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.

4 Responses to As Highway Trust Fund Shrinks, Bush Administration Wants to Rob Transit

  1. JM Palacios says:

    It’s sheer lunacy.

    Transportation planners around here seem to ignore that traffic is actually decreasing, and still proceed with projects based on traffic forecasts developed during the real estate boom.

    The article mentions that miles driven have dropped 3.7 %. Did no one notice that fewer miles driven makes the need for highway expansion much less than it used to be? It would, in fact, drop the immediate need for expansion to ZERO in many places. I-95 HOT Lanes? Not needed. I-595 Express Lanes? Not needed. If we have to put expansion projects on hold until a better funding source comes around, then that is the solution-not robbing from mass transit, which is seeing record ridership increases.

    The nation needs to follow the example of Palm Beach County: rob the highway fund to provide for the mass transit that everyone is demanding NOW. Not the other way around!


  2. Dave says:

    If anything they should be taking the decreased demand for new roads into account and taking more money out of the highway budget to put INTO transit.


  3. [...] you hear that, Mary Peters? Transit needs more money, not [...]


  4. jewellery says:


    kinda makes you wonder….


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