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 x5643.

Recent Findings

  • RAND Weekly Recap

    Blog

    Putin's Latest Threats, U.S. Policy in the Middle East, Disaster Recovery: RAND Weekly Recap

    This weekly recap focuses on Russia's troop mobilization and the ongoing war in Ukraine, U.S. policy in the Middle East, building a more diverse teacher workforce, and more.

    Sep 23, 2022

  • Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority workers repair part of the electrical grid after Hurricane Maria in Utuado, Puerto Rico, May 17, 2018, photo by Alvin Baez/Reuters

    Commentary

    The Disaster Bills Coming Due

    The United States largely waits for a disaster to strike and then spends billions to repair damages. Investing in resilience today can significantly reduce the costs to recover after a disaster strikes.

    Sep 20, 2022

  • U.S. military logisticians and transporters offloading equipment at the port in Gdansk, Poland, July 8, 2021, photo By Sgt. Katelyn Myers/U.S. Army

    Commentary

    The Problem of Intra-Theater Lift: Moving Things Around in the Pacific Area of Responsibility

    The U.S. joint force's ability to move materiel and people across oceans and continents is unique among militaries. But there are challenges all along the supply chain, addressed by different agencies and military commands in a complicated set of processes, and a collective reluctance to assume responsibility for the mission.

    Sep 6, 2022

  • Blue binary code and blue swirling lines, photo by metamorworks/Getty Images

    Report

    Preparing for Post-Quantum Critical Infrastructure

    Quantum computers are expected to create vulnerabilities in critical infrastructure. How vulnerable are critical functions, such as distributing electricity and protecting sensitive information? And how can the government help infrastructure owners and operators?

    Aug 18, 2022

  • Smoke rises from the pipes of a heat power plant, Kiev, Ukraine, November 27, 2015, photo by Valentyn Ogirenko/Reuters

    Commentary

    Rebuilding Ukraine for a Changing Climate

    When the war in Ukraine ends, the country will in all likelihood undergo a massive reconstruction. Ukraine could rebuild in a way that would both lower its carbon footprint and construct infrastructure resilient to the effects of climate change.

    Jul 8, 2022

More Research on Transportation and Infrastructure

Briefings

  • Milwaukee bridge and highway, downtown in heavy fog, photo by soupstock/AdobeStock

    Built to Last: Planning and Funding Resilient Infrastructure

    What can Congress do to encourage investments in resilient infrastructure? Debra Knopman and Sarah Weilant will discuss current and historical congressional spending on infrastructure, approaches to building resilience into transportation projects, and recommendations for policymakers. [Washington, D.C.]

    Dec 6, 2019

  • Two construction workers/engineers examine a project

    Fixing What's Broken with Infrastructure Policy: Options for Congress

    An infrastructure bill is on the agenda for Congress, but what problems would it fix? In a RAND Congressional Briefing, Debra Knopman will discuss policies that promote and deter investment and maintenance of water and transportation infrastructure.

    Jan 24, 2018

  • Highway traffic

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

    Increasing fuel efficiency and the rise of alternative fuel vehicles that do not use gasoline have led to growing shortfalls in federal and state funding for surface transportation programs — shortfalls that are likely to become even more acute in coming years. In this Congressional Briefing, Liisa Ecola will discuss innovations in the use of mileage-based fees.

    Jun 26, 2014

  • A Google self-driven car in Las Vegas, Nevada

    "Self Driving" Vehicles: Great Benefits, but Barriers to Widespread Adoption

    After examining the advantages and disadvantages of autonomous vehicles, RAND researchers determined that the overall societal benefits of this new technology likely outweigh the disadvantages. Senior behavioral scientist James Anderson will present the study results.

    Mar 24, 2014

  • Atlanta traffic and skyline

    The Future of Mobility: Transportation 2030

    What will transportation look like in the United States in the year 2030? Multiple mobility scenarios are possible. Come hear how policymakers and planners can shape the future of mobility in the United States and what factors will influence the creation of the future transportation system.

    Dec 3, 2013

More Transportation and Infrastructure Briefings

Alerts & Newsletters

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

  • Smart car 3D rendering, photo by Production Perig/Adobe Stock

    RAND Research on Autonomous Vehicles

    As lawmakers consider the future of infrastructure, autonomous vehicles have the potential to drastically change our transportation system.

    Mar 23, 2021

  • Person pointing at a public transit map, photo by Rawpixel/Getty Images

    Considering Transportation and Infrastructure in the 117th Congress

    What are the biggest transportation and infrastructure issues facing the 117th Congress? RAND experts offer up insight on a variety of topics, including airport funding, infrastructure priorities, impacts of emerging technologies, and more.

    Feb 1, 2021

  • Planning and Funding Resilient Infrastructure

    RAND's Debra Knopman and Sarah Weilant discuss the importance of incorporating resilience in infrastructure planning. They outline three areas where the federal government could be making a difference.

    Dec 18, 2019

  • Smart car 3D rendering, photo by Production Perig/Adobe Stock

    When Autonomous Vehicles are Hacked, Who is Liable?

    Autonomous vehicles (AVs) are hitting roads around the nation for pilot testing, and autonomous taxi fleets are expected within a few years. While there may be benefits to widespread use, policymakers will need to consider potential drawbacks as well.

    Jul 31, 2019

  • Traffic

    Considering Transportation and Infrastructure in the 116th Congress

    What are the biggest transportation and infrastructure issues facing the 116th Congress? RAND experts offer up insight on a variety of topics, including autonomous vehicles, infrastructure and roadway safety, the Coast Guard, and more.

    Feb 19, 2019

  • Traffic

    Zero Traffic Deaths by 2050

    More than 100 Americans die in motor vehicle crashes every day. The traffic safety community is working together toward the goal of bringing that number down to zero by 2050. Scenario planning has uncovered several ways federal policymakers can help make the vision of zero traffic deaths a reality.

    Apr 23, 2018

  • The West bound roadway of the new Governor Mario M. Cuomo Bridge that is to replace the current Tappan Zee Bridge over the Hudson River is seen ahead of on opening ceremony for the bridge in Tarrytown, New York, U.S., August 24, 2017

    In Case You Missed It: Fixing What's Broken with Infrastructure Policy

    Across the United States, transportation and water infrastructure needs vary greatly. Debra Knopman discusses what Congress should consider when addressing infrastructure funding.

    Feb 14, 2018

  • Chickamauga Lock and Dam, near Chattanooga, Tennessee

    Ten Options for Congress to Improve Infrastructure

    What can Congress do to better align policy and spending to public priorities for U.S. infrastructure? Increased federal spending may do some good, but it will not fix what is broken in our approach to funding and financing public works—and not everything is broken.

    Jan 4, 2018

  • A self-driving car being developed by nuTonomy

    Autonomous Vehicles: How Safe is Safe Enough?

    When considering regulations for autonomous vehicles, safety is a critical question. RAND researchers found that introducing autonomous vehicles when they are just better than human drivers—as opposed to nearly perfect—could save hundreds of thousands of lives over 30 years.

    Nov 13, 2017

  • A line of Lexus SUVs equipped with Google self-driving sensors awaits test riders in Mountain View, California, September 29, 2015

    In Case You Missed It: Approaches and Challenges to Realizing Autonomous Vehicle Safety

    Before autonomous vehicles can usher in a new era of safer transportation, there are several challenges to address. Policymakers can help improve autonomous vehicle safety by facilitating pilot studies and data-sharing.

    Mar 2, 2017

  • Motorcycle and cars on a highway

    Getting the Most from Traffic Safety Funding

    What if the United States invested just 10 percent more—$57.9 million—in traffic safety? A new RAND tool examines how this increase may impact safety outcomes such as lives saved and injury prevention.

    Jan 29, 2016

  • liquor and keys

    24/7 Sobriety Project: A Promising New Way to Curb Problem Drinking and Reduce Costs

    Recently, the Senate took steps to expand funding for 24/7 Sobriety Programs, like one in South Dakota. These programs are a promising and innovative way to help curb problem drinking and improve public health.

    Aug 20, 2015

  • Traffic jam on a highway

    The Mileage Fee Alternative: Benefits and Challenges

    With the ongoing challenges of transportation funding, some lawmakers have begun to explore a shift from taxing fuel to taxing a vehicle's miles of travel. An objective look at this solution outlines advantages, core challenges, and recent innovations that states are exploring through pilot programs.

    May 19, 2015

  • Los Angeles 405 freeway traffic

    Mileage Fees: An Alternative to the Gas Tax?

    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.

    Apr 15, 2014

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

    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.

    Mar 20, 2014

  • Houses are partially submerged in flood waters after a Hurricane Isaac levee breach in Braithwaite, Louisiana August 31, 2012

    RAND Can Help Policymakers Strengthen Coastal Resilience

    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.

    Mar 13, 2014

  • Volunteers from the North Carolina Southern Baptists help clean out some apartments that were flooded during Hurricane Sandy

    Online Training: Building Resilient Communities

    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.

    Nov 18, 2013

  • Pump nozzles at the gas station

    Does America's Gasoline Tax Still Make Sense?

    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.

    Apr 3, 2013

  • Aerial views of Hurricane Sandy damage to homes on Long Beach

    Hill Briefing on RAND's Contributions to Louisiana Coastal Planning

    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.

    Mar 19, 2013

  • Newsletter

    Mileage Fees: Options for Policymakers

    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.

    Feb 8, 2013

  • Newsletter

    In Sandy's Wake, Policy Lessons for the Northeast

    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.

    Nov 16, 2012

  • Newsletter

    Louisiana Offers Lessons in Wake of Hurricane Sandy

    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.

    Nov 14, 2012

  • Newsletter

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

    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.

    Sep 14, 2012

  • Hurricane Isaac flooding St. John the Baptist Parish

    Better Preparedness for Natural Disasters

    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?

    Sep 4, 2012

  • Newsletter

    A More Effective TSA

    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.

    Aug 23, 2012


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