Moving Passengers and Freight into the Future: A Review of the Report of the National Surface Transportation Policy and Revenue Study Commission 1

Posted by Brad Johnson Tue, 22 Apr 2008 18:30:00 GMT

The Commission’s Report, required pursuant to section 1909 of the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU, Public Law 109-59), was released January 15, 2008. The hearing will examine the Report’s recommendations relating to freight mobility; highway, auto, and truck safety; passenger and freight rail capacity and service development; intermodal transportation; and the integration of our surface, maritime, and aviation networks. Witnesses are expected to testify regarding the methodology used to analyze the nation’s long-term transportation system needs and the Report’s recommendations for financing short- and long-term capital investment in infrastructure improvements and expansions.

Witnesses
  • Jack Schenendorf, Commission Vice Chair, Counsel
  • Frank Busalacchi, Commission Member, Secretary, Wisconsin Department of Transportation
  • Steve Heminger, Commission Member, Executive Director, Metropolitan Transportation Commission
  • Matt Rose, Commission Member, Chairman, President, and Chief Executive Officer, BNSF Railway
  • Patrick Quinn, Commission Member, Co-Chairman and President, U.S. Xpress Enterprises

A report from the National Surface Transportation Policy and Revenue Study Commission 4

Posted by Brad Johnson Thu, 31 Jan 2008 15:00:00 GMT

Transportation for Tomorrow: Report of the National Surface Transportation Policy and Revenue Study Commission, prepared by a specially convened Commission, meets the charge given under Section 1909 of the Safe Accountable, Flexible and Efficient Transportation Equity Act – A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU). The Report includes detailed recommendations for creating and sustaining a pre-eminent surface transportation system in the United States.

National Surface Transportation Policy and Revenue Study Commission Report

Posted by Brad Johnson Thu, 17 Jan 2008 16:00:00 GMT

EE News:

Advisory panel expected to put gas tax increase plan before House committee

Alex Kaplun, E&E Daily reporter

A House panel is poised to open a debate this week into increasing the federal gas tax as a means for funneling additional dollars toward bridge repairs, highway construction and other transportation projects.

The House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee will hold a hearing Thursday to examine a report from the National Surface Transportation Policy and Revenue Study Commission, which is expected to outline a series of recommendations for improving the country’s transportation infrastructure.

The report will not be formally released until tomorrow morning but reports late last week indicate that the majority of the 12-member panel will endorse raising the gas tax to pay for a wide range of transportation initiatives. The size of the proposed increase to the 18.4 cent per gallon tax remains unclear and could range from as little as a dime or as much as a quarter per gallon.

Three members of the panel – including Transportation Secretary Mary Peters – are expected to oppose the increase. The Bush administration has consistently opposed any boost to the gas tax, arguing that it is an inefficient way to pay for future transportation projects.

Still, several key lawmakers in the last couple years have said that Congress should explore increasing the tax to inject extra dollars into federal transportation funds that are failing to keep up with the nation’s needs. But the idea has yet to gain any significant traction on Capitol Hill.

In the wake of last summer’s Minnesota bridge collapse, T&I Committee Chairman Jim Oberstar (D-Minn.) proposed a temporary five-cent gas tax increase to repair and replace bridges across the United States. The increase would sunset after three years and raise roughly $25 billion over that period.

Oberstar’s plan never made it out of committee before the end of the last session of Congress. It remains to be seen whether he will try to revive a similar plan this year.

But one influential Republican has already come out against any proposal to increase the gas tax, saying that it would place an extra burden on consumers without substantially increasing federal transportation dollars.

“This is a disappointment and probably even a big waste of tax dollars. A special commission came up with an old, cold, bad idea,” said Senate Finance Committee ranking member Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa). “Raising the gas tax puts the brunt of the long-term trust fund expenses on automobile drivers, when diesel trucks and other heavy vehicles also use the highways.”