Jan. 9, 2019

World's Largest Gathering of Transportation Professionals Jan. 13-17; Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao to Be a Featured Speaker

WASHINGTON -- More than 13,000 people – including industry leaders, policymakers, administrators, and researchers from government, industry, and academia – are expected to gather for the Transportation Research Board’s 98th Annual Meeting. The event will be held at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C., from Jan. 13 to 17, 2019, and will involve more than 5,000 presentations at nearly 800 sessions and workshops covering all transportation modes.

A number of sessions and workshops will focus on the spotlight theme for the 2019 meeting: “Transportation for a Smart, Sustainable, and Equitable Future.”

Panel sessions and special events include:

Sessions With U.S. Department of Transportation Officials

An Address by U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao on Our Transportation Future
Secretary Chao will discuss the department’s actions in support of her priorities of promoting safety and innovation while improving transportation infrastructure.
Monday, Jan. 14, 1:30 p.m. to 2:15 p.m.

U.S. DOT’s Safety Data Initiative: Visualizing and Using Data for Safety
Interested in the intersection where the technology and analytics marketplace meets the volume and variety of data for transportation safety? The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) created the Solving for Safety Visualization Challenge to advance the development and use of analytical visualization tools that can cast new light on data and reveal insights into safety and prevention of serious crashes not seen through traditional analysis. In October, Secretary Chao announced five semi-finalists: Arity, Ford, Uber, University of Central Florida, and VHB.
Monday, Jan. 14, 3:45 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.

One Federal Decision and Other Advances for Infrastructure
This session will address how the U.S. Department of Transportation Office of the Secretary  and the DOT Operating Administrations are implementing the President’s Initiative for Rebuilding Infrastructure in America and Executive Order 13807, requiring One Federal Decision for permitting projects. Two panels will address how the initiatives will empower state and local decision-making, enhance partnerships with the private sector, aid in investment in rural infrastructure, and support development and deployment of new technologies while accelerating project delivery.
Wednesday, Jan. 16, 4:30 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Chair's Luncheon

The Chair's Luncheon is the largest event of the annual meeting, typically drawing an audience of 800 leaders in transportation from the public and private sectors throughout the U.S. and abroad. The program includes the introduction of TRB's new Executive Committee members and officers, as well as award presentations. In addition, Norman Augustine, former chair and CEO of Lockheed Martin Corp., and Norman Mineta, former secretary of the U.S. Department of Transportation, will be speaking about the recent National Academies report Renewing the National Commitment to the Interstate Highway System: A Foundation for the Future. Augustine served as chair of the committee that wrote the report and Mineta served as a member.  Tickets are required for the luncheon.  Limited seating for the lecture, without lunch, is available in the balcony beginning at 12:45 p.m.
Wednesday, Jan. 16, noon to 2 p.m.

Sessions With State Department of Transportation Officials

State DOT CEO Roundtable: Workforce Development Innovations from State Departments of Transportation
There is a growing awareness that the ability to build, maintain, and manage an increasingly sophisticated transportation system depends on a highly skilled workforce.  This session will highlight some of the challenges state DOTs are facing and solutions they are implementing to attract and retain workers at all levels during a time when the economy is healthy and competition for their services is great.
Tuesday, Jan. 15, 10:15 a.m. to noon

State DOT CEO Roundtable: Reauthorizing the Federal Surface Transportation Programs — The State DOT Perspective
Federal transportation funding and policy are at a crucial juncture as the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act comes up for renewal next year. This session will discuss how state DOTs are preparing for reauthorization, including addressing the long-term sustainability of the Highway Trust Fund to support robust funding levels, streamlining program and project delivery, harnessing emerging technology, and improving safety.
Tuesday, Jan. 15, 1:30 p.m. to 3:15 p.m.

Media-Only Event: Reflections on Critical Issues in Transportation

TRB released Critical Issues in Transportation, which poses a series of challenging questions to help frame future areas of research, policy analysis, and debate. Neil Pedersen, Transportation Research Board; Katie Turnbull, Texas A&M Transportation Institute; and Daniel Sperling, University of California, Davis will provide their reactions and reflections on how this report can be used to guide policy and research priorities that may arise the next 10 to 20 years.
Monday, Jan. 14, 11 a.m. to noon, Convention Center Room 304

The annual meeting will feature an exhibit hall with more than 300 exhibitors from government agencies, research organizations, and commercial businesses showcasing their products and services. 

Attendees can download the free annual meeting app to access information on the schedule of events, program participants, floor plans, exhibitors, and more.  To download, search for "TRB 2019" in the iTunes App Store or Google Play.  To follow online conversations about the annual meeting, use the hashtag #TRBAM and follow TRB on Twitter @NASEMTRB.

A newsroom will be available to reporters at the Convention Center, Room 304.  Members of the media must register for access to the room; contact Lisa Berardi Marflak (information below).  More about the meeting schedule, including an interactive program and curated sessions for attendees with specific interests, is available online.

TRB is a program unit of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine -- private, nonprofit institutions that provide independent, objective analysis and advice to the nation to solve complex problems and inform public policy decisions related to science, technology, and medicine.  The Academies operate under an 1863 congressional charter to the National Academy of Sciences, signed by President Lincoln.

Lisa Berardi Marflak, Director of Communications/Media
Transportation Research Board
202-334-3134; e-mail lmarflak@nas.edu

Jennifer Walsh, Director of Media Relations
Andrew Robinson, Media Relations Assistant
Office of News and Public Information
202-334-2138; e-mail news@nas.edu