CEIE Seminar Looks at Funding Transportation

Posted: May 3, 2005 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

The Civil, Environmental, and Infrastructure Engineering Department (CEIE) will hold a seminar tomorrow featuring Thomas M. Downs, president and CEO of the Eno Transportation Foundation, addressing “Funding Surface Transportation: Is This the End of the Road?” The seminar will be held from 3 to 4 p.m. in Enterprise Hall, Room 173.

Downs contends that the national system of funding transportation has broken down and that there is a lack of a national consensus on the nature and purpose of federal funding. Rather than being part of a coherent system, transportation funding goes to pet projects of individual members of Congress. He believes it is time to start rethinking the entire process.

Downs has a long and distinguished career in government and transportation. He served as a city manager in the Midwest, as a White House Fellow, and as city administrator of Washington, D.C. He was an executive assistant to the U.S. secretary of transportation, associate administrator of the Federal Highway Administration for planning and budget, executive director of the Federal Transit Administration, and director of the Washington, D.C., Department of Transportation. In 1993, Downs was appointed chair and CEO of Amtrak. He substantially completed the electrification of the Northeast corridor, and helped Congress create a $2.4 billion trust fund for the railroad. After leaving Amtrak, Downs became CEO of the National Association of Homebuilders and then joined the faculty of the University of Maryland, where he served as professor and director of the National Center for Smart Growth. He joined the Eno Transportation Foundation in 2003.

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