Rethinking Transportation Funding

Federal, state, and local governments all play a significant role in funding $300 billion in annual transportation spending. The federal government supplies important capital funding for highways, transit systems, airports, waterways, and ports while also operating the nation’s air traffic control system. State and local governments have an equally important task to invest in and operate their transportation networks and rely on a broad range of revenue sources, from general revenues and debt, to fuel taxes, fees, and tolls. This episode features Tyler Duvall, former Acting Under Secretary for Policy under former Secretary Mary Peters exploring with her the evolving role of the federal government in funding and financing our transportation systems and what the future might hold.

More about the Participants

Mary Peters served as U.S. Secretary of Transportation from 2006 – 2009. She oversaw all US aviation, surface and maritime policy and programs and negotiated transportation agreements with foreign governments. Ms. Peters was responsible for over 60,000 employees and a $70.3 billion annual budget. Prior to serving as U.S. Secretary of Transportation, Ms. Peters was a Senior Vice President and National Director for Transportation Policy and Consulting for HDR, Inc., a major engineering company.

In 2001, Ms. Peters was appointed by President George W. Bush to serve as the Federal Highway Administrator for the U.S. Department of Transportation, a role she served in from 2001 – 2005. As Administrator she oversaw the federal-aid and federal lands highway programs, including the interstate highway system and the national highway system. Ms. Peters was responsible for over 3,000 employees and a $45 billion annual budget. During her tenure, Ms. Peters worked with the Administration and Congress to enact a multi-year surface transportation bill, SAFETEA-LU. She also spearheaded efforts to find new ways to invest in infrastructure and advocated the use of new technology to reduce construction time while saving taxpayer dollars and ensuring safer and stronger roads.

Ms. Peters served as the Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) Director prior to becoming Federal Highway Administrator. She was appointed to serve as ADOT Director in 1998 by Governor Jane Hull, after making tremendous strides in many roles within the Department beginning in 1985.
Among her awards, she was recognized as the Most Influential Person in Arizona Transportation by the Arizona Business Journal and as the 2004 National Woman of the Year Award from the Women’s Transportation Seminar. We was also awarded the Frank Turner Medal for Lifetime Achievement in Transportation from TRB in 2019.

Tyler Duvall is the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and co-Founder of Cavnue. Duvall was previously CEO of SH 130 Concession Company, where he oversaw the operation and maintenance of a 41-mile privately operated toll road between Austin and San Antonio and a principal at McKinsey & Company, consulting firm. Prior to joining McKinsey, Mr. Duvall ran the policy office at the US Department of Transportation as both the Acting Under Secretary for Policy and Assistant Secretary for Transportation Policy at the US Department of Transportation, serving under Secretary Peters.


Mary Peters
Former U.S. Secretary of Transportation


Tyler Duvall
CEO & Co-Founder Cavnue