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Transportation and the Economy

For decades, a steady rise in vehicle miles traveled was closely linked to the rise in the U.S. gross domestic product. That link has weakened since the great recession, but the transportation system still plays a pivotal role in the U.S. economy. Volpe’s Transportation and the Economy series considered emerging and future issues crucial to moving people and goods to remain competitive in the global economy.

Move: Putting America's Infrastructure Back in the Lead

Tuesday, June 9, 2015     

Rosabeth Moss Kanter, PhD
Arbuckle Professor, Harvard Business School
Chair and Director, Harvard University Advanced Leadership Initiative

Big-scope infrastructure projects can provide seamless, multimodal transportation for passengers and freight.

Read the news story, "Building Infrastructure for America’s Transportation Future."


The Global Mobility Future

Thursday, February 26, 2015

John Moavenzadeh
Senior Director, Head of Mobility Industries
World Economic Forum, USA

Mobility: it isn’t just for the transportation sector anymore. Shifting demographic trends, changing customer needs, and emerging non-transportation technologies are increasingly shaping how we move. John Moavenzadeh, head of Mobility Industries at the World Economic Forum USA, discussed navigating the mobility transformation.

Read the news story, "The Global Mobility Future."

xxxConnecting a Global Economy through Trade

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Rich McArdle
Managing Director for Global Operations Policy, UPS

Operating a modern logistics system across geopolitical borders drawn hundreds of years ago can sometimes be like fitting a square peg into a round hole—it’s impossible to cross a single border, sometimes even just between counties in the U.S., without encountering a new set of trade priorities. Rich McArdle discussed ways to connect the global economy through trade and transportation.

Read the news story, "Connecting the Global Economy through Trade and Transportation."

Are America’s Ports Ready for More Freight?

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Kurt Nagle
President and CEO
American Association of Port Authorities

The world economy: it’s not getting any smaller. Population growth—expected to swell to 8 billion by 2024—means we’ll see more demand for goods and services, and more international trade. Some of the biggest economic players in the Western Hemisphere are staying ahead of the curve by investing in port infrastructure. Kurt Nagle discussed whether or not America's ports are ready for more freight.

Read the news story, "Are America's Ports Ready for More Freight?"

Delivering Efficiency with NextGen

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Michael G. Whitaker
Deputy Administrator
Federal Aviation Administration

The tablet computer has been built. Now it’s time to load a few apps. That’s the analogy for the Next Generation Air Transportation System—NextGen—that Michael Whitaker, deputy administrator for the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), provided. Michael Whitaker discussed how a simple technology can yield big gains.

Read the news story, "The Promise of NextGen."

Intermodalism: A 20-Year Perspective

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Anne Aylward
Deputy Associate Administrator for Research and Innovation
Volpe, The National Transportation Systems Center

The concept of intermodalism is as familiar today to transportation professionals as dedicated bike lanes. But 20 years ago, intermodalism wasn’t as common; it was just taking hold as a new concept in the federal transportation community.

Read the news story, "Intermodalism: A 20-Year Perspective."

Transportation Drives Economic Competitiveness in Megaregions

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Catherine L. Ross, PhD
Deputy Director, National Center for Transportation System Productivity and Management
Harry West Professor of City and Regional Planning
Director, Center for Quality Growth and Regional Development
Georgia Institute of Technology

From globalization to technological advances, the more complex our world becomes the more interconnected we are in trade, communication, and transportation. In America our urban centers are trending toward megaregions—collections of large cities, suburbs, exurbs. The areas between require extensive and linked transportation networks. Dr. Catherine Ross discussed why megaregions matter.

Read the news story, "Driving Economic Competitiveness in Megaregions."

Logistics Clusters: Jobs, Growth, and Economic Development

Friday, October 3, 2014

Yossi Sheffi, PhD
Elisha Gray II Professor of Engineering Systems
Director, Center for Transportation and Logistics
Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering
Massachusetts Institute of Technology

America’s economic confidence is up. As sectors from real estate to construction to the financial industry approach pre-recession employment levels, one set of economic engines has continually been pumped at full steam: logistics clusters. Yossi Sheffi discussed how transportation hubs anchor economic ecosystems.

Read the news story, "Transportation Hubs Anchor Economic Ecosystems."

Opening Address

Gregory D. Winfree
Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology
U.S. Department of Transportation

A good transportation network can be the difference between a community that thrives and one that fails. At the center of every thriving community is a thriving economy; at the center of every thriving economy is an interconnected transportation network promoting success and connecting supply chains—a transportation network that people and businesses can be confident in. Greg Winfree kicked off Volpe's speaker series: Transportation and the Economy.

Updated: Wednesday, May 2, 2018