Greater Washington Board of Trade and Greater Washington Partnership Convene Regional Transportation Leaders to Discuss Future of Transportation
By Kathy Hollinger (GWP) and Jack McDougle (GWBOT)
On November 9, the Greater Washington Partnership (the Partnership) and Greater Washington Board of Trade (the Board of Trade) hosted the 5th annual Capital Region Transportation Forum bringing together the Capital Region’s transportation leaders – from Washington D.C., Annapolis, and Richmond – to share progress on key transportation efforts and explore innovations that require multi-jurisdiction collaboration.
Our region expects to add another 1.5 million people over the next 20 years. The Partnership and the Board of Trade work together to ensure the region is advancing accessible and affordable transportation options that keep our economy moving. Building a more efficient and accessible transportation system and investing in long-term transportation solutions is essential to ensuring businesses and residents can thrive.
To help kick off the morning, Pierce Coffee, President of Transurban North America, lifted up and celebrated the 10-year anniversary of the Express Lane Network in Virginia, the first being the 495 Express Lanes in Northern Virginia. Pierce stressed the importance and power of partnerships to deliver the infrastructure investments that can better connect our future and shared how Transurban is working with partners across the Capital Region to support a sustainable, multimodal, and equitable transportation future.
The first panel was future-focused and centered around technologies and investments needed to create an integrated multimodal transportation system. During the conversation, Pierce Coffee, President of Transurban North America and Tyler Duvall, CEO of Cavnue, highlighted the many opportunities the region will have to use data from roadways and connected vehicles to create safer, more efficient transportation systems. Tracy Sayegh Gabriel, President and Executive Director of the National Landing BID, spoke about the need to center people in design, planning, and construction to overcome many of the region’s transportation challenges. Pierce also highlighted the need for regional solutions to identify a long-term, sustainable source of transportation funding as gas tax revenues will dwindle with the adoption of electric vehicles.
Ian Rainey, Senior Vice President of the Northeast Maglev, updated the audience on the proposed Maglev project and introduced the second panel which featured W. Sheppard ‘Shep’ Miller III, Secretary of Transportation of the Commonwealth of Virginia, James F. Ports, Secretary of the Maryland Department of Transportation, Everett Lott, Director of the District Department of Transportation, and Randy Clarke, CEO and General Manager of the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA). Each of these four leaders shared updates on current short-term priorities before shifting to a conversation about how their agencies are working collaboratively to advance mega projects like Long Bridge, the American Legion Memorial Bridge replacement, and the opening of WMATA’s Silver Line. They also shared their team’s respective strategies to take advantage of the historic federal funding opportunities in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. Randy also noted that it is not only local jurisdictions and agencies who have to ramp up their planning and grant work to compete for these new grant opportunities, but so do the teams at the U.S. Department of Transportation who are responsible for administering this historic infusion of infrastructure funding.
The Partnership and the Board of Trade were honored to host leaders to discuss a foundational issue for our region’s ability to grow and thrive: transportation and infrastructure. Thank you to The Washington Post’s Lori Aratani for serving as our moderator and a special thanks to this year’s sponsors: Transurban, Northeast Maglev, HNTB, EY, and Aon. We will continue to convene and look for opportunities to partner with the leaders who joined us at the 2022 Capital Region Transportation Forum to ensure we make the long-term investments needed to ensure this region remains one of the best places to live, work, and build a business.
Watch the full 2022 Capital Region Transportation Forum here.