The debate over this year's transportation reauthorization bill has taken an important turn, as legislators, the public and the media are giving serious thought to a White House proposal that would allow states to toll existing Interstate highways to pay for their reconstruction.
Pundits are fretting over the looming insolvency of the Highway Trust Fund, which some call the "transportation cliff." The real battle is not over the cliff but how Congress spends the renewed gas tax. Here are five facts to help people understand this debate.
For 58 years, the federal gas tax has been the main source of revenue to build and maintain the Interstate system. But with time, inflation and changing technology, the gas tax isn't what it used to be.
The economic development from mass transit is also tremendous. For one, public transit workers in America are typically represented by a labor union. This means workers have an advocate who will ensure they have decent wages, benefits and safe working conditions.
American drivers recognize that our highways are in immediate need of major overhaul or reconstruction. But there's a bigger structural problem beneath our crumbling roadways: our method of funding highway infrastructure is broken.