Study Shows Ways To Finance Highways And Public Transportation
A study outlining new options for funding the nation’s transportation system has been released by the United States Chamber of Commerce’s National Chamber Foundation (NCF) . The options include switching from the motor fuel tax to a vehicle mile tax, or expanding the use of tolling by state and local governments.
“Americans are spending more and more time stuck in traffic, and it’s time to break the gridlock,” said David Hirschmann, executive vice president of the National Chamber Foundation. “Current funding mechanisms are not providing the dollars our transportation system needs. Congress needs to implement fair funding mechanisms to ensure we have the resources to build our roads and public transportation in the future.”
The Future Highway and Public Transportation Finance Study is the second phase of a two part NCF study led by Cambridge Systematics. Phase one of the study pointed out that the federal funding share falls short of what is needed to maintain and improve our transportation infrastructure. The second phase of the study lays out long-term options to fully fund our transportation system by bringing forth new ideas and laying out a transition to a new financing mechanism.
The study also describes options for the Blue Ribbon financing commissions mandated in the recently enacted SAFETEA-LU (Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Act: A Legacy for Users). The commissions will study and provide recommendations on new ways to supplement financing of our nation’s transportation infrastructure.
“Currently, the average driver pays about one cent per mile to our federal highway fund. Adding an additional half cent would provide the funding we need to greatly improve our roads,” continued Hirschmann. “How we get from here to there will require that policymakers make the right decisions about how to fund the kind of national transportation system that every one of us needs.”
The U.S. Chamber is the world’s largest business federation representing more than three million businesses and organizations of every size, sector, and region. NCF is the Chamber’s public policy think tank that drives the debate on issues critical to business.