Transportation Secretary Will Have to Hit Ground Running

Outdated funding mechanisms and systemwide maintenance issues ensure that the next transportation secretary will have a full plate during the Obama administration.
December 1, 2008, 5am PST | Nate Berg
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"Transportation experts, both parties in Congress and the current White House agree that the traditional ways of easing congestion and funding transportation are not working and that a fundamental overhaul is needed."

"A key problem is the Highway Trust Fund, which generates about $50 billion annually for road, bridge and transit projects. The vast majority of this money -- about 82 percent -- goes to roads and bridges, while 15 percent goes to transit and 3 percent toward highway safety."

"The fund dates from 1956 and relies on the federal gasoline tax, which has not been increased by Congress in 15 years. The tax is not indexed to inflation, so it remains steady at 18.4 cents per gallon, despite the rise in gas prices."

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Published on Tuesday, November 25, 2008 in The Washington Post
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