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R O U N D TA B L E O F T R A N S P O RTAT I O N E X E C U T I V E S 21 ture bank program and related his general interest in The next question related to reauthorization and the opportunities that will arise as part of reauthorization. identification of focus areas. Jamison noted the impor- tance of building on TEA-21 successes of leveraging future federal funds. He cited the need to leverage pri- DISCUSSION vate investment, to improve flexibility of the TIFIA pro- gram, and to expand the SIB program. He pointed out William D. Ankner the importance of extracting more benefits from the transportation system, with the Dulles (Virginia) Following brief introductory remarks by each round- Corridor as an example of an opportunity to deploy table participant, Ankner raised some questions with business investment districts. Finally, Jamison men- the group. First he asked whether there was concern tioned the importance of utilizing the planning process about the overall level of debt and the extent to which to maximize ridership and encourage transit-oriented there was a limit to its use. Wright recognized this as a development to draw in private interest. Scheinberg legitimate concern but noted that the saturation point remarked, "Sometimes the role of the federal govern- had not yet been reached and that reaping the advan- ment is to get out of the way" and commented on the tage of transportation investments sooner rather than opportunity to reap the benefits of innovations and later was significant. Scheinberg commented that safe- expand programs that work. She cautioned, however, guards in the program would keep debt from growing about the importance of ensuring that expectations are out of control. not too high: innovative finance cannot solve all prob- Ankner then questioned whether the group envi- lems, and realism about what it can help achieve is nec- sioned other new tools beyond debt financing as part of essary. Wright discussed the importance of focusing on reauthorization. Wright highlighted toll credits, soft core program funding and recognizing that the process match, and other cash management mechanisms as pro- will likely be more difficult this reauthorization with the grams working to provide flexibility to the states. He mounting pressures and constraints on federal spending. suggested that refinements could be made in these pro- grams or similar ones, specifically the possibility of pro- gram match rather than a strict match on an individual COMMENTS project-by-project basis. Scheinberg highlighted pub- licprivate partnerships as a ripe area but noted that Questions and comments from conference participants more definition was needed, specifically regarding how focused on publicprivate partnerships, the prospects risk was shared most appropriately among public and for private activity bonds and tax credit bonds for sur- private parties. face transportation, inconsistencies among the modal Then Ankner asked about the prospects for agencies regarding program implementation and regu- valuecongestion pricing in reauthorization. He noted lations and opportunities for cleaning this up as part of that there had not been an enthusiastic response to date. reauthorization (or as an administrative initiative), the Scheinberg responded that the federal government can need to get serious in the next reauthorization about do only so much and that local interest is critical for answering the long-term funding question, and envi- these techniques to move forward. She stressed the ronmental streamlining. Roundtable participants con- importance of education and the exchange of informa- cluded by recognizing the important opportunity but tion and success stories but recognized the limitations also the challenge of handling multiple reauthorizations without local buy-in. simultaneously.