Even with the recent infusion of stimulus funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, Maine and other states face many challenges as we struggle to repair our aging bridges and roads. In fact, most people think that transportation infrastructure made up a major component of the federal stimulus legislation. In fact, only 3% of the spending was for roads and bridges, and less than 7% for all transportation.
In the coming months, the U.S. Congress will be debating the federal transportation funding reauthorization, and the MBTA is working with our congressional leaders to let them know our nation needs to make big changes to rebuild our transportation infrastructure.
We need to:
- bring the federal fuel tax in line with increased demands on the Highway Trust Fund (the fuel tax has not changed since the 90's)
- establish a “national transportation vision” that will recognize transportation’s vital role in our economy now and in the long term (50 years or more)
- establish alternate funding sources (e.g., user fees, alternate fuel taxes and tolls) that will be sufficient to modernize our transportation system
- develop a more equitable distribution of Highway Trust Fund revenues among the states (Maine currently is a “donor state,” meaning it contributes more to the Highway Trust Fund through fuel taxes than it receives for highway and bridge maintenance and construction)
For more information:
Paying Our Way: A new framework for transportation finance
, the February 2009 report of the National Surface Transportation Infrastructure Financing Commission offers specific recommendations for increasing investment in transportation infrastructure while moving the federal government away from its reliance on motor fuel taxes.
Get There America, the advocacy page of the American Automobile Association (AAA) with a “Message to Congress” and other information pertinent to the federal reauthorization
Transportation for Tomorrow: Report of the National Surface Transportation Policy and Revenue Study Commission, a report that calls for a major changes in how we fund and delivery transportation.
Smart Solutions: AASHTO Tackles Transportation’s Future / 2009 Reauthorization Recommendations, a series of reports from the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials on everything from highways and transit to climate change and transportation delivery.
Transportation Makes American Work: Reauthorization Central, the advocacy page of the American Road & Transportation Builders Association.