Vehicle Miles Traveled Tax Concepts got a lot of attention this past week in the L.A. Times. First, a story written by Evan Halper on the balancing act going on in transportation planning offices with concerns over privacy rights being weighed over the need for increased transportation revenues. Of note in this story is a quote from Hasan Ikhrata, the Executive Director of Transportation CA, that a VMT tax is a “…is a must for our nation.”
Second, an opinion piece from an L.A. Times writer Jon Healey on whether or not a VMT type tax would be better than the current system of fuel taxes. The author correctly notes that “…economy depends on the efficient movement of goods from producers to consumers. Even if you never spend a minute behind the wheel of a car, you still rely on trucks to deliver food to your local grocer, packages to your door, cash to and from retailers, and so on.”
The State Route 99 Madera Rehabilitation Project was completed last week as Caltrans applauded workers on their efficiency to be on time and on budget. Caltrans Director Malcolm Dougherty announced that "This new section of State Route 99 will serve the 65,000 daily commuters, tourists, and truckers who rely on this critical Central Valley corridor." To read more on the project, click here.
Recently, a panel of industry leaders including AASHTO President Michael Lewis, director of the Rhode Island Department of Transportation and AASHTO Board Member and Commonwealth of Virginia Transportation Secretary, Sean Connaughton testified at the Senate Environmental and Public Works Committee. Testimonies involved the topic of the need to invest in America’s infrastructure and preserve federal transportation funding. To get more information, watch the video below.
On Wednesday, October 2nd, Transportation California Executive Director, Will Kempton joined government officials at the Donner Summit rest area to celebrate the completion of I-80. Caltrans finished rebuilding 90 miles of the highway which included restructuring seven bridges, improving lighting and drainage and adding new traffic monitoring systems. The 15 year project accumulated a total of $820 million with $76 million deriving from Proposition 1B. To get more information on the completed project, click here.
As cited in a recent report by TRIP, a national transportation research group, more than a quarter of the nation’s major urban roadways – highways and major streets that are the main routes for commuters and commerce – are in poor condition. These critical links in the nation’s transportation system carry 78 percent of the approximately 2 trillion miles driven annually in urban America. With state and local governments unable to adequately fund road repairs and with the current federal surface transportation program set to expire on September 30, 2014, road conditions could get even worse in the future. California is no stranger to these problems and even features the top 3 worst urban areas for roadway deterioration. Click Here to Read the TRIP Report.
JOC - U.S. cross-border traffic with Canada via truck saw increases in both directions in July, following two months of year-over-year declines in truck imports and exports, according to data from the U.S. Bureau of Transportation Statistics. Rail exports dropped this month, while imports continued to show growth.
Continue reading by clicking here.
Starting this year, DMV will begin notifying Unified Carrier Registration (UCR) through a postcard instead of a letter. The Unified Carrier Registration (UCR) requires individual and companies that operate commercial motor vehicles in interstate or international commerce to register their business with California and pay an annual fee based on the size of their fleet.
To view the postcard, click here.
The American Association of State HIghway and Transportation (AASHTO) officials awarded two photographs of laborers working on the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge for the Grand Prize and the People's Choice Award in the Faces of Transportation competition. About 19,000 voted online deciding the People's Choice award winner and a judge selected the Grand Prize winner.
To read the full story, click here.
Sen. Rockefeller, chairman of the Senate committee that oversees transportation policy announced Tuesday of his uncertainty about Congress’s ability to increase funding for road and transit projects. As current funding for transportation projects is scheduled to expire in September 2014 – lawmakers are exploring various solutions to close the $20 billion shortfall.
Read the full story by clicking here.
In recent months, tolls have increased on roads in states such as Main, Maryland, Pennsylvania, and many more. Brad Tuttle of TIME discusses why tolling is becoming a prominent option to fund crumbling national interstate highway systems and what Americans can expect in the next few years.
Read the article by clicking here.