Federal gas taxes must be raised to address a highway funding deficit of $11 billion, according to a new report by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials.
"State highway officials warned Wednesday (March 7) of a looming $11 billion hole in federal highway funds and said the growing shift toward tolls and private leases of roads can't generate enough money to meet the nation's short- or long-term transportation needs."
"Instead, the federal gas tax of 18.4 cents per gallon, last raised 14 years ago, would have to go up at least 3 cents by 2009 and 7 cents more by 2015 just to maintain the current highway system and keep pace with the fast-rising cost of roads, according to a new report by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials."
"The AASHTO report said the capacity of the Interstate highway system will have to double during the next 50 years and the number of people riding public transportation should double within 20 years. Railways must be prepared to handle a 63 percent increase in freight by 2035, according to the association's estimates."