Don't miss the Transportation Finance Summit: June 26, 2015!
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Friday, June 26, 2015

8:30 am: Continental breakfast;
9 am – 11:30 am: Program

Commonwealth Club of California
555 Post St, San Francisco, CA (new location)

Admission is FREE, but seating is limited! Register now:

When the American Society of Civil Engineers gave the US transportation infrastructure a grade of D+, it should have been a wake-up call. But was it? Two years later, funding approvals are hard to come by. Our bridges continue to crumble. Our roadways develop potholes. Our rail systems are in crisis.

Congress says that Americans won’t pay more taxes and fees for mobility. Is that true? What exactly are the funding challenges, and how are transportation leaders addressing them? At this summit, MTI presents:

  • Results from the sixth year of a national telephone survey about taxpayer opinions regarding transportation taxes and fees.
  • Expert perspectives from the regional, state, and national level.

The event will begin with a keynote address by State Senator Jim Beall, followed by a presentation of survey results by Asha Weinstein Agrawal, PhD. A panel of experts will then discuss their viewpoints. Audience questions will be taken.


Karen Philbrick, PhD


Karen Philbrick, PhD, Executive Director, Mineta Transportation Institute

Norman Y. Mineta

Opening Remarks

Norman Mineta, US Secretary of Transportation (ret.)

Jim Beall


Jim Beall, Chair, CA Senate Transportation Comm.

Senator Beall will discuss the state's critical need for transportation infrastructure maintenance, modernization, and expansion and the potential funding opportunities. The US and California have fallen far behind the rest of the world in infrastructure investments for maintenance and development. Yet it is known internationally that the nation moving people to work and product to the market most efficiently wins the geo-economic competition. The US is losing that battle. Because of the federal legislature's inability to approve even a basic surface transportation act reauthorization bill, California must step up to support what is the world's eighth largest economy. Senator Beall is in the center of that debate and understands the immediate need for a rapid and effective remedy.

Asha Agrawal


Asha Agrawal, PhD, Director of MTI’s National Transportation Finance Center; Associate Professor of Urban & Regional Planning, San José State University

Dr. Agrawal will present the sixth annual national survey of taxpayer attitudes about transportation taxes and fees to support the nation’s mobility infrastructure.

Panel Discussion

Moderator: Karen Philbrick PhD, Executive Director, Mineta Transportation Institute


Grace Crunican

Grace Crunican, General Manager, San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART)

Carl Guardino

Carl Guardino, President and CEO, Silicon Valley Leadership Group

Steve Heminger

Steve Heminger, Executive Director, Metro. Transportation Commission

Michael Melaniphy

Michael Melaniphy, President & CEO, American Public Transportation Association

Speaker Biographies

Hon. Jim Beall, California State Senator, brings a lifetime of experience and understanding in government efficiency, transportation, and human services to the State Senate. In three decades of public service – first as a San Jose City Councilman, then as a Santa Clara County Supervisor, and an Assembly member -- Jim Beall has left his mark across Silicon Valley. He spurred the construction of Highways 85 and 87; fought to bring BART to San Jose; and authored bills to ease financing for seismic upgrades for our hospitals and also to grow California’s solar industry.

Asha Agrawal, PhD, Director, MTI’s National Transportation Finance Center and Associate Professor of Urban and Regional Planning at San José State University, has a variety of research interests. In particular, her research and teaching is focused on transportation policy and planning including transportation finance, pedestrian and bicycle planning, and planning and transportation history. This is her sixth year surveying taxpayer attitudes about transportation fees and taxes.

Panelist Biographies

Grace Crunican, Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART), holds a solid background in transportation, which includes a history of successful strategies to secure and increase capital and transit funding. As former Deputy Director and Capitol Project Manager for the City of Portland, Ore., Ms. Crunican increased its dedicated transportation funding from 23 to 55 percent. While working for the Federal Transit Administration as Deputy Administrator, Ms. Crunican negotiated 13 major New Start Rail Projects worth over $3 billion dollars. Ms. Crunican also served as the Director of Seattle’s Department of Transportation.

Carl Guardino, President and CEO, Silicon Valley Leadership Group, a public policy trade association representing nearly 400 of Silicon Valley’s most respected companies. He has also served on the California Transportation Commission and on many other boards. In 2000, the San Jose Mercury News named him one of the “Five Most Powerful” people in Silicon Valley. He held an executive position in governmental affairs with Hewlett-Packard and was staff member for Assemblyman Rusty Areias. Mr. Guardino has championed many successful ballot measures and initiatives to fund transportation and housing.

Steve Heminger, Executive Director, Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC), the regional transportation planning and finance agency for the nine-county San Francisco Bay Area. MTC allocates more than $1 billion per year in funding for the operation, maintenance and expansion of the Bay Area’s surface transportation network. Mr. Heminger was appointed by House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi to serve on the National Surface Transportation Policy and Revenue Study Commission, which helped chart the future course for the federal transportation program.

Michael Melaniphy, President and CEO, American Public Transportation Association (APTA), has devoted his entire career to public transportation. He holds leadership positions on many mobility committees and boards, such as the Transportation Research Board, RailVolution, Transportation Learning Resource Center, Alliance to Save Energy’s Commission on National Energy Efficiency Policy, and more. He is a board member for several universities, including the Mineta Transportation Institute at San Jose State University. Mr. Melaniphy has led four public sector transit agencies. While in college, he began his transit career as a bus driver for the Indiana University basketball team.

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