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5/4/2011    Survey

Rail News: News

U.S. mayors want more say in federal transportation funding, survey says


On Wednesday, the U.S. Conference of Mayors released results of a 176-city survey on local infrastructure investments and called on the federal government to invest more dollars in transportation options in metropolitan areas.

“As the federal government sets priorities for long-term spending and deficit reduction, future transportation infrastructure investments should focus spending on pressing metropolitan transportation infrastructure needs as opposed to low-priority highway expansion projects,” said Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed in a prepared statement. “The long-term productivity of transportation infrastructure spending is greater when it is invested where economic growth will occur, which is in the metropolitan areas.”

Among the survey’s findings:

• Ninety-three percent of mayors indicated support for reforming federal transportation projects so that cities and metro areas would receive a greater share of federal funds directly, as opposed to all funds going directly to states.

• Absent a greater share of funding going directly to cities and metro areas, only seven percent of mayors supported an increase in the federal gas tax.

• Ninety-six percent of mayors said they believed the federal government should increase spending on transportation infrastructure, with 89 percent supporting a gas tax increase if a greater share of funding were invested in local road and bridge infrastructure. Sixty-five percent would support a gas tax hike if more funds would be invested in public transit.

• Seventy-five percent of the respondents believed the availability of a national infrastructure bank or other federal financing tools would accelerate the number of transportation projects.


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