U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) Secretary Anthony Foxx and Google Chairman Eric Schmidt recently unveiled Beyond Traffic, an expert analysis of the needs of the country's transportation system over the next 30 years.
Created by a team of experts assembled by the DOT in January 2014 who reviewed our transportation system and provided a range of options, Beyond Traffic offers a three-part overview: major trends shaping our transportation system; specific applications to highways, transit, pedestrian and bicycle, aviation, rail, maritime, and pipeline; and the potential future scenario.
Introducing the analysis on Feb. 2, Foxx cited important questions and issues regarding population increases and changing travel patterns; freight volume; the impact of technological innovation on our infrastructure; and keeping travel safe. Additionally, he pointed out that climate change will surely impact highways, bridges, public transportation, coastal ports and waterways.
“For too long, our national dialogue about transportation has been focused on re-creating the past," Foxx said. "Instead, we need to focus on the trends that are shaping our future. Beyond Traffic gives us a view into 2045 and the basis to plan for it.”
The analysis is presented as a framework to underscore critical decision points by means of research, expert opinions and public engagement. A final report will be released later this year based on feedback on this analysis.