On the Legacy of Mr. Eno

The Eno Center for Transportation (Eno) was founded in 1921 by William Phelps Eno (1859-1945), who pioneered the field of traffic management in the United States and Europe. Mr. Eno sought to promote safe mobility by ensuring that traffic control became an accepted role of government and traffic engineering became a recognized professional discipline. His motto, Order from Chaos, is still the motto of Eno today and his focus on education and training, as well as innovative policy, is reflected in our programs as well. In this episode, former Eno President Tom Downs sits down to discuss his legacy with current Eno President Rob Puentes.

More about the Participants

Thomas Downs was the Chairman of the North American Board of Veolia Transportation and is a nationally recognized leader in transportation policy, having headed a number of highway, rail and transit organizations, including serving as President and CEO of the Eno Center for Transportation. Prior to his time at Eno, he served as the director of the National Center for Smart Growth at the University of Maryland. His previous positions include chairman and CEO of Amtrak, commissioner of transportation and chairman of the board of New Jersey Transit, president of the Triboro Bridge and Tunnel Authority and city administrator and director of transportation in Washington, D.C. At the federal level, Downs served as executive director of the Federal Transit Administration and as associate administrator of the Federal Highway Administration.

Robert Puentes is President and CEO of the Eno Center for Transportation. Prior to joining Eno, he was a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution’s Metropolitan Policy Program where he directed the program’s Metropolitan Infrastructure Initiative. He is currently a non-resident senior fellow with Brookings. Before Brookings, Robert was the director of infrastructure programs at the Intelligent Transportation Society of America.

Robert has worked extensively on a variety of transportation issues, including infrastructure funding and finance, and city and urban planning. He is a frequent speaker to a variety of groups, a regular contributor in newspapers and other media, and has testified before Congressional committees. He holds a master’s degree from the University of Virginia where he served on the Alumni Advisory Board, and was an affiliated professor with Georgetown University’s Public Policy Institute.

Robert serves on a variety of boards including the Shared-Use Mobility Center, UCLA’s Institute of Transportation Studies, and Young Professionals in Transportation. Recent appointments include the Federal Advisory Committee on Transportation Equity, New York State’s 2100 Infrastructure Commission; the Advisory Council of the West Coast Infrastructure Exchange, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s Transportation Reinvention Commission; the District of Columbia’s Streetcar Financing and Governance Task Force; the Northern Virginia Transportation Authority’s Technical Advisory Committee; and the Falls Church, Virginia Planning Commission where he lives with his wife and three sons.


Thomas Downs
Former President and CEO, Eno Center for Transportation


Robert Puentes
President and CEO, Eno Center for Transportation