DOT unveils outlook on the future of transport

US Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx has unveiled a new Department of Transportation (DOT) report outlining the trends that are likely to shape the US transportation system over the next three decades.

Labelled “Beyond Traffic”, the draft report is offered to the public to ignite conversation about the future of the US transportation system and to objectively frame critical policy choices that need to be made. A final report will be released later in 2015 based on the ideas and public feedback.

The report was written by a team of experts from across the Department’s modes and offices, taking advice from transportation thought leaders and sharing key findings in six public webinar sessions to 1,300 participants.

“For too long, our national dialogue about transportation has been focused on recreating the past. Instead, we need to focus on the trends that are shaping our future,” said Foxx. “Beyond Traffic gives us a view into 2045 and the basis to plan for it.”

Beyond Traffic explores how money should be invested, how to build a transportation system to accommodate a growing population and changing travel patterns and how to deal with increased freight volume, Foxx added.

The report also looks at how to adapt to climate change and make an infrastructure that is more resilient to extreme weather events as well as how to introduce new technologies to make travel safer and more convenient.

Beyond Traffic is structured in three parts, separating major trends, the implications of these trends and lastly a description of a possible future scenario based on the trends. It concludes with a discussion of policy options based on the implications of these trends.

According to the US Department of Transportation, Beyond Traffic offers a “clear and honest assessment” of the network’s status, deficiencies, capacity and potential to better support our economic and social well-being while also forecasting how the transportation system will look and perform in 2045 if current funding levels and policies persist.

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