - developing an action-oriented
agenda. We offer below two perspectives on transport sustainability. The first
is by George Eads, CRA Vice President and Director of the "Mobility 2001"
project. The second is by Melvin M. Webber, distinguished scholar, Professor Emeritus
of Planning at the University of California, Berkely, founding Director of UC
Transportation Center and editor of its ACCESS Magazine.