The importance of strong partnerships for developing innovative and sustainable transport solutions for the future.
United for Infrastructure Week 2020 is the 8th annual weeklong forum that brings together infrastructure leaders from around the nation to advance innovative solutions to modernize America’s infrastructure – promoting infrastructure investment as a vital economic imperative as we look to rebuild the global economy. I was pleased to join colleagues from across the industry at a United for Infrastructure Week panel hosted by Squire Patton Boggs LLP, with an introduction from former Transurban board member, the Honorable Rodney Slater, to discuss how Transurban is playing a critical role in helping governments move ahead during this unprecedented time.
With a diverse panel of participants from the toll road and airport sectors, we explored the outlook for our respective industries, highlighting how our businesses have supported our employees, suppliers, customers and partners throughout the evolving COVID-19 pandemic, while also looking at what lies ahead for the P3 sector. Here’s what I had to say:
- Strong partnerships between the public sector and private operators have been key to weathering the COVID-19 pandemic. Partnering with government is not just one single transaction, it’s a day-to-day relationship that allows both parties to adjust and succeed in challenging environments. We have seamlessly transitioned staff to remote working, while keeping critical operational and construction teams safe – ensuring critical corridors remain open and growing. Private sector innovation like mobile tolling app, GoToll, has enabled the Commonwealth of Virginia to promote cashless tolling and keep its workers and drivers safer during this unforeseen public health crisis.
- Innovation is what drives our business forward. Through authentic engagement the private sector must continue to collaborate with our government partners to future proof roadways with emerging technology, facilitating project delivery and operations improvements for customers and stakeholders. To achieve this we are continually partnering with federal and state governments, educational institutions and car manufacturers to trial the future of mobility on our Express Lanes network. As we build our way out of this crisis, we have the opportunity to shape the future of our industry by delivering high-tech roadways that exceed today’s standards in preparation for a more connected tomorrow.
- United for Infrastructure Week seeks to bring together a diverse dialogue around the challenge of transportation infrastructure funding. What we know is that government decision makers must continue to seek innovative financing strategies for projects – putting a modern mix of funding and delivery to work to modernize America’s transportation infrastructure. This means providing flexibility in government investment vehicles like the Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA) for distressed assets, and enabling solutions like asset recycling – so that untapped government assets can be leveraged to deliver financial, safety and customer experience benefits.
With this 8th annual United for Infrastructure Week coming to a close, we look forward to continued engagement with our government partners to innovate our way to a nation of modernized transportation infrastructure.