February 17, 2016
The federal government would get more bang for their buck if U.S. drivers were charged directly for their use of highways through tolls or mileage fees, a new study from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) says.
The report from Congress’s budgetary scorekeepers says current “spending on highways does not correspond very well with how the roads are used and valued.”
The CBO said mechanisms like tolling, mileage fees or congestion pricing could be considered to fund transportation projects in lieu of relying mostly on gas tax revenue.
“Almost all federal spending for highways occurs through formula grants to state and local governments, and historically, less than half of the funding has been tied directly to the amount of travel on the roads,” the report said.
“Although data from the past 20 years show that, on average, pavement quality is improving, fewer bridges have deficiencies, and highway fatalities occur less frequently, those averages mask differences between urban and rural areas and between interstate highways and other roads, differences that sometimes are not reflected in spending,” the report continued. Read on…