A new poll this week adds to the evidence that Americans understand and support the need to increase revenue for our transportation infrastructure.
The survey, conducted by the San Jose, Calif.-based Mineta Transportation Institute, showed that 71 percent of U.S. residents would support a 10-cent increase in the federal gas tax, to 28 cents per gallon. It would be the first increase in the federal tax since 1993.
The current level of federal spending on transportation is about $50 billion per year, but the gas tax only brings in about $34 billion annually at its current rate. Congress has been able to manage only a string of temporary funding patches for the last several years, and the current one expires Oct. 29.
An article regarding the poll, as well as the complete poll results, are linked below. The gas tax increase drew stronger support than a mileage tax or a national sales tax.
Transportation Issue Update
- The Hill covered the aforementioned poll results in this article. The report can be viewed HERE.
- Governing Magazine looked at the challenges of providing affordable transportation for people with disabilities in Washington, D.C.
- A new Lehigh Valley study recommends the creation of roundabouts at more than two dozen intersections. We find it interesting that the public by and large opposes them – until they see how well they work. Meanwhile, a year after the opening of an Erie County roundabout, crash statistics show a significant improvement in safety at the intersection.
- Speaking of Lehigh, a new Texas A&M study estimates that motorists there waste 30 hours a year – nearly an entire work week – in traffic jams. Maybe the roundabouts will help? You can read a national perspective on the same study here.
- Transportation was the topic at a recent meeting of the York County Economic Alliance Club breakfast. The consensus: the federal government needs to step up.
- Allegheny County got its first taste of the Rapid Bridge Replacement Program as work began on three bridges recently. The program is one of Pennsylvania’s public-private partnership initiatives.
- The trucking industry held its annual National Truck Driving Championships event in St. Louis.
- In rail news, PennDOT announced that it has scheduled three open houses for the public and stakeholders to review the draft for the update of the Pennsylvania State Rail plan. The dates are Sept. 15, 16 and 17 in Pittsburgh, State College and Philly, respectively.
- Turnpike CEO/Coalition member Mark Compton penned an op-ed article laying out what’s up with the toll road lately.
- And speaking of Coalition members, our friend Joe Casey announced he intends to retire as SEPTA general manager shortly after Pope Francis is safely on his way home.