The Transportation Transformation Group (T2) is a non-profit group built around a consensus that federal surface transportation policies demand a transformation that emphasizes congestion relief, increased safety, and the efficient movement of goods to America's transportation customers. Our members include departments of transportation of Texas, Florida, Indiana, Utah, New Hampshire, the North Texas Tollway Authority, Port of Houston, Pioneer Institute, Reason Foundation, Cintra US, Dannenbaum Engineering, HDR Engineering, Inc., Nossaman LLP, International Bridge, Tunnel and Turnpike Association, Bank of America-Merrill Lynch, Barclays Capital, Wells Fargo, Goldman, Sachs & Co., HNTB Corp., JP Morgan, Raymond James & Associates, Inc., Piper Jaffray, Morgan Stanley, Siebert Brandford & Shank and Citi.
Congress and President Barack Obama have enacted the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP–21), focusing policy on solutions that free state ingenuity and reduce restrictions on innovation. T2 suggests that these concepts should remain at the forefront of the U.S. Department of Transportation's efforts to implement the new law.
MAP-21 reflects a bipartisan consensus that favors consolidating a number of programs in the federal-aid highway program to focus priorities and resources on key national goals. The bill consolidates the number of highway programs by two-thirds. The elimination of dozens of programs makes more resources available to states and metropolitan areas to invest in their most critical needs to improve the condition and performance of their transportation system.
By its nature, program consolidation encourages states and MPOs to be accountable for their limited federal dollars and to ensure that those dollars be directed to projects that help meet individual performance targets and national goals. T2 suggests that USDOT rulemaking should ensure that states and MPOs retain flexibility to make the most efficient investment through performance-based planning and programming. Any effort to artificially impose favored status for certain types of projects undermines the concept of making programming decisions through performance management. Data needs to drive investment decisions, not artificial program categories.
T2 hopes to work in cooperation with USDOT to preserve and maintain the program consolidation efficiencies enacted by MAP-21.