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Rail News: Federal Legislation & Regulation

UTU: Rep. Blumenauer to propose transit infrastructure-funding bills


U.S. Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.) plans to introduce legislation that would fund a series of pilot projects to further study the application of a vehicle-miles-traveled (VMT) fee and increase the federal gas tax by 15 cents per gallon, the United Transportation Union (UTU) reported yesterday on its website.

Blumenauer will announce his proposed legislation on Dec. 4. The bills would help fund transit infrastructure projects, the UTU reported.

The proposed "Road User Fee Pilot Project" would establish a competitive grant program to fund VMT pilot projects designed to determine how such fees would operate and provide models for best practices, UTU officials said.

Several states — including Iowa, Minnesota, Oregon, New York, Nevada and Texas — have tested projects in which drivers were charged based on the number of miles they traveled rather than the fuel they consumed. The National Surface Transportation Policy and Revenue Study Commission noted that a VMT fee is the "most promising alternative revenue measure" to the nation's existing gas tax, the UTU reported.

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More News from 11/27/2013