Image: John Darkow, The Columbia Daily Tribune, Missouri
With gas tax revenue falling fast the federal government fears that it may not be able to meet its commitment to states for road projects currently under way. So what does Secretary of Transportation Mary Peters suggest? Simply “borrow” money from the mass transit fund. According to the New York Times article, such a measure would “balance the accounts as highway travel declines and mass transit increases.”
However, such a transfer of money would require Congress’ approval.
American Public Transportation Association president, William W. Millar added this:
The administration proposal is shortsighted and would mean that the mass transit account would be reduced to the point where there would not be enough money to fund the federal transit program in 2010, even at the current level.
If this doesn’t illustrate how broken our federal transportation funding system is, I don’t know what does. Despite runaway gas prices, climate change, and the prospect of funding petro-dictators, the Bush administration is still desperate to fund highways at a significantly greater clip than transit. The sad thing is that the Bush admin wants to borrow from what is already a scant fund. The transit fund is but a tiny fraction of the highway fund.
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