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A Bridge to the Future, Autumn 2009

From the President...

One reason I chose “A Bridge to the Future” as the theme for my year as IBTTA President is my connection to the Golden Gate Bridge and my passion for large bridges all over the world. Another reason is the incredible metaphorical power of bridges.As the global recession has worsened and businesses  everywhere are battening down the hatches, I’ve come to realize that this theme is even more than a metaphor; it is an attitude and a clearly articulated intention that our association IS and WILL BE a bridge to the future.I’m proud to be leading IBTTA at this moment in history. Our industry offers powerful solutions to important mobility and quality of life issues worldwide. At our Tampa meeting in June, Marty Stone related a story about two customers who said the opening of the Selmon Expressway allowed them to spend an extra hour every day with their children. This is a perfect reminder that we are  really about improving the quality of life in our communities. 

I cannot emphasize enough the growing importance of tolling and direct user charging around the world. Here in the United States, two major congressional commissions recently pledged their support for mileage based charging to replace the fuel tax as the primary means to fund road transportation. We in the toll industry know all about mileage based fees. It’s what we do. Mileage based fees are part of our past and our future. With expertise in finance, technology, traffic management, operations, and customer service, IBTTA members have an opportunity to help write transportation history. We have a chance to DRIVE the coming economic recovery and the creation of more sustainable transportation.I’m confident and excited about our industry’s future. In spite of the weak global economy, I believe the best days of our industry are ahead of us. We create what we focus on. If we focus on doom, we create it. But if we focus instead on opportunity, then we create that. We should be mindful of the many challenges we face, but we should focus our attention on the tremendous opportunities that lie before us.

--Kary Witt, Bridge Manager, Golden Gate Bridge, Highway & Transportation District

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