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Keyword: transportation

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  • OBAMA ADMINISTRATION SCALING BACK ELECTRIC CAR GOALS

    05/23/2015 6:52:30 AM PDT · by smokingfrog · 21 replies
    Auto World ^ | 5-22-15 | Jeff Jablanski
    President Barack Obama has adjusted his goal of having 1 million plug-in vehicles on the road by this year's end, much to the disappointment of many electric vehicle enthusiasts. The change of heart comes six years after Obama signed an executive order mandating electric cars with the intent of the government buying 1 million EVs by 2015, according to Bloomberg. However, the president scaled back this objective in March, due to sales and government purchases not meeting expectations. The decline in consumer interest in electric vehicles, which lack the infrastructure that gasoline-powered vehicles have, played a significant role. U.S. consumers...
  • Delaney visits Hagerstown to push corporate-funded infrastructure bill

    05/19/2015 11:12:47 PM PDT · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 6 replies
    The Hagerstown Herald-Mail ^ | May 6, 2015 | Don Aines
    Rep. John Delaney was in Hagerstown Wednesday to pitch his proposal for long-term funding of transportation and other infrastructure projects by repatriating the overseas earnings of American corporations. "There hasn't been anything really transformative to put a lot of money into infrastructure," Delaney, D-Md., told a small group of businesspeople at Bulls & Bears restaurant. He pointed out that the federal gas tax — the primary source of revenue for the Highway Trust Fund — has not been increased since the early 1990s, in part, because it is politically unpopular. It also is a regressive tax that hits lower-income people...
  • Liberals’ high-speed trains to nowhere

    05/19/2015 4:52:36 PM PDT · by presidio9 · 27 replies
    New York Post ^ | May 18, 2015 | Rich Lowry
    The Amtrak crash outside of Philadelphia was an invitation for practically every politician in the Northeast and every transit expert in America to complain about lack of funding for the county’s infrastructure. They didn’t even wait to know what was the cause of the tragedy to take to the airwaves, and weren’t deterred when it emerged that the engineer had been going twice the speed limit around a tight curve when Amtrak Train 188 derailed. They cared only for reciting the usual litany of laments for our “crumbling” infrastructure and our lack of high-speed rail, which is supposedly a stinging...
  • Conservatives Look to PFC Reform to Create Tailwind for Airport Free-market Reform

    05/18/2015 5:59:06 AM PDT · by Kaslin
    Townhall.com ^ | May 18, 2015 | Neil McCabe
    There is a move on Capitol Hill to fix the way we maintain America's airports by bringing free-market reforms to the massive transportation bill the Republican leadership is dead-set on passing this summer.Capitol Hill conservatives may not be able to stop the transportation spending bill, but some right-thinking members of Congress are working to leverage the Passenger Facility Charge as a way to move Uncle Sam further out of the airport business.It is not privatization, which is still a non-starter given that President Barack Obama still checks the mailbox at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. But, the plan relies on one of...
  • Feds warn states about highway funding cut off

    05/16/2015 7:58:31 PM PDT · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 27 replies
    The Hill ^ | May 11, 2015 | Keith Laing
    The Obama administration is warning state transportation departments that it will have to stop authorizing payments for construction projects on May 31 unless Congress reaches a deal to extend federal infrastructure funding. The current transportation funding measure is scheduled to expire on May 31, and lawmakers are struggling to come up with a way to pay for an extension. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx has said previously that the agency has enough money to cover existing projects until the end of summer, but he said in letter to state departments of transportation on Monday that he will be unable to make...
  • Congress Needs 'The Equivalent Of LeBron James' To Fix Highway Fund, Says DOT Secretary

    05/16/2015 8:24:15 PM PDT · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 25 replies
    The Huffington Post ^ | May 11, 2015 | Laura Barron-Lopez
    WASHINGTON -- Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said Monday that Congress needs the equivalent of basketball player LeBron James to help them pass a long-term extension of a federal fund that pays for the nation’s transportation system. The Highway Trust Fund is set to run out at the end of this month, and Congress has yet to set a vote in either chamber on legislation that would extend the expiration and allow the Department of Transportation to distribute what little funds it has left to states. “We have a clock that is running out. We’ve got 20 days left, and gosh,...
  • Let Our Cities Move (by Bill DeBlasio and Mick Cornett)

    05/13/2015 10:46:59 AM PDT · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 16 replies
    The New York Times ^ | May 13, 2015 | Bill DeBlasio and Mick Cornett
    EVERY day, millions of Americans rely on a remarkable network of roads, bridges, subways, trains and buses to connect us to work, school and opportunity. But our transportation system, once the envy of the world, is in jeopardy. In New York City, subways and buses are overcrowded and often unreliable, and roadways and bridges are in dire need of repair and rehabilitation. From the next phase of the Second Avenue subway to plans to connect the Metro-North Railroad to Pennsylvania Station, to the proposed new subway line under Utica Avenue in Brooklyn, there isn’t a short- or long-term expansion project...
  • Michigan voters reject road funding ballot measure, Proposal 1 (sales tax road maintenance)

    05/11/2015 7:35:54 AM PDT · by Lorianne · 17 replies
    Michigan Radio ^ | 05 May 2015 | Mark Brush
    We in Michigan have been talking about fixing our roads for years. "Just fix the damn roads," was the mantra Michigan lawmakers heard over and over from their constituents. Now the refrain sounds more like "just don't fix the damn roads this way." Voters overwhelmingly voted "no" on Proposal 1 - the statewide road funding ballot initiative that would have raised the state's sales tax from 6% to 7% in order to change the way fuel is taxed in Michigan. The changes in fuel tax would have generated new road funding. See vote tallies here. Now it's back to the...
  • What price for lower tolls? (Baltimore Sun editorial)

    05/10/2015 12:13:05 PM PDT · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 15 replies
    The Baltimore Sun ^ | May 7, 2015 | The Baltimore Sun
    hatever one might have thought about the Maryland Transportation Authority's decision to raise tolls four years ago, no one can say the two-phase proposal wasn't scrutinized from all angles or that the public wasn't given sufficient opportunity to ask questions or make comment. The same can't be said for the agency's decision to roll them back — in some cases below what they were before the last price increase. That secrecy and abrupt decision-making should give Marylanders pause about what's going on at the agency that owns and manages some of the state's most important — and costly — transportation...
  • GOVERNOR HOGAN ROLLS BACK TOLLS STATEWIDE

    05/07/2015 4:11:00 PM PDT · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 26 replies
    MdTA | May 7, 2015 | Division of Communications
    GOVERNOR HOGAN ROLLS BACK TOLLS STATEWIDE -- Saving Marylanders $54 Million A Year $2.50 Bay Bridge Toll Returns For Maryland E-ZPass Users; $4 For Drivers Paying Cash Plan Eliminates Monthly Account Fee And Doubles Discounts For Maryland E-ZPass Holders Governor Larry Hogan today delivered on his promise to roll back Maryland's high toll rates and put money back in the pockets of hard-working Maryland families and businesses. From the Bay and Hatem bridges to the Harbor Crossings, the Intercounty Connector (ICC), and the new I-95 Express Toll Lanes (ETL), Governor Hogan's toll rollback, which takes effect July 1, 2015, will...
  • Historic Defeat of Michigan Tax Increase Shell Game: One Small Victory for Mankind

    05/07/2015 11:31:47 AM PDT · by NOBO2012 · 1 replies
    Michelle Obama's Mirror ^ | 5-7-2015 | MOTUS
    If you’ve been holding your breath, waiting to see if Governor Rick Snyder (RINO-MI) was going to enter the RINO sweepstakes for President, the suspense may be over: Gov. Rick Snyder said he would wait until after this week's special road funding election to decide whether he'll run for president. The overwhelming defeat of the measure should send a straightforward message to the governor: Don't run, Rick. – Detroit News Not only does Snyder rank dead last in name recognition among Republicans in Iowa, butt the ballot initiative he championed to raise taxes in Michigan was not just defeated in...
  • Leadership of Texas House forbids anti-toll amendments from being heard

    05/05/2015 10:17:00 PM PDT · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 24 replies
    Examiner.com ^ | May 1, 2015 | Terri Hall
    Yesterday, conservative lawmakers pushed to attach key toll road reforms to two transportation bills in the Texas House, but they were thwarted by Speaker Joe Straus and his parliamentarian Chris Griesel who would not allow them to present their amendments. Griesel told them the amendments weren’t ‘germane’ (or salient) to the bills, HB 13 and HB 20, and blocked Rep. Jeff Leach and Rep. Jonathan Stickland from even laying out their amendments. Straus and Griesel utilized the same technique as they did on a Stickland amendment to the open carry bill the week before. The two decided to reject the...
  • Bike Boffins Pedal With General Clark

    09/23/2003 6:17:15 AM PDT · by joesnuffy · 2 replies · 213+ views
    Moscow Times ^ | Sep. 23, 2003 | Kevin O'Flynn
    Tuesday, Sep. 23, 2003. Page 1 Bike Boffins Pedal With General Clark By Kevin O'Flynn Staff Writer One was a doctor from Siberia, the other an American general now running for president, and best known in Russia for his brinkmanship in Kosovo. But now the fortunes of Alexander Pyntikov and former NATO commander General Wesley Clark -- who last week created a political sensation by declaring his candidacy for U.S. president -- are entwined in a company that makes push bikes. But these are no ordinary push bikes: The U.S. Special Forces Command currently freewheels on them, as do police...
  • To all that light-rail waste, add fare-skipping

    04/18/2015 11:31:21 AM PDT · by TurboZamboni · 21 replies
    Pioneer Press ^ | 4-14-15 | Joe Soucheray
    It took an agreeable 15 minutes Monday to get from the Westgate Station to the Warehouse/Hennepin Avenue station on the Green Line. There was merriment in the air all right, but not enough actual humidity to smell the green grass of Target Field. We are unseasonably dry, and a bit of moisture in the air is essential to bring about the full flowering of the baseball home opener. I watched passengers get on and off; there are seven stops between Westgate and Warehouse, or probably two too many. I don't know who paid and who didn't. Impossible to tell, really,...
  • Contractor pleads guilty to supplying defective parts for NC bridges

    04/17/2015 5:11:27 AM PDT · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 7 replies
    WRAL.com ^ | April 16, 2015 | Cullen Browder
    Raleigh, N.C. — A highway contractor pleaded guilty Thursday in a scheme to supply defective components to bridges in North Carolina, authorities said. Joel De La Torre, 33, of Chicago, pleaded guilty to federal charges of making false statements concerning highway projects and aggravated identity theft. He will be sentenced in July, when he faces up to seven years in prison and $500,000 in fines. Defects were found in October 2011 in elastomeric bridge bearings – slabs of rubber reinforced with multiple layers of steel and placed underneath bridges to absorb shock – that had been shipped to 25 highway...
  • Livingston County Republican Party comes out against Proposal 1 (Michigan)

    04/14/2015 8:06:47 PM PDT · by Darren McCarty · 11 replies
    WXYZ-TV ^ | 4-14-2015 | Dave LewAllen
    BRIGHTON, Mich. (WXYZ) - Is Proposal 1 the right solution for our crumbling roads? It has the support of Republicans in Lansing, but one local GOP group is breaking with their party on this vote. Three weeks from today, voters across the state will have the final say on Proposal 1. In the meantime, there's no shortage of opinions on this proposed "fix" for Michigan's crumbling roads. "I'm like everyone, I'm for getting the roads fixed and I don't want taxes to increase," says voter Jim Johnson. "I want it to go to what they actually are saying it's supposed...
  • Obama Highway Plan Paves Way For New Tolls Nationwide

    04/11/2015 10:06:44 PM PDT · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 69 replies
    The Daily Caller ^ | April 1, 2015 | Peter Fricke
    A little-noted provision of President Obama’s highway funding proposal would lift the federal prohibition against states imposing new tolls on existing interstate highways. The GROW AMERICA Act would eliminate restrictions held in place since the creation of the Federal Interstate System, according to a summary of the plan’s provisions, allowing states that receive permission from the Secretary of Transportation to toll existing Interstate highways “in order to make improvements or to manage congestion.” Since its creation in 1956, interstates have been funded primarily through fuel taxes, with tolls banned on all sections of highway built after that date, according to...
  • California high-speed rail threatened by kit fox

    04/03/2015 8:33:34 PM PDT · by DUMBGRUNT · 86 replies
    bulletin standard ^ | 03 April 2015 | ???
    FRESNO, Calif. (AP) -- Federal authorities say California's $68 billion higher-speed rail could harm the protected kit fox.
  • Service techs spot dead body in car during oil change (UT, TX)

    04/02/2015 4:29:54 PM PDT · by bgill · 27 replies
    fkts12.com ^ | April 1, 2015 | kcbd staff
    LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - The staff at Gene Messer Volkswagen got a terrible shock on Wednesday, when they saw a dead body wrapped in a sheet in the back of a vehicle that had come in for an oil change.
  • Engineer wants to turn dumb pavement into a smart I70

    03/31/2015 10:13:24 PM PDT · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 23 replies
    The Ledger-Enquirer ^ | March 22, 2015 | Rick Montgomery (Kansas City Star)
    KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The following is about infrastructure. Don't nod off just yet. To be specific, it's about pavement — basic, boring road surface. In the six decades since Interstate 70 began to creep across Missouri, how we view pavement hasn't changed much. Now meet Tim Sylvester, 33. He sees pavement as an electronic tablet with a concrete touch screen, The Kansas City Star (http://bit.ly/1MWYIxn) reports.
  • Andreas Lubitz: Germanwings flight's last minutes revealed in chilling black box transcript

    03/29/2015 5:14:25 AM PDT · by KeyLargo · 155 replies
    Mirror ^ | March 29, 2015
    Andreas Lubitz: Germanwings flight's last minutes revealed in chilling black box transcript 29 March 2015 By Alex Wellman Patrick Sondheimer is heard screaming to his co-pilot "Open the goddam door" as passengers scream in the background The dramatic last moments of the doomed Germanwings flight have been revealed in a chilling transcript of the black box recording that shows the captain screaming at Andreas Lubitz “Open the goddam door”. Patrick Sondheimer, pilot of the traffic plane, is heard frantically pleading with the killer to let him into the cockpit, just seconds before crashing into the Alps. BEA Germanwings CVR Evidence:...
  • Budget Could Delay Local Highway Projects

    03/25/2015 6:44:17 AM PDT · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 23 replies
    Urban Milwaukee ^ | March 16, 2015 | Steven Walters
    It seemed to be a classic case of “firemen first,” a theory first put forth in 1976 by legendary Washington, D.C., journalist Charles Peters. Any bureaucrat, when asked to list what services or jobs would be cut because of a looming budget crisis, identifies the most painful losses in public services – firemen, police officers, EMTs, workers who fill potholes, etc. Bureaucrats use it to try and pressure elected officials, afraid of voter backlash, to soften the budget cuts. It played out in the Capitol on March 3, when state Transportation Secretary Mark Gottlieb was asked what major state highways...
  • Minnesota GOP plan funds transportation with general fund, not tax hike

    03/24/2015 6:08:13 AM PDT · by TurboZamboni · 3 replies
    Pioneer Press ^ | 3-24-15 | David Montgomery
    Republican lawmakers on Monday proposed a $7 billion plan that they called an investment in transportation over the next decade. The proposal has some common ground with plans from leaders of the Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party, but big divisions remain. The parties are far apart on how much money a transportation plan should include, how much of it should go to Twin Cities metro-area mass transit and -- above all -- whether the plan should be paid for by raising taxes or cutting spending. DFL Gov. Mark Dayton and the Senate DFL majority each proposed their own plans in January. Their approaches...
  • Stop MN Gas Tax Hike

    03/18/2015 6:06:18 AM PDT · by TurboZamboni · 7 replies
    galt.io ^ | 3-17-15 | MR RIGHT
    So Governor Mark Dayton of Minnesota wants another new tax--this time adding a 6.5% gas tax at the wholesale level, along with license fee increases and a new metro-wide sales tax for, you guessed it, mass transit. A lack of government revenue isn't what plagues our roads. About 25% of the current federal gas tax of 18.4 (not including diesel) cents per gallon is siphoned off for non-highway uses, primarily via the Mass Transit Account. As a result, the HTF must now rely on general fund bailouts to survive. Recent history here in Minnesota also proves a similar point. In...
  • Texas lawmaker pushes ban on federal aid to Texas rail transit

    03/18/2015 7:26:02 AM PDT · by Rodamala · 24 replies
    examiner.com ^ | March 8, 2015 | Lyndon Henry
    Austin,Texas — A North Texas state senator has introduced a bill in the Texas legislature that would effectively prohibit the state or any of its subsidiaries, such as cities and transit authorities, from using money from the U.S. Federal Transit Administration (FTA) for rail mass transportation.
  • Reversible toll lanes on 270? Maybe

    02/27/2015 7:12:39 PM PST · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 8 replies
    WTOP ^ | February 26, 2015 | Ari Ashe
    ROCKVILLE, Md. — With a new governor viewed as road-friendly in Annapolis, one Montgomery County lawmaker hopes toll lanes on Interstate 270 are a possibility. County Councilmember Roger Berliner supports converting the two High Occupancy Vehicle lanes on I-270 into reversible toll lanes. “We backed a plan six years ago with two reversible lanes. People in carpools or transit vehicles ride free; everyone else would have to pay a toll,” says Berliner. The concept would be similar to the new 95 Express Lanes in Virginia between Stafford County and Alexandria. Similar to Virginia, any project in Maryland would likely require...
  • Hyperloop moves closer to becoming reality

    02/26/2015 11:26:09 AM PST · by Mellonkronos · 26 replies
    CNBC ^ | February 26, 2015 | Phil LeBeau
    [It would really be great if private entrepreneurs could develop this system! Musk is an innovator. Check out the videos in the article.] “Hyperloop moves closer to becoming reality.” Phil LeBeau@Lebeaucarnews (Hyperloop Transportation Technologies,Inc., says Elon Musk’s vision for the new transportation system is beginning to take hold. CNBC’s Phil LeBeau reports, and talks to Ahlborn about the 5-mile stretch to be tested in the next few years.) The Hyperloop, just an idea in the mind of Elon Musk two years ago, is moving closer to becoming reality. Hyperloop Transportation Technologies has signed an agreement with a developer in central...
  • Michigan’s $2 Billion Tax Proposal

    02/18/2015 9:46:06 AM PST · by MichCapCon · 10 replies
    Michigan Capitol Confidential ^ | 2/15/2015 | Jarrett Skorup
    Michigan residents on May 5 will vote on a constitutional amendment and a package of bills that will go into effect if approved. The proposal will increase the sales tax from 6 percent to 7 percent, raise taxes on fuel, and increase vehicle registration taxes. It will also hike the state’s Earned Income Tax Credit. Overall, the proposal will increase state tax revenue for fiscal year 2015-2016 by approximately $2 billion, of which $1.3 billion will go to funding transportation — initially to accelerate repayment of existing transportation bond debt, to increase overall road maintenance, and to spend more on...
  • Analysts warn that Hogan's suggested toll cuts may be unwise

    02/13/2015 8:46:06 PM PST · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 13 replies
    The Baltimore Sun ^ | February 13, 2015 | Michael Dresser
    The General Assembly's policy analysts warned lawmakers Friday that Gov. Larry Hogan's suggested decreases in tolls could have a harmful effect on the maintenance and operations of the Maryland Transportation Authority's highways, bridges and tunnels. The Department of Legislative Services told a Senate budget subcommittee that too large a toll reduction could throw off the debt service ratios that allow the authority to maintain a stellar bond rating. The analysts also noted that the authority's revenue forecasts don't take into account the acknowledged need to replace a Southern Maryland bridge at a cost of $1 billion or more. In addition,...
  • TIA talks highway funding, tire registration at event

    02/12/2015 10:10:29 AM PST · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 13 replies
    RubberNews.com ^ | February 11, 2015 | Miles Moore
    WASHINGTON—Highway funding, tax reform and tire registration were the big issues tire dealers, repair shop owners and association officials discussed with Capitol Hill staffers during the Tire Industry Association’s Federal Lobby Day on Feb. 5. Approximately 55 representatives of the tire retailing and auto repair industries participated in the event, which began with speeches from current and former members of Congress and progressed to one-on-one meetings with key staff persons in the offices of several top Washington lawmakers. With the Highway Trust Fund set to run out of money in May, passage of a multi-year transportation funding bill was the...
  • MBTA GM Beverly Scott spared no expense on trips, record review shows

    MBTA General Manager Beverly Scott jetted off at taxpayer expense nearly every month during her two-plus-year tenure — sometimes several times a month — to conferences and meetings around the country, even as the troubled transit system was collapsing around her, a Herald review shows. A review of Scott’s monthly expense reports provided by the MBTA as part of public records request shows she spent 106 days traveling out of state while at the helm of the T, taking 30 trips in 24 months. During that time, Scott, who announced yesterday she’s stepping down in April, racked up $56,753 in...
  • Obama's Budget Includes Windfall For L.A. Transportation [Whopping $ 1 BILLION!]

    02/02/2015 9:34:20 PM PST · by Steelfish · 14 replies
    LATimes ^ | February 02, 2015 | NOAH BIERMAN AND W.J. HENNIGAN
    Obama's Budget Includes Windfall For L.A. Transportation By NOAH BIERMAN AND W.J. HENNIGAN President Obama's budget earmarks $1 billion for transit in California, including $330 million for L.A. The budget proposal unveiled by President Obama on Monday earmarks more than $1 billion for California transportation and construction projects, including $330 million that Los Angeles officials called crucial to extending the Purple Line from the Mid-City area to Century City. Overall, Obama would spend more than $800 million on transit throughout the state — including $165 million to expand the Bay Area Rapid Transit system to San Jose and $150 million...
  • Transportation Secrecy Administration [ TSA ]

    02/01/2015 8:35:51 AM PST · by george76 · 4 replies
    National Review ^ | January 30, 2015 | Ryan Lovelace
    Federal air marshals say agency brass abuses its authority to hide evidence of wrongdoing. Current and former federal air marshals allege that the Transportation Security Administration intentionally hid embarrassing information about supervisors’ misconduct and targeted employees who sought to expose the truth. The allegations revolve around TSA management’s overuse of an agency-specific designation called Sensitive Security Information (SSI). Though it is not classified, information deemed SSI is supposed to be kept from the public because it would harm transportation security. The marshals claim that the TSA has repeatedly abused the SSI classification, even going so far as to use it...
  • Federal gas tax increase needed for roads, bridges and highways

    01/25/2015 11:12:00 PM PST · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 50 replies
    The Contra Costa Times ^ | January 24, 2015 | Contra Costa Times
    The president was a conservative's conservative. He had campaigned on reducing taxes and made it his legacy. But when a gas tax increase was proposed, it was a different story. In his weekly radio address, he said, "We simply cannot allow this magnificent (highway) system to deteriorate beyond repair." That was 1982. The president was Ronald Reagan. Unfortunately, the disrepair Reagan feared has come to pass. The federal gas tax of 18.4 cents hasn't been raised since 1993, and the Highway Trust Fund is severely underfunded. A 10- to 15-cent a gallon increase would provide enough money to meet the...
  • Hogan taps ‘highway builder’ as transportation secretary, appoints 7 others

    01/13/2015 8:53:24 PM PST · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 4 replies
    The Washington Post ^ | January 13, 2015 | John Wagner
    Maryland Gov.-elect Larry Hogan (R) announced eight more senior members of his administration Tuesday, including a new transportation secretary whom he introduced as “the best highway builder in the entire country.” Hogan’s nomination of Pete Rahn, who has held top transportation jobs in New Mexico and Missouri, comes amid great uncertainty over the future of the light-rail Purple Line in the Washington suburbs and other proposed mass-transit projects. The governor-elect has strongly signaled that he will emphasize roads over rail after he takes office Jan. 21. Hogan, who made tax cuts a rallying cry of his campaign, also pledged to...
  • Can a rebrand make Republicans raise the gas tax?

    01/13/2015 2:11:14 AM PST · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 42 replies
    PRI.org ^ | January 12, 2015 | PRI
    Gas prices are the lowest they've been in five years — a welcome relief for many drivers. But now that fuel prices are falling, some lawmakers are talking in a serious way about raising the gas tax — Republican lawmakers. The debate is at an early stage, and it’s fair to say House conservatives will hate the idea. But a few powerful GOP senators are signaling they're open to the idea. Even House Speaker John Boehner, who personally opposes raising the gas tax, hasn't ruled it out. “Some Republicans in the Senate are speaking up,” says Todd Zwillich, The Takeaway's...
  • Thousands of E-ZPass users clocked, but not ticketed, for speeding through Maryland tolls

    01/10/2015 9:59:17 PM PST · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 26 replies
    The Baltimore Sun ^ | January 10, 2015 | Kevin Rector
    Thousands of E-ZPass users have been clocked speeding through Maryland toll facilities in recent years, prompting warnings — but not repercussions — from the Maryland Transportation Authority. lRelated Ex-mayoral aide accused of trying to help firm get camera contract The agency began recording the speed of E-ZPass drivers in 2002, though there are no signs at toll facilities indicating that speeds are being monitored. Drivers are informed in the terms and conditions of their E-ZPass contracts. Maryland law empowers the MdTA to revoke a driver's E-ZPass transponder for 60 days after a second speeding violation within a six-month period —...
  • Musk’s Hyperloop Will Revolutionize Transport, That’s Only The Beginning Of The Change It’ll Bring

    01/05/2015 2:18:31 AM PST · by 2ndDivisionVet · 34 replies
    SingularityHUB ^ | December 27, 2014 | Steven Kotler
    San Francisco to Los Angeles in 35 minutes flat—that was the dream of the Hyperloop. Back in 2013, Elon Musk introduced the world to this dream a 60 page white paper. The paper caused a stir. The idea—a levitating, solar-power supersonic train—was both pure geek porn and a transportation revolution in the making. It definitely captured people’s imagination. But would it ever get made—now that was the question. Musk himself said he was too busy to take on the project, but if other people wanted in on the cause, well, that was just fine with him. As it turns out,...
  • The cheap oil dividend (BARF)

    01/01/2015 8:10:51 PM PST · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 17 replies
    The Baltimore Sun ^ | December 31, 2014 | Baltimore Sun
    hether one observed Christmas or Hanukkah — or any other seasonal festivity — there was a nice little gift included for the drivers of this nation. Gasoline prices, in case anyone hasn't noticed, are down, way down. The average price of a gallon of unleaded in Maryland by Christmas week was in the neighborhood of $2.53, according to AAA, and there were some stations in the Baltimore area selling it for as little as $2.22. lRelated The cheap oil dividend One year ago, average gasoline prices were about $1 per gallon higher, which means a typical fill-up is saving drivers...
  • Mark Dayton wants to limit tax increases to transportation funding

    12/31/2014 7:06:21 AM PST · by TurboZamboni · 6 replies
    Pioneer Press ^ | 12-31-14 | David Montgomery
    Minnesota's highway needs can't be met without more tax revenue, Gov. Mark Dayton said Tuesday -- setting him up for a possible clash with the new Republican majority in the House. Dayton is finalizing his 2016-17 budget proposal, which aims to raise what he says is the $6 billion Minnesota's roads need over the next 10 years. The plan calls for a 6.5 percent wholesale surtax on gasoline -- separate from the existing 28.5 cents-per-gallon tax already levied. That means the tax would bring in more money when gas prices increase. "Our transportation systems are getting worse," Dayton said. "Anybody...
  • Can Conservatives Keep Winning On Infrastructure Spending?

    12/30/2014 7:03:50 AM PST · by cotton1706 · 10 replies
    townhall.com ^ | 12/30/14 | Conn Carroll
    It is rare for conservatives to score a federal policy victory these days, especially with a Democrat in the White House, but as Michael Barone reminds us, just by playing defense conservatives have done exactly that on transportation. Unfortunately there are some in Congress who want to reverse these gains. The big win for conservatives on transportation comes from two sources. First, when the gas tax was last raised in 1993, it was not indexed for inflation, so the 18.4 cents a gallon collected today doesn't go as far today as it did more than two decades ago. Second, thanks...
  • The Growing Inanity of California High-Speed Rail

    12/29/2014 5:01:34 PM PST · by george76 · 50 replies
    The Antiplanner ^ | December 29, 2014
    Los Angeles Times architecture critic Christopher Hawthorne–who claims to be an “unabashed supporter” of high-speed rail–reviews Anaheim’s new train station and finds it “oddly antiseptic.” Hawthorne doesn’t care that taxpayers spent $2,764 per square foot for what is essentially a big glass tent. He is a little disturbed that the design is so dysfunctional that train passengers “exit onto an uncovered platform, take the elevator or stairs [up] to a pedestrian bridge, and then enter the building at its highest interior level” only to have to go back down again to get to ground level. ... While Hawthorne’s critique is...
  • Ten Reasons Why Per-Mile Tolling Is a Better Highway User Fee than Fuel Taxes

    12/29/2014 3:44:05 PM PST · by TurboZamboni · 93 replies
    Reason ^ | 2-13-2014 | Robert Poole
    This policy brief focuses on the challenge of developing a viable, user-friendly, per-mile charging system to replace fuel taxes for the nation's major highways. In doing so, it outlines 10 reasons why per-mile tolling is a better highway user fee than fuel taxes. Reason 1: Per-mile tolling is a direct, rather than indirect, user fee. Motorists would pay for the amount of service they received; they would pay providers directly for providing that service; and they would know exactly how much they were paying and what they were getting for it. Reason 2: Per-mile tolling is a sustainable long-term funding...
  • Minnesota May Start Taxing Drivers

    12/29/2014 2:31:13 PM PST · by TurboZamboni · 47 replies
    SeeBS ^ | 12-25-14 | SeeBS
    MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Gas prices are finally falling, but those savings might not last long.At least 18 states, including Minnesota, are considering taxing drivers based on distance. Gas prices aren’t the only reason for the idea, since newer cars get better gas mileage. Oregon has a pilot project that will start next year to test the idea. They’re having 5,000 volunteers pay 1.5 cents per mile instead of the 30-cents-per-gallon tax.An electronic device attached to their vehicle will report how far they drive in state.
  • Taxpayer Cost for Road Fix 'Compromise' Went from $0 to $1.9 Billion

    12/29/2014 1:05:38 PM PST · by MichCapCon · 6 replies
    Michigan Capitol Confidential ^ | 12/28/2014 | Tom Gantert
    The Michigan Senate’s plan to find more money for road repairs was a $1.2 billion gas and diesel tax increase. The State House’s response was to shift some current state tax revenue to roads, with no net tax increase. Leaders from both sides came up with a "compromise," which was adopted in the predawn hours of Dec. 19: Increase state taxes and spending by $1.9 billion, of which just $1.2 billion goes to fix the roads, and the rest for other areas. “It appears that everyone was at the table negotiating except the taxpayers,” said Leon Drolet, chair of the...
  • Delaney favors toll lanes for Interstate 270

    12/18/2014 7:02:33 PM PST · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 42 replies
    The Gazette ^ | December 18, 2014 | Ryan Marshall
    U.S. Rep. John K. Delaney said Thursday that toll lanes might be needed to ease traffic and congestion on Interstate 270, a corridor vital to the future of Montgomery and Frederick counties. Leaders in the region must make sure the highway operates as efficiently as possible, Delaney (D-Dist. 6) of Potomac told legislators and business leaders from the two counties Thursday in Frederick at a meeting on the I-270 corridor. Del. Michael Hough (D) of Brunswick, an incoming state senator from District 4, said Virginia has done a good job of combining ideas such as high-occupancy toll lanes and private...
  • One Step Toward 'Reinventing' Michigan

    12/12/2014 10:51:22 AM PST · by MichCapCon · 2 replies
    Michigan Capitol Confidential ^ | 12/11/2014 | Michael Van Beek
    Over the past four years, there’s been a lot of talk about “reinventing” Michigan. Gov. Rick Snyder and this Legislature have made significant strides toward that goal by improving the state’s tax structure, modernizing education policies and beginning to revamp the state’s regulatory regime. On that last item there is more to be done. House Bill 5951 would embrace innovative ride-sharing technologies used by companies such as Uber and Lyft. HB 5951, introduced by Rep. Tim Kelly, R-Saginaw Twp., would create a state-based regulatory framework for these so-called transportation network companies. The version of the bill passed out of a...
  • Congress Can't Break Highway Gridlock

    11/28/2014 11:04:21 AM PST · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 20 replies
    Real Clear Politics ^ | November 26, 2014 | Michael Needham
    “I don’t want to say they’re unsafe, but they’re dangerous.” That was how President Obama’s former transportation secretary Ray LaHood described America’s roads and bridges in a pre-Thanksgiving interview on CBS’s 60 Minutes. The high-profile story left viewers with the distinct impression that America’s roads and bridges are crumbling, and politicians were to blame. First, let’s dispense with the notion that travel in America is a life-jeopardizing experience. According to the Federal Highway Administration’s own 2013 report, the number of structurally deficient and functionally obsolete bridges has decreased every year since 2000. This same report also shows that fatalities and...
  • Low traffic on ICC prompts calls for lower tolls to ease congestion on local roads

    11/28/2014 6:07:01 AM PST · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 28 replies
    The Washington Post ^ | November 27, 2014 | Katherine Shaver
    Welmoed Sisson’s drive between her northern Montgomery County home and her business clients across the Maryland suburbs often includes a trip on the Intercounty Connector, a toll highway with so little traffic that Sisson can’t recall ever tapping her brakes. Almost 19 miles of pavement with no one in her way. Ever. Not even at rush hour. “It’s not an empty wasteland,” said Sisson, 54, who owns a home inspection business with her husband. “But it’s certainly nowhere near the volume of the free roads in the area. . . . It’s nice, but then again, you’re paying for that...
  • From Texas To Wisconsin, Voters To Determine Transportation Policy

    10/22/2014 10:38:12 AM PDT · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 7 replies
    Roll Call ^ | October 20, 2014 | Tom Curry
    In two weeks, voters decide which party will control the Senate and House, as well as choosing 36 governors and 6,049 state legislators.In some places voters will also be making transportation policy directly through ballot initiatives and referenda.A common factor in three states, Texas, Maryland and Wisconsin, is the attempt to ensure that some tax revenues are used only for transportation and aren’t diverted to other purposes.Texas voters will decide the fate of Proposition 1, a constitutional amendment that would earmark revenue from the state’s oil and gas severance tax to the state highway fund. (You can see a TV...