The succesful conference had more than 400 attendees
Cintra, Ferrovial Agroman and the LBJ/NTE/35W team in North Texas recently sponsored and participated in the 2018 Irving Transportation Investment Summit. Local, state and federal elected officials along with industry leaders conversed over the two-day conference about innovation and technology in infrastructure, public and private sector funding and collaboration, autonomous vehicles and connectivity, and public policy.
More than 400 attendees participated in open panel discussions with congressional house members, Texas state representatives, mayors and county judges from the North Texas region. The funding and regulatory environment in Washington DC was a critical topic, as was the infrastructure priorities of the Texas legislature which will convene in January 2019.
Transportation industry experts were focused on innovative funding mechanisms at the state and county level and addressed transit, microtransit, rideshare, last mile solutions, air taxi, hyper-loop and high-speed rail. With more than a thousand people moving to Texas daily, mobility is critical to maintaining economic development in the growing communities across the state, and vital for establishing a better quality of life for its citizens.
Our corporate colleagues participated in panel discussions ranging from technological innovation in transportation to infrastructure and urban planning and exploring public and private sector funding solutions.
John Brady, Director of Strategic Pricing for Cintra US, joined the Emerging Leaders panel where the focus was on new technological advances and how using new data provides many key infrastructure solutions, “In the past, people would get their data from a small survey or sample and then make all sorts of demographic assumptions, which seems kind of… crazy. Now, we have access to better data than ever before. Technology has opened our eyes… the emergence of geolocation data has provided a better way to evaluate and understand the economic efficiency, the welfare impacts, and sustainability of prices,” said Brady.
During the Local Infrastructure Funding discussion, Cintra US Commercial Director, Tony Elkins, helped answer questions regarding different funding mechanisms used to meet project needs. Elkins stated, “In our DFW projects, Cintra has leveraged limited state dollars 5 to 1 to bring needed projects on-line quicker and significantly less expensive than could be done using other procurement models.” He went on to say, “In Texas managed lanes need to be a part of the solution to improve mobility by changing customer demand patterns for limited highway capacity at peak periods.”
In the afternoon, Robert Hinkle, LBJ/NTE/35W Corporate Affairs, moderated an exciting panel with Uber Elevate and Bell Helicopter discussing the latest developments in making air-based autonomous vehicles a reality. After an innovative presentation by Uber Elevate, Hinkle led the audience in a Q&A stating, “These two companies have partnered with Hillwood Development to provide right of way and sky pads for take-off and landing of what is basically an air taxi!”
On the second day of the summit, there was a round table discussion panel amongst all the big city mayors and county judges. Steve Adler, Mayor of Austin, challenged the Texas Legislature and the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) to allow the development of managed lanes along Interstate 35 through Travis County as a tool for better managing local and commuter traffic through this congested corridor.
“As the Irving Summit lead organizer, we are proud to gather experts, policymakers, and research institutions who are at the forefront of transportation and infrastructure innovation. The Summit provides an opportunity for those invested in infrastructure to share ideas and best practices to overcome some of the most pressing obstacles in the industry. The conversations and infrastructure solutions brought forth at the Summit will be game-changing for the future of transportation both in Texas and beyond,” said Kimberly Taylor, Taylor Collective Solutions CEO.
During the awards luncheon, former Transportation Commissioner Victor Vandergriff was honored for his many years of service to the state and said to the audience, “The managed lane highways in North Texas (LBJ/NTE/35W) have proven that this concept works and that P3’s (public private partnerships) and CDA’s (comprehensive development agreements) should be part of the solution to the growing urban congestion.” He concluded his remarks with a big thanks to all his collaborative partners throughout the years, and specifically thanked the teams at Cintra and Ferrovial Agroman.
Cintra and Ferrovial Agroman have sponsored the Irving Transportation Investment Summit for four years and have utilized the ongoing success of the North Tarrant Express, NTE 35W and LBJ Express to help tell the story that these projects have alleviated congestion, increased mobility and created a better commute for all drivers.
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