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Fall 2013 - 63440 - PA680PA - Policy Research Project

Assisting Strategic Initiatives at the Texas Department of Transportation: Issues, Policies and Challenges

Instructor(s): Boske, Leigh B.
Unique Number: 63440
Day & Time: T 2:00 pm -5:00 pm
Room: SRH 3.355/314
Waitlist Information:For LBJ Students: UT Waitlist Information
Section Description

The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) is currently engaged in the development of a comprehensive freight transportation plan that considers the role of highways, waterways, seaports, and railroads in facilitating the movement of both domestic and international commerce throughout the state.

This PRP will conduct research on a number of diverse freight-related transportation issues, which may include the following:

  1. The impact of air cargo operations at selected major state airports on local economies and transport infrastructure needs;
  2. U.S.-Mexico transport infrastructure needs and trends in trade;
  3. Establishing guidelines for distributing highway construction dollars among regions;
  4. Funding the repair of roadway damage cause by trucks supplying oil and natural gas drilling operations taking place in different geographical locations of the state;
  5. Investigating particular state DOT strategic planning initiatives to engage businesses, elected officials and other stakeholders in prioritizing and evaluating state transport needs;
  6. Developing criteria for prioritizing road maintenance projects in both urban and rural areas; and,
  7. Reviewing technological innovations employed at seaports and railroad logistics hubs to increase productivity and mobility.

Students will report directly to Mr. Phil Wilson, Executive Director of TxDOT, who will participate in scheduled PRP workshops throughout the academic year to narrow (or expand) the scope of proposed research topics, to comment on interim research findings, and to provide overall policy guidance. Mr. Wilson will likely involve other senior TxDOT officials in workshop deliberations.

It is anticipated that students will travel to various locations in Texas and to other states to interview both public- and private-sector officials and collect relevant information.

Invited guest speakers will make classroom presentations over the course of the fall semester to provide students with necessary background information on the basics of transport funding, operations, governance, coordination with the state legislature, etc.