The Future of National Surface Transportation Policy

That was the title the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science & Transportation chose for a hearing on April 28. Panelists: Ray LaHood, DOT Secretary; Steve Heminger, MTC; Jame Corless, T4America; Ann Canby, STPP, and Ned Holmes, TX Transp. Comm.
May 4, 2009, 1pm PDT | Irvin Dawid
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Amongst the panelists, "there was a broad sense that the next surface transportation bill must reverse years of underinvestment in the nation's infrastructure."

They highlighted the "impending insolvency of the Highway Trust Fund, which uses money raised by the gas tax to pay for transit and roads projects."

"Nevertheless, Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood reiterated the Obama administration's opposition to a promising funding solution -- raising the gas tax -- and obeyed the directive from up top to never again mention a tax on vehicle miles (VMT).

"LaHood focused on rethinking existing transportation priorities. He repeatedly described his intention to help communities become more transit-friendly, walkable and bikeable."

At around the same time, a very different story was unfolding in the House, where James Oberstar (D-MN), chairman of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, pushed for his preferred funding solution, a VMT tax."

"Why do we need a pilot program? Why don't we just phase it in?"

"This may mean that a VMT tax will be included in the first draft of the reauthorization bill.

Listen and watch Senate hearing [Tape begins @22:11]

Thanks to ClimatePlan

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Published on Wednesday, April 29, 2009 in Streetsblog
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