Declined on Air and Vessel
Three of the five transportation modes – the surface transportation modes of truck, rail and pipeline – carried more U.S. trade with North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) partners Canada and Mexico by value in 2013 than in 2012 while the value of freight transported by air and vessel decreased, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS).
By: Samantha Oller, Senior Editor/Special Projects Coordinator
CSPnet - Crumbling roads are top of mind for policymakers, who are at the same time considering how to prevent the Highway Trust Fund, which supports infrastructure maintenance and repair, from going broke. As the government considers different options--raising the federal fuel excise tax, imposing user fees--a new business coalition is arguing that it should outright reject one potential source of funding: expanding tolling on existing interstate lanes. To read more, click here.
The House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee will be holding its first reauthorization hearing on Tuesday at 10 a.m. EST. Those who will be testifying includes Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin, on behalf of the National Governors Association; Stuart Levenick, President of the Caterpiller Inc. Group; Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed, on behalf of the U.S. Conference of Mayors; and international president of the Amalgamated Transit Union, Lawrence Hanley.
Congress will be discussing the new highway bill set to expire on October 1st, 2014.
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As 2013 comes to a close, Caltrans is highlighting a few transportation infrastructure projects completed this year to help improve mobility, safety and sustainability throughout California’s transportation system. Throughout the state, Caltrans made nearly $2.5 billion of improvements to the state highway system through 542 completed contracts in 2013 while also awarding 433 major highway construction contracts with a value of more than $2.7 billion. Caltrans also continued to restore, upgrade and protect infrastructure statewide, including more than 88,000 miles of striping on state highways and 155,000 cubic yards of litter and debris removal. In addition to these improvements, Caltrans reported a decade-high 84 percent pavement health rating in 2013, out of the 50,000 lane miles it maintains. While Caltrans typically receives just 17 percent of the funding needed to keep pavement in good condition, one-time contributions from the voter-approved 2006 Proposition 1B transportation bond and the 2009 Recovery Act made more projects possible.
Although projects were completed in all of California’s regions, Caltrans has selected 13 projects to highlight that showcase their work:
Otay Mesa East Port of Entry
Interstate 5/State Route 14 Carpool Connector
Interstate 5/State Route 2 Tanker Fire Repair
Colton Crossing Project
Interstate 80 Improvement from Auburn to Nevada
State Route 99 Elverta Road
Rim Fire Repairs to State Route 120
Philip S. Raine Safety Roadside Rest Area
State Route 99 Madera Rehabilitation
State Route 1 Pitkins Curve Bridge and Rockshed Project
Devil’s Slide Tunnels Construction
San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge
Fourth Bore of the Caldecott Tunnel
Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) is known around the country for his innovative solutions to our nation’s infrastructure problems. In the past couple of years, Blumenauer teamed up with Rep. Jim Gerlach (R-PA) to substitute the 12% federal excise tax on the purchase of new heavy-duty equipment with an equivalent increase in the diesel tax. If the bill would have passed, it would have been a tremendous help to California motor carriers having to purchase new equipment in order to comply with CARB regulations. Now, Blumenauer is at it again, this time trying to push two bills that have transportation funding implications for all Americans. One would raise the gas tax to 33.4 cents cents per gallon, nearly double the current rate of 18.4 cents, over the next few years. That bill would also peg the tax rate to inflation so that its purchasing power doesn’t decline over time. The other bill would let states look into charging drivers by the mile, a so-called vehicle miles traveled tax, by expanding a pilot program started in Oregon. The program would be voluntary and allow states to choose how exactly to test the concept of charging for road use.
USDOT - Three of the five transportation modes carried more U.S.-NAFTA trade in September 2013 than in September 2012 as the value of overall U.S. trade with its North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) partners, Canada and Mexico, rose 5.0 percent from year to year, according to the September NAFTA freight data released today by the Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) of the U.S. Department of Transportation.
To read the full article, click here.
Did you know that California’s trucking industry pays 20% of all state transportation revenues on an annual basis? Do you know where truck weight fees are dedicated to? What about the diesel sales tax? The web of revenue streams can be difficult to follow but CTA staff completed a flow chart this year that shows where all of the trucking taxes and fees end up: Trucking Taxes & Fees Flow Chart
You can also read our comprehensive summary of the transportation taxes and fees that affect the trucking industry here: Trucking Taxes & Fees Summary
The nation’s network of highways, roads and bridges isn’t equipped to handle the huge growth in traffic that’s expected in coming years, said Bill Logue, president and chief executive officer of FedEx Freight. Speaking in Houston at the annual conference of the National Industrial Transportation League, Logue said the U.S. transportation infrastructure isn’t even sufficient to handle today’s needs, let alone those of the future. “We must begin to address aging infrastructure across every mode of transportation,” he said.
As expected, yesterday afternoon Transportation CA submitted a request for title and summary for a proposed transportation constitutional amendment to the Attorney General’s office. The proposal, as written today, would assess an annual “California Road Repair Fee” on all vehicles, excluding commercial trucks (over 10,000 lbs.), equal to 1% of each vehicles’ value in ¼% increments phased in over four years. The annual total estimate of revenue raised is estimated to be $2.9 billion per year when the rate reaches 1% in 2018 or nearly $25 billion over the first ten years. As expected, the measure would require a “fair share” (3 cents per gallon) equivalent increase in the diesel tax, which follows our Association’s revenue policy preference in lieu of a vehicle fee based on value. Although submitting this request does not commit Transportation CA to running a campaign, the draft language is the starting point for the transportation funding measure in case the decision is made to move forward in January. Staff will be hosting a conference call this Friday, with the Association’s Infrastructure Task Force to review the details of the proposed initiative. For more information, or to learn more about the Infrastructure Task Force, please contact RJ Cervantes at email@example.com
On Tuesday, U.S. voters approved 91 percent of ballot measures to increase or extend funding for highways, bridges and transit and elected two transportation advocates for governor. Successful ballot measures were approved with 67 percent of the vote, with the approved measures holding a total value of nearly $240 million. Could California be next? Click Here to Read More From Better Roads