SAINT PAUL, MN –The House Transportation Finance and Policy Committee completed the second of two hearings today that examined the state of transportation amid the COVID-19 crisis. The committee focused on how Minnesota can prepare for a post-pandemic transportation system.
“It is critical that we examine the impacts of COVID-19 on a variety of transportation issues,” said Rep Frank Hornstein (DFL-Minneapolis), Chair of the House Transportation Finance and Policy Committee. “Our webinar format with experts from the University of Minnesota framed new approaches to transportation in this time of profound change and crisis."
Presenters focused on the future of public transportation, equity issues, the role of connected and automated vehicles, electrification of the transportation system, telecommuting, freight supply chains, and potential new funding sources including mileage-based fees to raise revenue for roads and bridges.
Testifiers from the University of Minnesota included: Frank Douma, Director of the State and Local Policy Program of Humphrey School of Public Affairs; Shashi Shekhar, Professor, Department of Computer Science and Engineering; Will Northrop, Associate Professor and Director of the Department of Mechanical Engineering of the University of Minnesota; Saif Benjaafar, with the Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering; Yingling Fan, Professor with the Humphrey School of Public Affairs; Karthik Natarajan, Assistant Professor of the Carlson School of Management of the University of Minnesota; Adeel Lari, Research Fellow at the Humphrey School of Public Affairs; as well as Giovanni Circella, of the Institute for Transportation Studies at the University of California- Davis.
The committee will continue its investigation of the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on Minnesota's transportation system on Thursday, January 21st with appearances from leaders of the Metropolitan Airports Commission, Minnesota Department of Transportation, Metropolitan Council, and suburban and rural transit agencies.
Materials and presentations from the committee deliberations of January 14 and 19 can be viewed on the House Transportation Finance and Policy’s website.