US Transportation Infrastructure Crisis to Be Examined at APTA Rail Workshop

FTA Administrator Rogoff keynotes Mineta Transportation Institute event June 1 in Philadelphia
May 8, 2013
San José, CA

The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) recently gave a “D” grade to U.S. road and transit infrastructure.* Why is our nation now falling behind in world rankings? This issue will be examined during an opening day workshop at the American Public Transportation Association’s (APTA) Rail Conference in Philadelphia. The June 1 afternoon workshop – “Transportation Finance: Catching Up with the Rest of the World” – will feature a keynote by Federal Transit Administrator Peter Rogoff. The workshop is co-sponsored by the Congressionally-created Mineta Transportation Institute (MTI), a transportation research center affiliated with San Jose State University.

Former Secretary of Transportation Norman Mineta will introduce Administrator Rogoff. The workshop will examine America's current position in the transportation world, along with ways to strengthen it. An expert panel will address the acceptability of various transportation financing options; funding successes; public-private partnerships; equity in transportation; and transportation legislative strategies. MTI also will present results from the latest national poll on transportation funding, along with trends from the last four years.

“Our failing transportation infrastructure has become a serious crisis for a nation that once led the world with its innovation and strength,” said Rod Diridon, executive director of MTI. “The expert panel at this workshop will address that issue – especially the possible ways to finance the improvements that can put the US in a leadership position again.”

The discussions will be moderated by Steve Heminger, executive director of the San Francisco Bay area Metropolitan Transportation Commission. Expert panelists will include Asha Agrawal, PhD, director of MTI’s National Transportation Finance Center; Julie A. Cunningham, president and CEO of the Conference of Minority Transportation Officials (COMTO); Mortimer Downey, former US Deputy Secretary of Transportation, first vice chair of the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, chairman of PB Consult, and president of Mort Downey Consulting LLC; Michael P. Melaniphy, president and CEO of APTA; and Bud Wright, executive director of the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO), invited.

Dr. Agrawal also will present results of the 2013 national public survey on acceptability of various transportation funding options. This is the fourth in a series of annual telephone surveys to gauge public attitudes about taxes and fees. The report from last year can be downloaded at no cost from

* ASCE gave a D+ grade to U.S. infrastructure overall, which includes wastewater, ports, public parks, hazardous waste, and other areas. The highest grade went to solid waste, which earned only a B-. Inland waterways and levees earned the lowest grades, at D-.


MTI conducts research, education, and information transfer programs focusing on surface transportation policy and management issues, especially related to transit. MTI was established by Congress in 1991 as part of the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act and won national re-designation competitions in 2002, 2006 and 2011. The Institute is funded by Congress through the US DOT Research and Innovative Technology Administration, by the California Legislature through Caltrans, and public and private grants. In 2006 the US Department of Homeland Security selected MTI as a National Transportation Security Center of Excellence. The internationally respected members of the MTI Board of Trustees represent all major surface transportation modes. MTI is affiliated with San Jose (CA) State University’s College of Business. Visit