Washington, D.C. - The next federal highway and transit bill should facilitate long-term U.S. competitiveness, establish national transportation policies that are more accountable and performance-driven, strengthen reliance on user financing, and boost the federal motor fuels tax to support expanded investments aimed at improving the nation's aging highways, bridges and transit systems. If Congress and the Obama Administration can pass a multi-year bill that includes these goals, it would help create American jobs, reduce traffic congestion, and pave the way for a brighter economic future.
That was the central message in a joint report released December 8 by members of the National Surface Transportation Infrastructure Financing Commission and National Transportation Policy Project of the Bipartisan Policy Center.
American Road & Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA) President Pete Ruane praised the report and said it further advances the cause and puts renewed pressure on Congress to pass a robust surface transportation bill in early 2011.
"There is strong consensus among policy experts and industry leaders that passage of the overdue surface transportation bill is one of the federal government's most effective economic drivers," Ruane said. "The shared principles released today reinforce that there is also broad agreement in the core elements that should be included in the next bill."
"Federal highway/transit reauthorization has been studied by a dozen public, private and academic organizations and blue ribbon commissions—including previously by the two groups releasing today's report," Ruane added. "Their conclusions are loud and clear: the federal user-fee system works, it is deficit neutral and fiscally responsible, and should be continued."
"I commend the members of both groups for keeping the need to address the nation's surface transportation challenges at the forefront of the national agenda."