Wednesday, August 15 Podcast: “California High-Speed Rail and Why It’s Important for the Nation” presented by Rod Diridon, Sr.

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US DOT’s Research and Innovative Technology Administration (RITA) will broadcast at 1-2 pm Eastern, 10-11 am Pacific
August 13, 2012
San José, CA

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Research and Innovative Technology Administration (RITA) will present a free podcast on Wednesday, August 15, as part of its monthly Transportation Innovation Series. The program will feature Rod Diridon, Sr., presenting a series of slides on “California High-Speed Rail and Why It’s Important for the Nation.” The free program will be podcast from 1-2pm Eastern, and 10-11am Pacific. Access at

Mr. Diridon is executive director of the Mineta Transportation Institute (MTI) at San Jose (Calif.) State University. MTI is the lead organization for the Mineta National Transit Research Consortium (MNTRC), a collaboration of nine university transportation centers across the US.

His presentation will explain why California’s high-speed rail will benefit the US and our environment, and why the state’s $68 billion project is an important part of the national plan. 

In mid-July, California’s legislature gave final approval to sell the Proposition 1A high-speed rail bonds, and it approved the revised business plan. Mr. Diridon will explain the schedule for the first $6 billion in contracts and the related Requests for Proposals (RFPs) now in circulation. He also will explain the differences between true high-speed rail and the incremental upgrades, how HSR will integrate with feeder systems, and how it will create long-term economic benefits.

Sign language interpreters will be available for deaf participants who wish to attend this event. Those needing a reasonable accommodation should email or phone at 202-366-9433 / TTY: 202-366-6242. For more information about the podcast, contact Denise E. Dunn at

DISCLAIMER: The views of the presenter do not necessarily reflect the views of the US Department of Transportation. 


Rod Diridon, Sr., has served as executive director of the Mineta Transportation Institute (MTI) since 1995, four years after its creation by Congress. Mr. Diridon has chaired more than 100 international, national, state and local programs, most related to transit and the environment. He frequently provides legislative testimony on sustainable transportation issues and is regarded by many as the “father” of modern transit service in Silicon Valley. He was appointed by Governors Davis and Schwarzenegger, in 2001 and 2006, respectively, to the California High-Speed Rail Authority Board, of which he is chair emeritus. He helped found, and is chair emeritus of, the High-Speed and Intercity Rail Committee and the National High-Speed Rail Corridors Coalition of the American Public Transportation Association (APTA). He also served as president of the national Council of University Transportation Centers.


The Research and Innovative Technology Administration (RITA) coordinates the US Department of Transportation's research and education programs, and is working to bring advanced technologies into the transportation system. RITA also offers vital transportation statistics and analysis, and supports national efforts to improve education and training in transportation-related fields. RITA works to ensure that the nation's transportation research investments produce results for the American people. Visit


The Mineta Transportation Institute (MTI) conducts research, education, and information and technology transfer, focusing on multimodal surface transportation policy and management issues, especially as they relate to transit. MTI was established by Congress in 1991 as part of the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act (ISTEA) and was reauthorized under TEA-21 and again under SAFETEA-LU. The Institute has been funded by Congress through the US Department of Transportation’s (DOT) Research and Innovative Technology Administration, by the California Legislature through the Department of Transportation (Caltrans), and by other public and private grants and donations, including grants from the US Department of Homeland Security. DOT selected MTI as a National Center of Excellence following competitions in 2002 and 2006. The internationally respected members of the MTI Board of Trustees represent all major surface transportation modes. MTI’s focus on policy and management resulted from the Board’s assessment of the transportation industry’s unmet needs. That led directly to choosing the San José State University College of Business as the Institute’s home. Visit

Contact: Donna Maurillo
MTI Communications Director
donna.maurillo (at)


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