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Committee Findings and Recommendations F ollowing the final general session, the Committee themes that shaped the third national conference. These for the Third National Conference on Trans- themes determined the four tracks of the conference: portation Finance convened to develop its find- ings, primarily on the basis of the information 1. How to Finance the Next Transportation Program-- presented and discussions held at the conference. A Reauthorization and Beyond; summary of the committee's findings regarding cross- 2. Tools and Techniques to Deliver More Projects cutting themes, key issues and observations, and result- Faster; ing committee recommendations follows and is 3. Structures, Institutions, and Partnerships to Deliver organized into four areas: More Projects Faster and Cheaper; and 4. New Transportation Initiatives and Demands on 1. Common themes and key observations, Financing. 2. Committee recommendations concerning policy- related issues, The backdrop for the themes and the conference was 3. Committee recommendations for research, and a broad recognition of the unique opportunity--and 4. Committee assessment of the conference and rec- challenge--presented by the multiple upcoming trans- ommendations for future events. portation program reauthorizations: for surface trans- portation, the successor to the Transportation Equity With one exception, the committee endorses all find- Act for the 21st Century (TEA-21); for aviation, the ings and recommendations. One committee member, successor to the Wendell H. Ford Aviation Investment Dennis G. Houlihan, agreed with many elements of the and Reform Act for the 21st Century; and for Amtrak, report but dissented from some findings. His statement the successor to the Amtrak Reform and Accountabil- is presented in its entirety as a footnote to this section. ity Act of 1997. In an environment charged by an In accordance with the policies of the National intense focus on addressing security-related needs, Research Council, this addendum provides the oppor- these reauthorization initiatives coincide with a tunity for the expression of views not shared by the strained fiscal situation at federal, state, and local majority of the committee. levels of government. In reviewing the ideas and issues addressed at the conference (and summarized in these proceedings), the COMMON THEMES AND KEY OBSERVATIONS committee identified a set of common themes and observations. These are divided into two organizing After reviewing proceedings of past conferences and the categories--(a) underlying framework and trends and literature, the committee worked to identify the broad (b) possible new directions--summarized below. 1