Campus & Community / Magazine Feature

Transportation should be at center of stimulus package, DU experts say

University of Denver transportation experts have released 10 recommendations for the Obama administration’s economic stimulus package making its way through Congress.

Patrick Sherry, director of DU’s National Center for Intermodal Transportation (NCIT), released the recommendations Jan. 23 at “Operation Stimulus,” the Denver Transportation Club’s 28th annual conference on the future of transportation.

Sherry made a case for transportation as the centerpiece of economic stimulus. Investment in transportation infrastructure, says Sherry, will contribute to a stronger economy. He recommended prioritizing investment in transportation projects that promote intermodal interconnectivity to reduce congestion and improve operational efficiency.

Intermodal transportation is the use of air, ground and sea modes of transportation to move freight and people. DU houses the Intermodal Transportation Institute (ITI), which provides a master’s degree in intermodal transportation and partners with federal government to develop intermodal transportation systems. The institute partners with Mississippi State University in the NCIT to provide research and education in intermodal transportation.

The NCIT report reflects a gloomy economic picture and suggests that the stimulus package’s job creation goals be met through investment in transportation infrastructure. Specifically, the transportation group recommends the following:

  • Address critical needs that will contribute to long-term economic competitiveness.
  • Prioritize projects of intermodal significance.
  • Create a national infrastructure commission.
  • Prioritize projects that reduce congestion.
  • Expand mass transportation.
  • Prioritize public-private partnerships.
  • Increase access to airports through intermodal connections.
  • Reduce bottlenecks and congestion choke points.
  • Invest in intelligent transportation systems technology.
  • Invest in research and scholarships to promote innovation and efficiency.

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