February 24, 2012


Paying for the Roads, Buses, and Bike Paths of the Future: A Framework for Evaluating Transportation Tax and Fee Options and Assessment of Some New (and Old) Options


It is widely acknowledged among transportation professionals that the current U.S. method of funding transportation infrastructure and services no longer raises the revenues that allow us to pay for the top-notch system we desire to support individual and commercial accessibility. This presentation begins by laying out the main funding options under active discussion and a framework for evaluating the pros and cons of these different funding options according to six criteria: (1) revenue generation, (2) ease of implementation, (3) transportation system performance, (4) equity, (5) political feasibility, and (6) promotion of interlinked public policy goals (such as environmental sustainability). Next, we will explore how several revenue generation options fare under some of these criteria, with a special focus on the last two criteria. Specific research projects to be discussed include several California-wide and national surveys of public opinion on transportation funding options as well as a study exploring the interaction between mileage fees and land-use patterns in a pilot program conducted in Oregon in 2006-07.

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