September 15, 2015|ENO CENTER FOR TRANSPORTATION
Report by the Transportation Issues Task Force of the Reagan transition team dated November 28, 1980. Former Transportation Secretary Claude Brinegar was the head of the Task Force, and one of the Task Force members was Drew Lewis, who would become Reagan’s first Secretary of Transportation.
This document set much of the overall tone for transportation policy in the Reagan era:
“…the Task Force agreed to be guided by the following four major policy principles:
“1. The nation’s transportation system should, as much as possible, be provided through the competitive forces of the private sector, or, if the private sector is inappropriate, by state or local governments. Direct federal financing of transportation investments or operations should be limited to those few cases where there is a clear and widely accepted requirement for concerted action in an area of high national priority, and where the private sector or state and local governments are obviously incapable of adequately meeting this requirement.
“2. When federal expenditures are used to finance transportation investments or operations, these expenditures should be recovered from the beneficiaries in a manner that is appropriate to the costs incurred on their behalf, unless widely accepted national policy directs otherwise.
“3. Economic regulation of interstate transportation should be held to a minimum. A particular effort is needed to eliminate restrictions on intermodal ownership.
“4. All federal transportation programs, including those designed to enhance safety, environmental protection and efficient energy use, should be subjected to benefit/cost tests to assure that they benefit the nation as a whole. These programs should also be examined to assure that they are positive contributors to the nation’s productivity.”