Transportation funding will be the topic of the last in a series of six dialogues held by the Leonard Transportation Center at Cal State San Bernardino on topics relevant to the future of transportation in the Inland Empire.

The series is open to the public and sponsored by HNTB Corporation, an infrastructure solutions firm.

The program, the last for this year, will take place on Nov. 13 at the Loma Linda University San Manuel Gateway College, right off the 215 freeway in San Bernardino.

In this session, titled “The Future of Transportation Funding – Gas Tax, Per Mile Fees and Other Ideas,” attendees will hear from noted transportation funding experts and advocates, including:

• Will Kempton, statewide expert on transportation finance, former executive director of the California Transportation Commission and former Caltrans director;

• Jim Madaffer, president and CEO, Madaffer Enterprises, Inc., and commissioner, California Transportation Commission; and

• Asha Weinstein Agrawal, Ph.D., director and professor, San Jose State University Mineta Transportation Institute, National Transportation Finance Center.

Following the presentations, attendees will engage in a discussion with an opportunity to share their concerns and ideas with transportation professionals, policy makers and each other.

Transportation experts from HNTB will facilitate this discussion and will bring their experience and expertise to benefit the dialogue.

Traditionally, motor fuel taxes have been the primary source of funding for transportation projects in California and throughout the U.S. In 2017, the California legislature approved Senate Bill 1, the first motor fuel tax increase in California in 23 years. SB1 will provide an additional $54 billion for both state and local transportation projects statewide.

Proposition 6 on the November ballot threatened to repeal SB1 and eliminate this boost to transportation funding, but it was not approved by the voters. Speakers at the session will give their thoughts about what election results mean for transportation funding in the Inland Empire, Southern California, and the entire state.

Regardless of recent increases, long term failure to increase fuel taxes to keep pace with inflation, increased vehicle fuel economy, and an increase in electric and alternative fuel vehicles that pay no fuel taxes have dramatically reduced the ability of fuel taxes to keep pace with demand for transportation funding.

California has led the nation in implementing alternative funding mechanisms for transportation.

Twenty-four of California’s 58 counties, representing 88 percent of California’s population, have enacted local tax measures to help fund transportation projects.

The cost for the series is $30 per session. Registration fees cover a continental breakfast and conference materials. Parking is free. Attendance is limited to the first 50 registrants, so early registration is recommended.

For more information, call the Leonard Transportation Center at ltc@csusb.edu or (909) 537-5094.

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