Posts Tagged "funding"
More than a third of all U.S. states have plans of some sort to raise new money for transportation to help cover yawning budget shortfalls and keep up with maintenance and new construction of their state transportation networks. NPR picked up that story this week and talked to T4 America director James Corless about the growing trend of states stepping out on their own to raise their own money for transportation to augment the federal funding that did not increase with the last transportation bill.
Is the per-gallon gas tax going the way of the full-service filling station? To look at the flurry of proposals coming out lately, you might think so. Since the start of the year, major new proposals from industry leaders, governors and state legislatures have sparked a new debate over the ways we collect revenue collection for transportation — at the federal, state and local levels. Industry groups have proposed creative ways to essentially raise the gas tax. At the same time, 2013 already has seen several ambitious proposals for funding transportation outside of the excise tax on gas.
On Thursday, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett will release his long awaited proposal for remedying the Keystone state’s daunting transportation funding and policy difficulties. Leaks from several key legislative staffers indicate that his plan will propose a new source of transportation revenue that doesn’t violate his pledge to never increase taxes.
USA Today had a timely graphic up yesterday, considering the continuing media coverage around President Obama’s recent proposal for infrastructure spending and a reformed long-term transportation bill. Though we can’t see the rest of the questions or the context, it affirms a few things we already know about Americans’ attitudes about transportation. They want more accountability, safer streets, and more transportation options so seniors can maintain their independence and low wage workers can get to jobs.
Thousands rallied last Friday at the Los Angeles City Hall to tell Washington to help speed up LA’s 30/10 Plan –- a plan to build 12 major local transit projects in 10 years rather than 30. The plan would spur economic growth and protect the environment, create 166,000 jobs, ease congestion, and reduce air pollution and dependency on oil.
We’ll have a running series of posts today breaking down some of the notable spending levels and reforms proposed in Chairman Oberstar’s outline of the transportation bill. He told Congressional Quarterly this morning that he is still planning on releasing full bill text and marking up the bill in his Highways and Transit Subcommittee next week. According to his summary, the upcoming bill will restructure and transform the different programs away from multiple “prescriptive programs” into a “performance-based framework” “designed to achieve specific national objectives.”
Parade Magazine has a misleading poll up about transportation, asking their readers, “should America divert some funding from highways and bridges to invest in public transit?” There are a few faults with such a simple question, namely making it sound like there’s something written in stone determining that federal transportation money is “roads” money — instead of money that should be spent on whatever can best keep us moving and give us the most bang for our buck. Rather than asking Americans if we should “take” money from roads, what happens when you ask Americans the positive, “where should we spend our transportation money?”