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Thursday, November 20, 2008

Federal Highway Trust Fund Falling Behind

The FHWA Press Room coughed up this one yesterday:

Highway Trust Fund Revenue Falls $3 Billion in Single Year as Americans Drove Almost 11 Billion Fewer Miles This September

Eleven-Month Decline in U.S. Driving Shows Need for New Way to Finance America's Road, Bridge and Transit Projects

WASHINGTON -- The Highway Trust Fund, the federal government's primary source for financing highway, bridge and transit projects, took in $3 billion fewer in Fiscal Year 2008 as Americans drove 90 billion miles less over 11 months of the same fiscal year, U.S. Secretary of Transportation Mary E. Peters announced today. The trend underscores the need to find a new way to finance transportation projects in America, she added.

"Our current approach has us encouraging Americans to change their driving habits and burn less fuel while secretly hoping they drive more so we can finance new bridges, repair interstates and expand transit systems," said Secretary Peters. "We need a new approach that compliments, instead of contradicts, our energy policies and infrastructure needs."


The Secretary noted that, if VMT continues to decline, the Highway Trust Fund may experience another shortfall sooner than expected. For this reason, she again urged Congress to fundamentally change the nation's approach to financing and managing transportation systems.


OK.  As long as that doesn't mean privatizing our roads.

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