Concerns for the U.S. transportation system is rising, as funding becomes more difficult to obtain.
Speaking at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Bill Shuster, chairman of the House of Representatives Transportation Committee, warned about America’s transportation woes: “If we don’t deal with this issue at some point, as I said, we will reach a tipping point and the transportation system may not recover and we will fall behind the rest of the world.”
The major issue is the lack of funding, which has traditionally come from the federal gasoline tax which has been about 18.4 cents per gallon since 1993. But with vehicles becoming more fuel efficient, it has becoming an ineffective way to raise revenue for highway projects. A recent study by the American Society of Civil Engineers estimated that $2.75 trillion would be necessary to maintain and improve the U.S. infrastructure by 2020. In comparison, the expected funding for that period is $1.66 trillion.
According to Shuster, the U.S. has gone from being one of the top three, four, or five systems in the world all the way down to the 23 or 24. Unfortunately, there’s no quick option to raise more revenue, though nothing is being ruled out for funding sources.