Federal Investments in Public Transit: FTA Initiatives and Lessons under the Obama AdministrationThe Federal Transit Administration (FTA) is a key player in shaping the nature and scope of public transit in the USA. Therese McMillan, FTA Deputy Administrator, will discuss current and proposed initiatives launched under the Obama Administration that address different aspects of effectiveness, efficiency and equity in public transit. She will discuss proposed new criteria for evaluating proposed new rail and bus expansion projects; a renewed focus on maintaining existing transit assets in a “state of good repair”; updated guidance for ensuring that minority and low income community needs are identified and addressed in federally funded projects and programs; and what Congress may have in store for the next round of national transportation policies and funding levels. She will discuss the challenges of developing and implementing these initiatives across the country, and how federal policy must mesh with local visions and needs to be effective.Biography:Therese W. McMillan was appointed Deputy Administrator of the Federal Transit Administration in July 2009. Therese assists Administrator Peter Rogoff in leading a staff of more than 500 in the Washington D.C. headquarters office and ten regional offices throughout the United States and manages an annual budget of approximately $10 billion.Prior to her appointment, Ms. McMillan was the Deputy Executive Director-Policy at the San Francisco Bay Area Region’s Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC). Serving that role for nine years, she was responsible for strategic financial planning and MTC’s management of federal, state and regional fund sources for transit, highways, roadways and other modes; state and federal legislative advocacy, and public affairs and community outreach. In addition, she oversaw the planning, including long range plans of transportation/land use, air quality and freight issues.Preceding her position as deputy executive director, Therese served as MTC’s Manager of Funding and External Affairs for seven years. Ms. McMillan received her B.S. degree in Environmental Policy and Planning Analysis from the University of California, Davis (1981) and a joint M.C.P./M.S. in city planning/civil engineering science (1984) from U.C. Berkeley. She is currently a member of the Transportation Research Board’s Committee on Taxation and Finance and has served on numerous federal and statewide task forces and working groups addressing various transportation planning and funding issues, including an appointment to the National Research Council Committee for the Study of Funding Options for Freight Transportation Projects. For the last six years, Ms. McMillan also taught a course in transportation funding and finance for the graduate transportation studies program for the Mineta Transportation Institute, California State University at San Jose.