An environmentalist’s call to curb the federal role in transportation

In the post-Interstate-building era, questions about the role of the federal government in funding surface transportation have become more common. Most of these arguments have come from conservatives. A new call for eliminating the federal role comes from a different perspective, though—a green one.

Virginia governor proposes scrapping gas tax, raising sales tax to fund transportation

Most discussion of possible solutions to the problem of stagnant gas tax revenues has focused on increasing user fees in some way – e.g., by raising fuel taxes, adding tolls, and/or adding VMT-based fees. Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell’s proposal to eliminate the gas tax and pay for transportation with an increased sales tax, thereby abandoning the decades-old concept of funding transportation with user fees, seems to have united both the left and right in opposition.

Midsize Cities on the Move: A Look at the Next Generation of Rapid Bus, Bus Rapid Transit, and Streetcar Projects in the United States (Reconnecting America, 2012)

This study of next generation transit options in midsize cities – those between 50,000 and 250,000 – focuses in on the place that bus rapid transit and streetcars can play in improving the operations of transit systems that are usually based around buses. In a look at 14 cities, they look at best practices, funding strategies, and actual or projected outcomes.

SSTI Report on State and Local Transportation Revenue Sources (SSTI, 2013)

This SSTI report examines innovative, sustainable transportation funding models to assist decision-makers in identifying policies and practices to augment the current fuel tax revenue system. The report provides a broad account of these funding methods, where they have been implemented or proposed, and identifies state laws, policies, and practices that permit state DOTs and local governments to pursue a more sustainable funding model. The report, completed with the participation of North Carolina DOT, as well as Arizona, Illinois,Tennessee, Vermont, and Washington DOTs, suggests ways multiple revenue sources might be packaged to support and maintain transportation systems.

The Innovative DOT: A Handbook of Policy and Practice (SSTI & SGA, 2012)

State officials across the country are facing the same challenges. Revenues are falling and budgets are shrinking while transportation demands grow. Most state Departments of Transportation (DOTs) have ambitious goals: improve safety, reduce congestion, enhance economic opportunity, improve reliability, preserve system assets, accelerate project delivery, and help to create healthier, more livable neighborhoods, just to name a few.
The handbook provides 31 recommendations transportation officials can use as they position their agencies for success in the new economy. The handbook documents many of the innovative approaches state leaders are using to make systems more efficient, government more effective and constituents better satisfied.

Smart Growth America helps Tennessee with familiar problem: Many projects and limited funds

A technical assistance report from Smart Growth America revealed that Tennessee DOT has a problem: nine times more projects in its work plan than it has funding. They needed an analysis of which projects were a priority and how some needs might be addressed by less expensive solutions.

Smart Growth America helps Tennessee with familiar problem: Many projects and limited funds

A technical assistance report from Smart Growth America revealed that Tennessee DOT has a problem: nine times more projects in its work plan than it has funding. They needed an analysis of which projects were a priority and how some needs might be addressed by less expensive solutions.

Making the Case for Transportation Investment and Revenue (AASHTO and Parsons Brinckerhoff, 2009)

Many states are looking for ways to ask for additional transportation funding to maintain crumbling infrastructure and meet current demand. This study of successful campaigns recommends how to craft a request for funding. Case studies and elements to examine before the request are included.