, Director, State & Local Policy, Humphrey School of Public Affairs
Lee Munnich, Senior Fellow (Retired), Humphrey School of Public Affairs
This research seeks to further define and promote the relationship between transportation and economic development in Minnesota and the region. The overall focus of the program is to investigate how innovations in transportation can contribute to economic competitiveness. The program engages in research, outreach, and other related activities that focus on the following topics and their impact on economic competitiveness: 1) Innovative transportation finance options - developing a comprehensive transportation finance database for Minnesota and examining transportation finance alternatives; 2) Industry clusters - examining the role of transportation infrastructure investments and policies on the economic competitiveness of Minnesota's industry clusters and supply chains; 3) Transportation technologies - examining policy issues involving new and emerging technologies such as self-driving cars. While it is accepted that an adequate transportation system is necessary to promote economic development, this work seeks to further articulate how improvements in technology, finance, and industry cluster strategies can impact the region. The results should positively affect the methods that the Minnesota Department of Transportation and its partners use to engage stakeholders, analyze investments, and approach programming. Ultimately, all users of Minnesota's transportation system should benefit from a more efficient and productive transportation system--a key contributor to the economic vitality of the state and the region.