Therese McMillan testifies on transportation before Congress

Therese McMillan
Rebecca Long
Therese McMillan in Washington D.C. Wednesday.

MTC Executive Director Therese McMillan urged Congress Wednesday to reauthorize 2015's Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act and to increase federal investment in transportation, particularly in the nation’s metropolitan areas.

“A strong federal role in our nation’s multimodal transportation system has been essential for the entirety of our nation’s history,” McMillan said before the U.S. House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. “It is a core federal responsibility. But transportation is not just about moving people and goods around. It is about access to opportunity and quality of life, and we believe it is time for the federal government to do more, much more.”

McMillan was speaking on behalf of MTC and other federally-designated metropolitan planning organizations.

McMillan noted the local/state/federal partnership model enshrined in the FAST Act is a model that works, highlighting the California Legislature’s 2017 approval of the state Senate Bill 1 transportation financing package and the Bay Area’s commitment each year of more than $1.5 billion of voter-approved sales tax and bridge toll revenue.

“Providing for continued growth of the U.S. economy demands a much larger federal commitment to the local-state-federal partnership,” she said.

“It was nice to be back on Capitol Hill,” said McMillan — who served in executive roles for the Federal Transit Administration from 2009 to 2016 — after completing her testimony. “It was important to have regions invited early to be part of the transportation reauthorization debate. Congress needs to fulfill its responsibility to extend this country’s access opportunities to all its people."

Members of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee include 11th District Rep. Mark DeSaulnier of Contra Costa County; Third District Rep. John Garamendi, whose district includes much of Solano County; and Second District Rep. Jared Huffman, whose district includes Marin and Sonoma counties.

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