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APWA Urges Immediate Action on Transportation Commission Recommendations

January 23, 2008

WASHINGTON – The American Public Works Association (APWA) has commended the National Surface Transportation Policy and Revenue Study Commission after they recently released recommendations to Congress on the future of transportation funding.

The Congressionally mandated report, Transportation for Tomorrow, finds the nation must significantly increase annual levels of investment in highways, transit, and passenger rail to rebuild and modernize this vital infrastructure. For APWA professionals who design, build, operate and maintain the nation’s local transportation systems, the recommendations are an important step in addressing critical transportation needs in the nation’s cities, regions, and rural areas, all key to maintaining a strong economy, the APWA said.

“Chronic underinvestment in our transportation system over decades is threatening our future and jeopardizing safety, our economic competitiveness and environmental quality,” said APWA President Larry Frevert. “Federal, state, and local leaders, along with the private sector, need to act on a mix of solutions to achieve a sustainable integrated transportation system for the next century. The Commission report clearly shows that a renewed commitment to reinvest in our transportation infrastructure is long overdue.”

The Commission report found the nation needs to invest $225 billion annually over the next 50 years to improve roads, bridges, transit systems, and passenger rail. Current annual investment levels are less than 40 percent of this.

Among the Commission’s recommendations is a federal motor fuel tax increase over the next five years, which would be indexed to inflation thereafter. With a growing gap between transportation needs and motor fuel tax revenues, APWA supports an increase to restore purchasing power lost to inflation and accommodate for severe underinvestment.

APWA also supports recommendations to expand the use of financing mechanisms (public-private partnerships, tolling, and congestion pricing) and to develop incentives for technology-based funding solutions, such as vehicle-mileage fee systems. Additionally, APWA supports reforms to the project development and approval processes to speed sustainable improvements to the integrated system.

The full Commission report is available at: www.transportationfortomorrow.org.

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