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Poll respondents favor user fees, PPPs to pay for transportation, Reason Foundation says


A majority of people in the United States who responded to a recent poll conducted for the Reason Foundation agreed new transportation projects should be paid for with user fees instead of tax increases, and public-private partnerships should fund high-speed rail projects.

Seventy-seven percent of those polled opposed increasing the federal gas tax, while 19 percent favored raising the tax, which now stands at 18.4 cents per gallon. Sixty-five percent of the respondents agreed the government spends transportation funds ineffectively, and 23 percent said it is spent effectively, Reason Foundation officials said in a prepared statement.

The Reason Foundation, a self-described “public policy think tank,” funded the poll in part through the Arthur N. Rupe Foundation. Conducted for the Reason Foundation by NSON Opinion Strategy, the poll surveyed a random sampling of 1,200 adults by telephone Dec. 3-13. The results have a margin of error of plus or minus three percentage points.

Fifty-eight percent agreed roads and highways should be funded by tolls, while 28 percent said new road capacity should be paid for with a tax increase. In terms of transportation spending priorities, 62 percent of poll participants wanted to prioritize funding for road and highway projects, while 30 percent wanted to prioritize funding for mass transit projects.

Meanwhile, 55 percent of the respondents said the private sector should build high-speed rail systems, while 35 percent said they believed the federal and state governments should build high-speed systems.

In addition, 55 percent of the participants support public-private partnerships as a means to fund critical infrastructure projects.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 12/28/2011