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Vol. 9, No. 3 - May/June 1998

Surface Transportation Reauthorization
What a difference a few weeks (and a rosy economic forecast) can make! As recently as last February, Congressional watchers were giving the passage of a multi-year transportation authorization legislation only a 50-50 chance in this session of Congress. "With only 100 legislative days left...some observers have even dared to suggest the unthinkable: that another legislative session might come and go without a multi-year bill," we reported. Less than six weeks later, the Senate was making us all eat humble pie by voting overwhelmingly (96 to 4) for a $214 billion surface transportation bill (S. 1173). The House followed, approving an even more generous $218 billion measure (H.R. 2400), by a vote of 337 to 80.

In Southern California, Commuters' Travel Habits Have Remained Remarkably Unchanged Despite Regulatory Mandates
Neither the trip reduction regulation nor its subsequent relaxation seem to have had much impact on Southern California commuters' travel habits. This is the conclusion that can be drawn from the data published in the latest annual State of the Commute report which has been tracking commuter travel behavior in the Los Angeles region since 1990.

The Challenge of Mobility II: A Report to the World Economic Forum
What forces are going to shape transportation in the early 21st century? What steps must be taken to preserve and enhance mobility in the years ahead? These are the questions the Automotive Board of Governors of the World Economic Forum (WEF) posed to a team of transportation researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The findings and conclusions of the MIT team are contained in an interim report presented to the WEF Governors at the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum in early February. In this second installment of a three-part series, we summarize the report's conclusions concerning "transportation demand management" and innovative financing of transportation infrastructure.

Electronic Road Pricing Comes Of Age
For road pricing proponents, March 30, 1998 was doubly significant. On that date, two cities, 10,000 miles apart-Singapore and San Diego-launched pioneering efforts to manage commuter traffic through pricing with the help of advanced communication technologies.

Access to Jobs
In an earlier Brief ("Cars for the Working Poor II," March/April 1998) we noted that welfare recipients who rely heavily on public transportation often face long and complicated commutes because entry level jobs for which they qualify are mostly found in suburban locations and involve irregular work shift hours. A new study by the U.S. Department of Transportation provides fresh evidence of the mobility problems confronting carless workers.

Florida's Traveler Information Radio Network
A novel traveler information concept is about to undergo a two-year trial in Florida. The Traveler Information Radio Network (TIRN) is a statewide network of commercial radio stations that will continuously broadcast news and information of interest to intercity travelers on Florida's limited access highways, while at the same time alerting them to traffic, road and weather conditions.


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