Ride-hailing services disrupting ambulances and airports

New reports have indicated unanticipated disruptions caused by ride-hailing services such as Uber and Lyft. Previously, SSTI discussed the positive and negative impacts ride-hailing services have on our transportation systems. Although these new reports focus on changes to ambulance services and airport revenues, they highlight again that ride-hailing services are fundamentally changing our transportation systems.

California transportation secretary advocates for life-cycle approach

California’s longstanding principle of relying on locally generated funds and suballocated state fuel taxes to improve the state highway system poses a principal-agent problem: Local funders have every incentive to fund expansions while leaving costly owner-operator responsibilities, including eventual reconstruction, to an increasingly cash-strapped state DOT. This month Transportation Secretary Brian Kelly published an op-ed urging a life-cycle approach that prioritizes system preservation.

Shifting the transit-funding paradigm: Transit finance grows up

Development of creative financing and new revenue sources for transportation projects remains a hot topic in transportation circles. Public-private partnerships exist in highway transportation, often using tolls as the revenue source to attract private investment. Transit P3s, however, remain behind the curve in development of policies and best practices. A P3 proposed for the Purple Line light rail in the Maryland suburbs of Washington, DC, illustrates new opportunities for funding a major capital transit investment with a combination of public and private funding.

Economist urges less general revenue, more user fees to support air travel

About 70 percent of the FAA’s funding comes from charges related to use, while the TSA covers only about a third of its costs with user fees. A stronger user-based system, one economist argues, would be fairer, would direct resources where they are most needed, and would protect the system from uncertainty in Washington.

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.