Transportation for America releases reform plan

Posted on May 12, 2009

Transportation for America released a detailed plan on Monday to restructure the nation’s transportation program in order to build a smart, safe and clean transportation system.


Developed in consultation with teams of transportation professionals, public officials and stakeholders, "The Route to Reform" outlines a renewed vision for the federal program as well as ways to pay for it, coupled with a restructuring. To highlight key features of the proposal, the coalition convened transportation industry experts from across the country for a panel discussion in the House Transportation Committee Room on Capitol Hill.


“As the existing program has lost focus and energy, we find ourselves with an aging, yet incomplete transportation system that is not prepared to serve the changing America of the 21st century,” said James Corless, director of Transportation for America. “Our coalition is prepared to lend considerable support for a much larger investment in transportation, but we believe that only a reinvigorated, redirected federal program will win buy-in from our coalition and American taxpayers in general.”


The Route to Reform breaks with convention by calling on Congress not to increase taxes to provide additional funding to the federal transportation program unless it also institutes critical reforms.


“Increased revenues for transportation are needed to pay for necessary upgrades to the federal program, but we can only support more money if it’s accompanied by a bold new vision for a 21st century transportation system,” said Corless.  “As a nation, we want people to use less oil and gasoline, not more, so we are sunk in the long run if we rely only on the gas tax. We should look at a variety of potential revenue strategies, but that must go hand-in-hand with reforms to help spend these funds more wisely.”


The Transportation for America analysts concluded that in the short run, it may be necessary to raise the federal gas tax, or to move to a sales tax on fuels or a surcharge on oil, in preparation for a transition to a tax based on vehicle miles traveled.


Read the report at


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