Policymakers generally agree on the need to rebuild America's infrastructure. But the country is far behind in this area. Why? Transportation projects take time and money. And it's hard to predict how a project will affect its surroundings.
Using vehicle miles traveled as a means of distributing the cost of maintaining America's roads and bridges may not be the only answer, but it represents the kind of innovative thinking that is necessary at a time when this sector of the American transportation infrastructure is desperately in need of a fix.
Oregon is rolling out the nation's first large-scale pilot to examine switching to a mileage fee instead of the gas tax. The trial is a welcome next step toward understanding how mileage fees can be deployed.
Though “microsleep,” commonly referred to as “highway hypnosis,” may enter the public discourse most often when it's cited as the possible cause of a disaster like the Metro-North train wreck, it is responsible for fatal accidents on American highways every day.
If the user pays idea is worth saving, the United States needs a different calculation, writes Liisa Ecola. Some states are looking at mileage fees. With mileage fees, you pay based on the number of miles you drive, rather than the number of gallons of gas used.
Mileage-fee rates could be structured to reduce congestion, harmful emissions and excessive road wear, and the enabling technology could support a range of value-added services offering greater convenience and safety for motorists, writes Keith Crane.
Rather than threatening that the closure will be a mess, messages appealing to citizens' public spirit that Los Angeles can pull together again to make the closure go smoothly are more likely to resonate because they are consistent with past experience, write Martin Wachs and Brian D. Taylor.
Good data can inform decision makers about what really works—how best to relieve congestion and improve supply-chain connectivity to make freight transportation—and hence the U.S. economy—more competitive, write Mortimer Downey, Joseph Schofer, and Johanna Zmud.
Our transportation future will be multi-layered and complex—bounded by transportation infrastructure that is under-funded on the one hand and ever-expanding congestion and capacity constraints on the other, writes Johanna Zmud.
A proposed 15-cents-a-gallon gas tax is worth a second look. Among various painful options put forward in the Deficit Reduction Commission's draft report, this tax hike may be well justified, write Martin Wachs.