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Preface I n October 2002, approximately 350 people assem- financing mechanisms, their structure, and the benefits bled in Chicago, Illinois, to participate in the Third and costs of implementing such techniques and National Conference on Transportation Finance. 2. To explore the development of additional new The conference brought together individuals from the funding mechanisms and sources. transportation, finance, and public policy communities at national, state, and local levels and from both the public and the private sectors. The public sector was CONFERENCE PROGRAM represented by federal, state, and local government officials and managers of transportation assets such as The conference program was designed to maximize the airports, seaports, and toll roads. Private-sector partic- exchange of information and perspectives among pro- ipants included investment bankers, financial advisors, gram participants. In addition to the standard panel design and construction professionals, attorneys, sessions--16 organized around four substantive developers, credit analysts, journalists, and consultants tracks--each panel included a discussant, whose sole in the transportation sector. function was to energize the question-and-answer As the third in a series of national transportation period and spur discussion following the panel presen- finance conferences sponsored jointly by the Trans- tations. Two general sessions were devoted to recap- portation Research Board of the National Academies ping the highlights of the panel sessions and further and the Federal Highway Administration, the confer- stimulating the exchange of views among conference ence continued the dialogue on the challenges of financ- participants. ing the nation's transportation systems and provided a Four preconference workshops were provided to give forum to exchange perspectives on what has worked, participants at all levels a chance to brush up on the what has not, and what might be tested. Given the tim- state of the practice of transportation finance. ing of the conference--as proposals were being devel- By the close of the conference, participants not only oped to be part of reauthorization of the nation's had collected a significant amount of information but surface transportation and aviation programs--special also had exchanged perspectives and built a dialogue attention was paid to considering new approaches for for the upcoming legislative debates at the national the future. level. As with previous conferences, the Committee for The Third National Transportation Finance Conference the Third National Conference on Transportation had two primary objectives: Finance has recommended a continuing round of con- ferences in the coming years, especially soon after the 1. To educate federal, state, and local officials regard- reauthorization of federal surface and aviation trans- ing new transportation infrastructure and operations portation programs. Other recommendations of the v