Hello readers, and welcome to 2023. Like many of you, WTI had a busy January, kicking off the new year at the 2023 Transportation Research Board (TRB) Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C. This year’s meeting drew over 11,000 people, including twelve from WTI, two of whom experienced their first TRB and share their reflections of the busy week in this issue. As usual, it was difficult to determine which sessions to attend, as there are always many great offerings. It was also a great opportunity to see industry friends in the sessions and committee meetings, as well as in the hallways and even the streets of D.C.
In addition to the annual Washington, D.C. “TRB week,” the USDOT’s University Transportation Centers (UTCs) and the Council of University Transportation Centers (CUTC) held their annual meetings. We are proud to be a member of CUTC and were glad to host CUTC’s Summer Meeting this past June in Big Sky, Montana (even if it did snow for the first two days of the event).
A topic at the forefront of transportation professional’s minds is the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA), also known as the Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill (BIL). During many TRB sessions, it was noted that BIL has created a “once in a generation” investment in the transportation sector. I cannot think of a more important time for transportation research (along with tech transfer and workforce development activities), to ensure that we achieve the best return on that investment. We must also ensure that the funding is distributed in an equitable way – that underserved communities, rural areas, and Tribal Governments and communities get their fair share of the investment, opportunities, and ownership.
If there is ever anything WTI can do to help you with your transportation research or workforce development needs, do not hesitate to contact me. I hope that you have a wonderful 2023!