Either there is a legitimate explanation or there is a scandal.
Jannine Miller is the Executive Director of the Georgia Regional Transportation Authority.
According to her biography, “Miller coordinated Georgia’s multi-agency proposal to U.S. Department of Transportation for an Urban Partnership Agreement, which led to a $110 million grant award to implement a HOT lanes demonstration project on I-85, one of metro Atlanta’s most congested interstate highways.”
What her biography does not mention, is that Ms. Miller is the patent applicant (and if approved, the holder of the patents) for both patented technologies used in the HOT lanes.
The second is the electronic barrier technology to ticket violators.
Now, there is more likely than not a legitimate explanation for all of this, but it raises a real question too — did the Executive Director of GRTA push for a system she stands to profit from due to patent royalties?
UPDATE: The answer is that these folks assigned their claims to GRTA as employees of GRTA so they won’t profit. The additional questions though are (1) is their assignment in total or just for Georgia so if this rolls out elsewhere they stand to make money and (2) does GRTA stand to make money off a roll out in other states and (3) did we roll out HOT lanes so GRTA or some individual(s) could make some money off the patents later?
This news could very well destroy the regional SPLOST for metro-Atlanta.