Woes Awaiting New Transportation Secretary

Of primary importance will be dealing with the National Highway Trust Fund, long the source of federal transportation funding, but not having seen an increase in the gas tax for 15 years, it is essentially broke - spending more than it brings in.

"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."

"In the past fiscal year, the fund was taking in less revenue than it was paying out to states. It was headed for insolvency in September when Congress stepped in with an $8 billion emergency transfer from the general fund."

"It won't get us through the year," said John Horsley, executive director of the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials.

The "nonpartisan National Surface Transportation Policy and Revenue Study Commission, chartered by Congress, recommended gradually increasing the federal gas tax to 40 cents a gallon, a move that the Bush administration and many in Congress have opposed. President-elect Barack Obama has not said whether he favors raising the tax."

"The new secretary also will have to quickly craft a proposal for Congress to reauthorize the nation's five-year transportation spending plan, which expires in September. The law gives $286 billion to transportation projects."

Thanks to Bay Area Transportation News

Full Story: For New Transportation Secretary, a Hard Road Ahead

Comments

Prepare for the AICP Exam

Join the thousands of students who have utilized the Planetizen AICP* Exam Preparation Class to prepare for the American Planning Association's AICP* exam.
Starting at $199
Planetizen Courses image ad

Planetizen Courses

Advance your career with subscription-based online courses tailored to the urban planning professional.
Starting at $14.95 a month
Book cover of Unsprawl

Unsprawl: Remixing Spaces as Places

Explore visionary, controversial and ultimately successful strategies for building people-centered places.
Starting at $12.95
T-shirt with map of Chicago

Show your city pride

Men's Ultrasoft CityFabric© tees. Six cities available.
$23.00