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MEANWHILE, BACK IN WASHINGTON DC

This article is from our archives and has not been updated and integrated with our "new" site yet... Even so, it's still awesome - so keep reading!

Published on Sun, Jul 4, 2010

By: The LACar Editorial Staff

Mobility Choice: Think tanks and transportation groups converge in DC By Theo-Dric Feng, Washington Correspondent
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As the never-ending oil spill serves to remind us all of the need to conserve energy and reduce our dependency on oil, a symposium on passenger ground transportation seemed quite timely. Mobility Choice, a coalition of diverse advocacy groups and think tanks held a day-long meeting in DC with a variety of panels, mostly on policy issues. Certainly, there was agreement that things could be improved in terms of transportation funding (insolvency of the Highway Trust Fund) and that the public and private sectors could coexist or complement each other. Meanwhile, representatives of the American Bus Association (private bus companies) complained that they were often treated unfairly in different ways (e.g., denied access to some airports, initially not allowed on Virginia high-occupancy lanes, unfair competition from public transportation). There was also some disagreement about whether the main goal of the ground transportation should be to get people out of their cars or give them choices. (The latter could include high-speed rail, toll lanes on highways, or bus rapid transit.) One of the symposium co-leaders, Anne Korin (Institute for the Analysis of Global Security), emphasized that people could agree on the means, while disagreeing on the ends. (That seems very appropriate for a place like DC, albeit somewhat unusual in the present-day atmosphere of political polarization.) Coalition members range from the Natural Resources Defense Council to the Los Angeles-based Reason Foundation. Some symposium presentations appear on their website (mobilitychoice.org). Go to Roundtable presentations. Of most relevance to Lacar readers are the Orski and Roth talks mentioning toll lanes. (11:15am), such as the one on I-91.. The John Inglish talk, further down, is interesting to techies. It covers new technology in transit systems (such as an onboard system that debits passengers' credit cards). U.S. Capitol photograph courtesy of Santa Clara University

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