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Executive Director's Report



Meeting with new VTA General Manager
San Jose, March 7

I had a lengthy and cordial lunch meeting with Nuria Fernandez, the new general manager of the Valley Transportation Authority (VTA). Nuria and I have known each other for some time due to our joint service on the Mineta Transportation Institute Board of Directors.

APTA Legislative Conferenc
Washington DC, March 10-12

Chair Worth and Commissioners Haggerty, Kinsey, and Wiener joined senior staff and several of our regional transit partners in MTC’s 35th annual March on Washington. We met with several members of our Bay Area Congressional Delegation and key leaders from the Obama Administration, including acting Federal Transit Administrator Therese McMillan – which, of course, makes her husband Rod the acting first gentleman of public transit in America.

On Tuesday night, we joined with our friends from southern California in co-sponsoring our much anticipated reception in the chambers of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. This year, we honored three veteran members of the California Congressional Delegation who are not seeking re-election this fall: Buck McKeon, Henry Waxman, and our own George Miller – after whom the new Benicia-Martinez Bridge is named. Thanks to Randy Rentschler, Rebecca Long, and especially our long-time Washington advocate Tom Bulger for another successful trip.

AltCar Conference
Richmond, March 14

I joined Air District chief Jack Broadbent and officials from the California Energy Commission and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in a panel discussion on future funding opportunities for alternative fuel vehicles.

“Lifespan” Preview
Oakland, March 21

Former MTC Chair Jon Rubin has embarked on a second career as a documentary filmmaker, and his privately-funded movie about the many controversies surrounding the design and construction of the new East Span had a preview showing in the Metro Center auditorium last week.

SSTI Worksho
Detroit, March 25

At the invitation of the State Smart Transportation Initiative (SSTI), I traveled to Detroit to make a special presentation (PDF) to several state DOT directors about MTC’s experience in performance-based planning and project selection. SSTI is the organization that recently conducted an independent management review of Caltrans, and both California Transportation Secretary Brian Kelly and Caltrans Director Malcolm Dougherty attended the Detroit event.

Map of the Month

The auto industry has become so globalized, you can find the same Ford in Detroit and in Beijing. So it's not surprising that Americans' taste in passenger vehicles has become a bit homogenized. To find how much difference there is in Americans car-buying habits, Business Insider conducted a survey using data obtained from Kelley Blue Book to find the best-selling car in each state. Sales data was selected from January thru August 2013.

Perhaps not surprisingly, the Ford F-Series family of trucks dominated the list, coming in at number one in more than 30 states. But Americans elsewhere have different tastes: California prefers the Honda Civic, while Florida and Maryland went for the Toyota Camry. Hawaii liked the Toyota Tacoma. Oklahoma bucked the geographic trend — the most popular car there is the Nissan Altima sedan.

MTC Operational Statistics

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

Upcoming Events

March 26-27 — Commission Workshop, Sonoma
March 31 — CALCOG Meeting, Sacramento
April 8 — Ann Flemer Retirement Extravaganza, Oakland