Via Metropolitan Transit

VIA President to Participate in National Transit-to-Jobs Panel

The Brookings Institution has selected VIA president/CEO Keith T. Parker to participate in a nationwide panel discussing the implications of a recent analysis and report.

The Metropolitan Policy Program at Brookings conducted an analysis on how well transit systems link workers to their jobs, examining transit routes and schedules, demographic data and employment information from the nation's largest metropolitan regions. On May 12, 2011 beginning at 9:30 a.m. (8:30 a.m. in San Antonio) Brookings will host a forum in Washington, D.C. to introduce the analysis report and an accompanying website.

Titled "Missed Opportunity: Transit and Jobs in Metropolitan America", the forum will include an overview of the study as well as a panel of policy makers and practitioners to discuss the implications of the study. Following the panel discussion, Bruce Katz – vice president and director of Metropolitan Policy – will lead a federal examination of the report with Secretary Shaun Donovan of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and Secretary Ray LaHood of the U.S. Department of Transportation.

The overview of the study will be delivered by Robert Puentes, senior fellow of the Metropolitan Policy Program. The initial panel will be moderated by Robert Thomson, "Dr. Gridlock" of The Washington Post, and VIA's Keith Parker is the only representative from a local transit agency on this panel. Joining Parker in the discussion will be Alan Berube, senior fellow and research director of the Metropolitan Policy Program; Ponsella Hardaway, executive director of Metropolitan Organizing Strategy Enabling Strength; and Matthew R. Mahood, president/CEO of the Sacramento Metro Chamber of Commerce.

"We are honored to be a part of this national discussion," Parker said. "This study is looking at how transit agencies throughout the United States are dealing with the challenge of providing needed services in times of financial shortfalls, and I think it is important to have a regional perspective in the conversation. We at VIA are grateful for the opportunity."