Shortly after President Clinton announced the National Economic Crossroads Transportation Efficiency Act (NEXTEA), Government Technology interviewed a group of experts about the bill and its

funding for intelligent transportation systems. What does the future hold? Is the single-occupant vehicle doomed? Will tollbooths appear soon

on our interstate highways? And what can state and local

governments do to prepare?


Question 1:

On March 12, President Clinton announced the National Economic Crossroads Transportation Efficiency Act (NEXTEA), which will contain a $600 million incentive program "to help urban areas integrate their intelligent transportation systems." One of NEXTEA's nine core areas is "improving transportation through technology." Any comments about NEXTEA and how it addresses the nation's priorities?


Question 2:

Are things like crash avoidance radar, self-guiding highways, weigh-in-motion systems, automated toll booths, etc. just frills, or will they have a significant effect on traffic congestion and safety in the future? Which ones seem to be working and which aren't?


Question 3:

Much has been written about how telework, electronic commerce, virtual offices, etc. will reduce traffic, and may eventually allow a significant portion of today's workforce to work at home. Is this just wishful thinking, or will these technologies profoundly change our "drive to work" culture and relieve congestion on our highways?


Question 4:

What's our transportation scene going to look like in 10 years? Is the single-occupant vehicle doomed?


Question 5:

What should states, cities and counties be doing today to prepare for tomorrow's transportation challenges?


Question 6:

What other technological advances have potential to help us conquer our transportation problems?


Question 7:

Will we be seeing tollbooths on our interstate highways, increased gasoline taxes, higher fees for rush-hour driving, and higher licensing and other expenses to pay for highway infrastructure improvements?


Question 8:

Any other comments?

James Constantino

is president and chief executive officer of the Intelligent Transportation Society of America (ITS America), a nonprofit organization founded to coordinate and accelerate the application of advanced technologies to surface transportation. He has an extensive background in transportation research, development, education and policy in government, industry and academia.

Previously, Dr. Constantino was a professor of transportation engineering at George Mason University and an associate dean and professor of engineering at George Washington University. He was also a senior executive with several firms prominent in the use of advanced technology in transportation.

In his federal government career, Dr. Constantino held a senior position at the Federal Aviation Administration, National Aeronautics and Space Administration and the U.S. Department of Transportation. He served the U.S. DOT Secretary's representative in implementing federal programs in state and local governments. His most recent federal position was as director of the Volpe National Transportation Systems Center in Cambridge, Mass.

Dr. Constantino holds a B.S. in mechanical engineering, a Master of Systems Engineering and a Ph.D. in business and economic research.

He is a registered professional engineer; a director of the National Society of Professional Engineers; a member of the Society of Automotive Engineers, American Society of Civil Engineers, the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers, the Institute of Transportation Engineers and a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

James H. Matteson

P.E., director of Street Transportation, City of Phoenix. As director of the Street Transportation Department, Mr. Matteson is in charge of a staff of nearly 700, who plan, design, construct, and maintain the 4000-mile network of streets in the City of Phoenix. One of the largest cities in the United States, Phoenix boasts