Skip to main content
Event date and time
David Burwell

The year 2003 is shaping up as the year of reckoning for national transportation policy. Next year, the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (TEA-21), which authorizes distributions from the federal highway & transportation trust fund, expires. So does the law authorizing expenditures from the airport and airways trust fund. Amtrak, in its present form and level of service will also, in all likelihood, be kept on life support for one more year. Then what? For the first time in recent memory, the financing structures for all federally funded transportation systems must simultaneously kneel in supplication before Congress for renewed funding.

As TEA-21 and the other bills work their way through Congress, members will be debating issues of system performance, integration, redundancy, and accountability, as well as who benefits and who pays for these major infrastructure programs. The Surface Transportation Policy Project, the nation's leading transportation reform coalition, has formed the Alliance for a New Transportation Charter to engage in a broad policy debate on how transportation investments are serving community needs. This campaign, and its goal of assuring that public transportation investments promote community-based social, economic and environmental objectives, will be the subject of this presentation.

About the Speaker(s)

David Burwell is President and CEO of the Surface Transportation Policy Project (STPP) a nationwide network of more than 250 organizations devoted to improving the nation's transportation system.

Mr. Burwell, who is a co-founder of STPP and serves at its chairman form 1990-1997 has overall responsibility for the strategic direction and management of STPP, that includes the New Directions Initiative, a multi-year campaign that makes federal and State transportation policies better serve families and communities. Prior to joining STPP, Mr. Burwell co-founded and led the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy, the nation's largest trails and greenways organization devoted to the conversion of abandoned rail corridors to public trail use. Mr. Burwell worked as legal counsel for the National Wildlife Federation where he specialized in transportation, land use and air quality issues. He authored several books and articles on transportation, law and policy. He was the initial recipient of the Transportation Achievement Award, an annual STPP award for outstanding achievement in transportation policies.