How do transportation projects and programs get funded? What is the impact of state legislation and regional policy?
The Young Professionals in Transportation (YPT) Austin Chapter recently hosted a Transportation Financing Round Table to answer these and other questions from Central Texas transportation professionals who hope to become more knowledgeable on how transportation is financed in the Lone Star State.
YPT is a 501(c)(6) national nonprofit organization that provides guidance, fellowship and networking opportunities for young transportation professionals. Initially started in Washington D.C., YPT develops young professionals through regular leadership seminars, networking happy hours and business meetings. There are now over 9,000 total affiliates in 20 chapters around the United States and Canada with active chapters in Houston and Austin.
For this quarter’s roundtable, the YPT-Austin Board of Directors decided to focus on transportation finance. Ashby Johnson, Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization (CAMPO) executive director, agreed to speak to the eager group.
Prior to his position at CAMPO, Mr. Johnson was the deputy metropolitan planning organization (MPO) director at the Houston-Galveston Area Council for 11 years. Given his experience with the MPO, Mr. Johnson spoke to the regional perspective on transportation finance, answering questions like the following: How does CAMPO work with the Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority (CTRMA) and the Texas Department of Transportation’s Austin District? How do gas-tax revenues get allocated for projects, and what is the decision-making process?
“Finance is usually a new topic for entering transportation engineers, planners and other professionals, and our board thought this topic would be useful for our members,” says YPT-Austin Chair and TTI Associate Transportation Researcher Nick Wood. “We had a full house at this month’s round table and I saw a couple new faces. I don’t know if it was the topic or the speakers that brought the crowd, but there was definitely strong interest and a passion for the topic.”
YPT-Austin hosts numerous such events to discuss a broad range of transportation topics throughout the Austin region. The target membership age is 18-35, with no maximum age restrictions. Annual membership dues are $20 and members get to attend free events with food. Anyone who is interested in joining can pay their dues at: https://my.yptransportation.org/join. For more information, contact Nick Wood at (512) 407-1115 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Follow YPT Austin on Facebook to stay in the loop for upcoming events: http://www.facebook.com/yptaustin.