On Monday, October 15th I attended the latest Transportation Finance Advisory Committee (TFAC) meeting. As a member of this important group, we have been tasked with exploring alternative and innovative methods to fund Minnesota’s transportation system in the future.
At the meeting we heard public comments from a host of transportation related stakeholder groups. These groups represented both public and private interests, as well as rural and metro constituencies. As we did at our last meeting, the goal of hearing from these groups was to get a full picture of what their transportation needs are and what funding options we have at our disposal over the course of the next twenty years and beyond.
The continued discussion on the development of ideas for funding and financing recommendations was another topic that we covered at the meeting. There are a multitude of sources and revenue options that have been discussed by the group over the course of our meetings. At this meeting we started to identify the top ideas that were the most feasible for future consideration by the legislature and administration. Included in the list of ideas was my proposal to establish joint power collaborative corridors that would allow units of government to decide how best to spend their local dollars on transportation projects. In addition, other ideas that made the list were public-private partnerships and the use of performance management systems that have a focus towards high returns on transportation investments.
The group also heard feedback from the Department of Transportation on how the general public views transportation in Minnesota. We heard there is a strong demand for safe transportation and reduced congestion throughout the entire state. To meet these demands, we need to make wise investments in our transportation system that will also have a positive statewide economic impact and increase Minnesotans’ quality of life. It is critical that our current and future funding decisions are based on a cost/benefit analysis. Economic development, prosperity, competitiveness and job growth are dependant in part on a quality road and bridge system. I look forward to working with my fellow TFAC members to shape the groups final recommendations which are to be advanced in December.
For further information on TFAC, please see the following link on the Department of Transportation’s website…