Discussion Week 4

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Transportation system providers have many new demands and many critical issues to address, as shown in the previous activity.  For example, transportation system providers must balance operations against expansion and balance local and national interests. The shift in authority and funding responsibility to the local and state levels raises fundamental questions about what the federal role should be.

In this activity, we will explore how one community – San Francisco – addresses transportation needs in the form of the transportation budget. You will be the decision maker, using a simulation to address the issues of operations and maintenance, programs, and projects.


  1. Review
    • From the booklet Critical Issues in Transportation, the sections
      • Finance (pp. 5-6),
      • Equity (pp. 6-7),
      • Institutions (pp. 9-10), and
      • Human and Intellectual Capital (pp. 10-11)
  2. Read
    • Use the budget simulation San Francisco Budget Czar.  Follow the instructions at the top of the webpage and complete your budget for San Francisco’s transportation infrastructure.

Next, post to the discussion board:

  • A summary of your budget and a budget justification.  You should use the reference material from this module to justify your budget:
    • Operations and Maintenance
    • Programs
    • Projects
    • Revenue
  • Answers the following question:
    • If you maintain current revenue (no change to revenue, use only the gray circles),  try to create a budget that will support all top-tier projects, moderately increase the operations budget and moderately increase the programs budget. What operations or program item(s) would you eliminate to balance the budget?  Your answer should explain why you made this choice.
    • If you maintain current revenue, can you increase aggressively the budgets for the six public transportation programs?  San Francisco attracts many tourists who will require public transportation to visit the city.  What new projects can be added while keeping a balanced budget?

Once you have posted your own discussion response, you are required to comment on the posts of at least two of your classmates. You can agree or disagree with their posts, but you must explain why you have chosen to do so. Remember, if you provide a quotation from a source (i.e., your textbook or the Internet), you must include the correct citation and reference. Also, be sure to read the feedback on your own major postings and reply to it throughout the module.

Your initial post is due by Thursday at 11:59 PM EST. Your responses are due by Sunday at 11:59 PM EST.

Compose your work using a word processor and save it, as a Plain Text or an .rtf, to your computer. When you’re ready to make your initial posting, please click on the “Create Thread” button and copy/paste the text from your document into the message field. Be sure to check your work and correct any spelling or grammatical errors before you post it.

Graded discussions are worth 30% of your total course grade and will be evaluated using the SLA Discussion Rubric [39.1 KB PDF file].

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