Don’t Forget Ground Transportation When Talking About Business Travel


Throughout most of the 17th annual Legislative Summit, I drove home the message that business travel is important both to the U.S. economy and to the nation’s workforce. And one of the ways we achieve that is by having well-run airports and successful airlines. But how do we get to the airports? We now have lots of options. We can take shuttles, taxis, limos, buses, Ubers and Lyfts. Ground transportation is an important aspect of business travel as well as access to airports’ limited curb space.

While technology and improvements are good for travelers, today’s infrastructure must keep pace. Issues such as congestion, environmental concerns, revenue impacts and surface roadway infrastructure at airports are increasingly more prevalent.

As the future of infrastructure is being debated, it is critical to add airport ground transportation issues into this discussion. Business travelers deserve to have their choice for a safe and efficient ground transportation travel experience. GBTA supports efforts to facilitate conversations with airport officials, federal agencies and impacted ground transportation stakeholders to ensure that all parties are following the Rules of the Road for optimizing business travel and continuing to develop a travel ecosystem that fosters growth, jobs, safety and efficiency.

Cornerstone’s Joe Barton explained to attendees that since there is currently no federal guidance that governs how an airport should manage ground transportation, it would be beneficial for all stakeholders if Congress created a working group.  The curb space is currently a free-for-all and a working group would help to highlight issues and collectively come to solutions.

As Congress works on infrastructure and a surface transportation bill, we urge Congress to think about the importance of ground transportation in the overall travel experience and support the creation of a federal ground transportation working group that will provide ground transportation stakeholders the opportunity to have a voice to speak on behalf of their companies and the business travel community.

 

Shane Downey is GBTA's Vice President of Government Relations. In this role Shane oversees GBTA’s lobbying efforts on Capitol Hill and Brussels, a nationwide grassroots campaign, and the Business Travel PAC. Shane was recently named a 2019 Association Trends Leading Lobbyist. Shane comes to GBTA with over 11 years of government affairs experience. Prior to joining GBTA, Shane was a Senior Associate at a lobbying firm in Washington, D.C. In 1996, Shane oversaw the successful reelection of an Ohio Congressman. Shane is a proud fan of the Ohio State Buckeyes. He is never without hot sauce and in his spare time enjoys playing with his dog, Murphy.

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