Transportation and Infrastructure Issues

This page offers an easy way for policymakers to access transportation and infrastructure research and analysis that is relevant to current Congressional agendas. For additional information, to request documents, or to arrange a briefing, contact the RAND Office of Congressional Relations at ocr@rand.org or (703) 413-1100 x5395.

Recent Findings

  • Blog

    How Smart Are Our European Cities?

    Jul 9, 2014

    The urban population is expected to double by 2050, when seven out of every 10 people will live in cities. Poverty, inequality, unemployment, and energy management challenges are also expected to increase. One potential solution is the concept of the “smart city,” where initiatives are designed to fuse current infrastructures with digital technology.

  • Blog

    What if Distracted Driving Was Safe?

    Jul 1, 2014

    According to consumer research, the ability to consume media, write an email, or even sleep during transport is a key selling point for self-driving cars, which could be available in the near future. Autonomous vehicle technology could also produce a wide range of public benefits.

  • Blog

    Sounding the Car Alarm on Hackers

    Jun 30, 2014

    Security protections on vehicles have not kept pace with systems that control safety features, navigation capabilities, and wireless communication functions. Onboard computer networks will likely become much more attractive to hackers.

  • Multimedia

    A New Way to Pay for Transportation: Exploring a Shift from Fuel Taxes to Mileage-Based User Fees

    Jun 26, 2014

    In this June 2014 Congressional Briefing, Liisa Ecola discusses growing shortfalls in federal and state funding for surface transportation programs, and the potential of mileage fees (rather than fuel taxes) to reduce those shortfalls while also reducing traffic congestion, harmful emissions, and excessive road wear.

  • Multimedia

    A Conversation with Marco Villa, Adviser to the Hyperloop Next-Generation Transportation System

    Jun 24, 2014

    In this June 2014 Distinguished Speakers Series event, Marco Villa, adviser to the Hyperloop next-generation transportation system, joins Bill Welser, research department director of RAND's Engineering and Applied Sciences Department, for a conversation on the Hyperloop next-generation transportation system.

Briefings

Alerts & Newsletters

RAND periodically sends alerts and newsletters to update Congress on highlights of recent work about transportation and infrastructure.

  • Mileage Fees: An Alternative to the Gas Tax?

    Apr 15, 2014

    Some state and federal policymakers have begun to explore a shift from taxing fuel to taxing a vehicle's miles of travel instead. A short, easy-to-understand guide by RAND researchers outlines the potential advantages and core challenges of such mileage fees.

  • RAND.org's Redesign: New Homepage and Navigation Optimization for All Devices

    Mar 20, 2014

    RAND.org has been reimagined to make high quality research and insights more accessible to Hill staff like you. The new homepage and updated navigation optimize content delivery for your preferred device and place our most timely content at your fingertips.

  • RAND Can Help Policymakers Strengthen Coastal Resilience

    Mar 13, 2014

    Tools developed by RAND for use in Louisiana can help policymakers in other coastal states weigh complex decisions on the many possible strategies to prevent coastal land loss, reduce flood risks, rebuild or restore coastal environments, and otherwise increase the resilience of developed coastlines.

  • Online Training: Building Resilient Communities

    Nov 18, 2013

    Today, city planners, nongovernmental organizations, philanthropists, and government leaders are grappling with the challenge of creating disaster-resilient cities. RAND's new easy-to-use, self-guided online training shows organizations and communities how to strengthen their resilience.

  • Does America's Gasoline Tax Still Make Sense?

    Apr 3, 2013

    The cost of gasoline experienced an unusually large increase this February, with prices climbing more than 40 cents per gallon. Yet not a single penny of that increase went toward improving America's roads.

  • Hill Briefing on RAND's Contributions to Louisiana Coastal Planning

    Mar 19, 2013

    In a January 2013 Congressional Briefing, Jordan Fischbach describes RAND's work on the 2012 Coastal Master Plan and key lessons that can make other communities more resilient in the face of natural disasters.

  • Mileage Fees: Options for Policymakers

    Feb 8, 2013

    A new primer outlines for state and local decisionmakers the potential advantages of mileage fees, functional requirements and technical options for implementing them, core challenges in replacing fuel taxes with mileage fees, and recent innovations that states are exploring in pilot tests.

  • In Sandy's Wake, Policy Lessons for the Northeast

    Nov 16, 2012

    New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut policymakers reeling from Hurricane Sandy can draw on the Gulf region's experience with response and recovery from catastrophic hurricanes.

  • Louisiana Offers Lessons in Wake of Hurricane Sandy

    Nov 14, 2012

    Northeastern policymakers reeling from Hurricane Sandy can draw on the Gulf region's experience with response and recovery. As they go forward, they can also look at the measures Louisiana has developed to reduce the risk of storm damage.

  • 11 Years After 9/11, a Call for Sweeping Review of Aviation Security

    Sep 14, 2012

    TSA is performing well under extraordinary difficulties, but there is still need for vast improvement. As attack tactics have continued to evolve, the need for security has resulted in an increasing number of layers—and frustrations—for passengers.

  • Better Preparedness for Natural Disasters

    Sep 4, 2012

    Hurricane Isaac made landfall just before September, which is National Disaster Preparedness month. Although Isaac was a weaker Category 1 Hurricane, many areas of the Gulf Coast evacuated the population, and federal, state, and local governments are responding to the flood damage. But are there areas for improvement?

  • A More Effective TSA

    Aug 23, 2012

    As airport security lines get longer, travelers continue to ask: are all the baggage screenings, shoe removals, and pat-downs worth the extra time and hassle? RAND researchers assess the costs and benefits of aviation security interventions in order to help policymakers decide on potential changes to the system.

  • Gearing Up for Hurricane Season and Building Resilience

    Aug 23, 2012

    FEMA's National Preparedness Month in September kicks off hurricane season and encourages Americans to take simple steps to prepare for emergencies. RAND research aims to help communities prepare for, respond to, and recover from natural and man-made disasters.

  • How Much Could Sharing Rather Than Owning Vehicles Reduce Greenhouse-Gas Emissions?

    Jul 9, 2012

    Energy services analysis finds that a typical driver who shifts from owning a car to participating in a vehicle-sharing program would likely emit 893 kilograms (almost 2,000 pounds) of CO2 equivalent per year less than if he or she continued to own a car.

  • How Federal, State, and Local Governments Can Help Build Resilient Communities in the Gulf States

    May 24, 2012

    RAND has implemented and evaluated community resilience-building activities worldwide and identified opportunities to integrate governments with the non-profit and for-profit sectors in public health and emergency preparedness, infrastructure protection, and development of economic recovery programs.

  • RAND Policy Spotlight on Flood Insurance Reform

    May 14, 2012

    The latest extension of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) will expire on May 31st, just before the start of hurricane season. If NFIP is to be renewed, Congress needs to act soon.

  • RAND Transportation Expert on the Importance of Travel Data

    Mar 28, 2012

    Johanna Zmud, director of the RAND Corporation's Transportation, Space, and Technology program, argues in an editorial on StreetsBlog.org that smart, competitive transportation decisions need comprehensive, timely, and accurate data.

  • What Influences the Demand for High-Speed Rail?

    Mar 22, 2012

    High-speed rail lines can significantly reduce journey times, and proponents argue that they increase rail capacity in overcrowded corridors, promote economic growth, and could reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

  • Reforms Proposed by the National Flood Insurance Reform and Modernization Act

    Feb 28, 2012

    As the Gulf States gear up for hurricane season, Congress is working on a five-year re-authorization of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), a part of the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). President Obama recently signed a short-term extension of the program.

  • State of the Union Policy Preview

    Jan 23, 2012

    Preparing for the State of the Union (SOTU) address? Here is a preview of topics the President may cover along with helpful links to related RAND analyses, reports, and commentary.


Testimony

March 26, 2009
Financing Transportation Infrastructure in California

Martin Wachs

Testimony presented before the California Little Hoover Commission.

February 4, 2009
Maritime Piracy: Reasons, Dangers and Solutions

Peter Chalk

Testimony presented before the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation.

June 24, 2008
Challenges of Applying Risk Management to Terrorism Security Policy

Henry H. Willis

Testimony submitted for the record to the House Homeland Security Committee, Subcommittee on Transportation Security and Infrastructure Protection.

November 28, 2007
Evaluating Alternative Organizational Structures to Revitalize the Economy of New Orleans

Kevin F. McCarthy

Testimony presented before the New Orleans City Council.

February 21, 2007
Beyond the Gas Tax: Alternatives for a Greener World

Martin Wachs

Testimony presented before the Los Angeles Field Hearing of the National Surface Transportation Policy and Revenue Study Commission.

April 19, 2006
A Quiet Crisis in Transportation Finance: Options for Texas

Martin Wachs

Testimony ppresented before the Texas Study Commission on Transportation Finance.

April 8, 2004
Terrorism and the Security of Public Surface Transportation

Brian Michael Jenkins

Testimony presented to the Senate Committee on Judiciary.

March 31, 2004
The Effect of Terrorist Attacks in Spain on Transatlantic Cooperation in the War on Terror

James Dobbins

Testimony presented to the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, Subcommittee on European Affairs.

March 23, 2004
Terrorism and Rail Security

K. Jack Riley

Testimony presented to the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee.

May 6, 2000
The Reauthorization of the National Safety Board

Cynthia C. Lebow

Testimony presented to the Aviation Subcommittee, Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, U.S. House of Representatives.

March 19, 1997
Effects of an Auto-Choice Automobile Insurance Plan on Costs and Premiums

Stephen J. Carroll

Testimony presented to the Joint Economic Committee of the United States Congress.

Briefs