A workshop held at the U.S. Department of Transportation (U.S. DOT) Building in Washington, D.C. — the first activity of the Texas Transportation Institute’s (TTI’s) new Transportation Economics Center (TEC) — was a huge success.
The May 17 “Benefit/Cost Analysis for Transportation Infrastructure: A Practitioner’s Workshop” was attended by 150 people, with approximately 1,800 others watching live via a webcam. The workshop was designed to help demonstrate the cost-analysis benefits of transportation projects.
“The response to the workshop was so overwhelming that the U.S. DOT provided a live web link, allowing more people to participate,” noted TTI Executive Associate Director Katie Turnbull, director of the TEC. “There is a great deal of interest in benefit/cost analysis right now with the upcoming TIGER II grant program and other federal stimulus programs.”
Approved by The Texas A&M University System Board of Regents in January, the TEC provides economic-based analyses in formulating transportation policies and programs to assist the U.S. DOT. TTI was selected to operate the TEC through a competitive procurement process, which was sponsored by the department’s Office of Policy.
In addition to TTI researchers, various other experts will assist in TEC research initiatives. Faculty from the Department of Agricultural Economics and the Dwight Look College of Engineering at Texas A&M University will play key roles in various center projects.
“One of the goals of the TEC is to help educate transportation professionals in the use of economic analysis methods, including conducting benefit/cost analyses,” explained U.S. DOT Chief Economist Jack Wells at the workshop. “We have accomplished that goal with this workshop and look forward to other successful workshops and seminars.”