Future Financing Options to Meet Highway and Transit Needs

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by Gary Maring, Principal, Cambridge Systematics, Inc.

The main revenue source for funding the nation's roads, bridges, and transit systems -- the gas tax -- has remained at a fixed amount for over a decade, while inflation and the cost of construction have risen rapidly. As a result, the nation's highway trust fund will fall short of the revenue needed to meet its obligations for the first time in 2009. In light of the shortfall, this paper examines potential revenue sources at all levels of government and the private sector to fill the gap needed to maintain our national system in a state of good repair and make investments that are needed to accommodate future population and economic growth.