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Executive Director's Report



TRB Executive Committee
June 26-27, Washington DC

I attended the regular biannual meeting of the Transportation Research Board’s Executive Committee in Washington. The major news is on the personnel front: long-time executive director Bob Skinner is retiring, and his replacement is scheduled to come aboard by the time of the TRB Annual Meeting in January 2015.

Richmond Bridge Briefing
July 1, Sacramento

Commissioners Kinsey, Sartipi and Worth joined Andy Fremier and me at a briefing for Transportation Secretary Brian Kelly and Caltrans Director Malcolm Dougherty about the series of auto and bicycle/pedestrian improvement projects that we are exploring for the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge.

Bay Bridge Op/Ed Piece
July 6, Sacramento

I authored an opinion piece that ran in the Sacramento Bee in response to their latest editorial questioning the safety of the new east span of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge.

House Passes Trust Fund Bailout
July 15, Washington DC

By a large bi-partisan margin, the U.S. House of Representatives passed an $11 billion General Fund bailout that should tide over the cash-strapped Highway Trust Fund (HTF) through May 2015. The United States Senate is scheduled to take up the House bill as early as this week, although it is unclear whether the Senate will attempt to pass the House bill as-is or make amendments to it, thus prolonging the agony as the clock ticks down towards HTF insolvency in August.

“Measuring Up” Conference
July 16, Boston

At the invitation of James Corless from Transportation for America, I spoke at a conference on performance measures sponsored by his organization and its affiliate, Transportation for Massachusetts. The State Legislature recently enacted a revenue and reform package over a period of years that includes a gas tax hike, indexing of the tax, consolidation of highway and transit agencies (essentially akin to merging BART with Caltrans), and a requirement that the new consolidated transportation department known as MassDOT incorporate a performance-based approach in its project selection process. The gas tax indexing measure is now subject to a repeal effort that will appear on the November 2014 statewide ballot.

BATA Bond Sale
July 17, New York

Brian Mayhew, Susan Woo and our banking team have closed the latest debt issuance from the Bay Area Toll Authority, comprised of nearly $1.2 billion in re-funding bonds and $200 million in new money debt. Brian reports that we had over $7 billion in orders for this bond sale, which indicates not only healthy market demand but the continued high regard in which the BATA credit is held.

Olympic Transportation Meeting
July 22, Oakland

MTC hosted an exploratory meeting with the region’s leaders from all transportation modes to discuss various mobility alternatives in support of a potential bid by the City and County of San Francisco to be the U.S. candidate city to host the 2024 Summer Olympic Games. The United States Olympic Committee (USOC) is discussing a possible U.S. candidacy with four cities: San Francisco, Los Angeles, Boston, and Washington DC. The USOC is expected to decide whether to advance a U.S. candidate city by the end of the year.

MTC Operational Statistics

The monthly report on the performance of MTC’s operating programs: