Transportation advocates gathered in the nation’s capital in May to celebrate the 50th anniversary of TRIP, a national transportation research nonprofit. Delayed by a year due to COVID-19, TRIP is celebrating five decades as the only national organization devoted exclusively to generating news and social media coverage of issues impacting the highway and transportation construction industry.
TRIP was founded in 1971 by a cross section of leaders in the highway and transportation construction industry, with startup money from the American Road and Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA) and the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM). In the ensuing years the fundraising mantle was taken up by Bill Reece, Reece Construction, representing the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC) and Don Stabler, Stabler Construction Co., representing ARTBA, who traveled the country visiting AGC and ARTBA state chapters to garner early financial support for TRIP.
“For over 50 years, TRIP has been a trusted voice in the transportation industry, providing the facts and messages that have allowed for greater investment and steady progress in building the transportation system needed for the 21st century,” said Rob Coppersmith, executive vice president of the Michigan Infrastructure and Transportation Association, Okemos, MI.
With a committed volunteer leadership and a dedicated staff, TRIP public education efforts to generate strategic and prominent news coverage of the industry’s issues and funding messages at the federal and state levels of government has never been stronger.
TRIP has produced more than 600 reports in all states, providing reliable data and information that is cited in state and national deliberations on transportation policy and funding. In 2021 alone, news coverage generated by the release of TRIP’s reports resulted in more than $36 million in earned media coverage.
“ARTBA’s foundational investment in TRIP 50 years ago has paid great dividends,” said Steve McGough, president and CEO of HCSS, Sugar Land, TX, immediate past chair of ARTBA and current TRIP chairman. “And I can attest firsthand to TRIP’s effectiveness in Texas.”
Today, TRIP’s national and state reports play an important role in addressing the nation’s current and future transportation challenges. TRIP has earned its reputation as a credible source in transportation policy and is positioned to continue to communicate information and messages that will be critical in supporting the nation’s ability to achieve the 21st Century transportation system that Americans need.
“TRIP’s work is far from finished,” said Dave Kearby, TRIP’s executive director. “Over the last 50 years the messages may change, our target audiences and the ways we reach them may change, but the need is the same. A good surface transportation network is this nation’s lifeblood and we intend to ensure its future effectiveness.”