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Looking to the Past to Examine America’s Highway Problem

President of Schneider Logistics to deliver Patterson Transportation Lecture

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June 9, 2014 | by Emily Osborne

Lofgren

Christopher Lofgren

EVANSTON, Ill. --- The federal Highway Trust Fund is accelerating into debt, leading to congested commutes, broken roads and national job loss.  

Christopher Lofgren, president and chief executive officer of Schneider Logistics, a provider of transportation and logistic services, will discuss the problems and possible solutions facing the Highway Trust Fund at the 33rd Annual William A. Patterson Transportation Lecture Tuesday, June 10, at Northwestern University.

In his talk, “Funding the Future, Lessons from the Past,” Lofgren will propose a more narrow use of the Highway Trust Fund, a transportation fund that receives money from a federal fuel tax and is projected to run out of money this summer. Among other topics, Lofgren will explore the problems associated with the practice of shifting highway funding to other projects that are not highway related and the demand for longer-term highway legislation.

The lecture will begin at 7:30 p.m. in the McCormick Tribune Center Forum, 1870 Campus Drive, on Northwestern’s Evanston campus. Sponsored by Northwestern’s Transportation Center, the event is free and open to the public.

According to Lofgren, who is trained in industrial and management engineering, the U.S. has underinvested in transportation to the tune of $94 billion a year. And while options to fund the Highway Trust Fund have been discussed, forward movement on a funding solution continues to be delayed.

Lofgren will cover an evaluation of funding options, including a return to a more viable user-pays approach. He will point out the economic and industry benefits of an alternative approach and discuss the role of government in solving this issue. 

Lofgren joined Schneider Logistics in 1994 as vice president of engineering systems. He later served as chief information officer and chief operating officer before being named president and chief executive officer in 2002.

He currently serves on the board of directors of CA Technologies, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the American Transportation Research Institute. In October 2009, Lofgren was inducted into the National Academy of Engineering.

The Patterson Transportation Lecture is an annual event supported by the Patterson Transportation Endowment, established at Northwestern in 1979 and honoring the late William A. Patterson, founder and chief executive officer of United Airlines. 

The Transportation Center is an interdisciplinary education and research institution at Northwestern’s McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science, dedicated to the long-term improvement of global transportation and supply chain systems. 

For further information, call (847) 491-2280 or visit the Transportation Center.