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

  • Commentary

    What If Autonomous Vehicles Actually Make Us More Dependent on Cars?

    Jun 19, 2018

    Cities across Europe are taking steps to become increasingly car free. Mayors, supported by their officials and planners, should start leading a debate now about how self-driving vehicles can best serve the needs of residents and visitors, and help deliver wider goals for their cities.

  • Commentary

    FEMA's Transformation

    Jun 8, 2018

    The Federal Emergency Management Agency's (FEMA) strategic plan shows several shifts in federal disaster relief policy. Redirecting longer-term recovery operations to state and local authorities would allow FEMA to concentrate its assets on the catastrophic disasters it is uniquely designed to handle.

  • Report

    Adapting to a Changing Climate in Southeast Florida

    Jun 6, 2018

    Florida's Miami-Dade and Broward counties are vulnerable to flooding and intrusion of saltwater into drinking water. These risks are driven by sea level rise, changes in precipitation, and urban development. How can the region adapt?

  • Commentary

    Dockless Bikes Provide Urban Challenges, but China's Experience Shows They Can Work

    May 31, 2018

    By encouraging more people to cycle, bike-sharing platforms could provide many potential benefits through reduced congestion, reduced air pollution and health benefits. There are, however, challenges related to pressures on existing cycling infrastructure due to the increase in new bikes, and theft and vandalism of the bikes.

  • Commentary

    What Do Meltdown, Spectre, and RyzenFall Mean for the Future of Cybersecurity?

    May 3, 2018

    Unlike most previous cyber threats, a new wave of vulnerabilities attack a computer's hardware, rather than its software. What does this mean for cybersecurity as a whole?

More Research on Transportation and Infrastructure

Briefings

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

    Jan 24, 2018

    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.

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

    Jun 26, 2014

    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.

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

    Mar 24, 2014

    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.

  • The Future of Mobility: Transportation 2030

    Dec 3, 2013

    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.

  • Adapting to Climate Change on the Coast: Lessons from Louisiana for Federal Policy

    Jan 23, 2013

    What can be done to reduce the chances of widespread disaster when the next "Sandy" hits? Jordan Fischbach will discuss how climate change and other long-term challenges can affect coasts and the tools federal or state policymakers will need to address them.

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.

  • Zero Traffic Deaths by 2050

    Apr 23, 2018

    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.

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

    Feb 14, 2018

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

  • Ten Options for Congress to Improve Infrastructure

    Jan 4, 2018

    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.

  • Autonomous Vehicles: How Safe is Safe Enough?

    Nov 13, 2017

    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.

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

    Mar 2, 2017

    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.

  • Getting the Most from Traffic Safety Funding

    Jan 29, 2016

    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.

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

    Aug 20, 2015

    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.

  • The Mileage Fee Alternative: Benefits and Challenges

    May 19, 2015

    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.

  • 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.


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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.

More Testimony

Briefs

More Research on Transportation and Infrastructure