Boxer: Congress 'running out of time' on highway funding

The chairwoman of the Senate committee that oversees infrastructure projects said Thursday that Congress is "running out of time" to approve legislation to prevent a bankruptcy in the Department of Transportation's Highway Trust Fund.

The highway trust fund, which is used to pay for road and transit projects, is traditionally filled by revenue collected from the 18.4 cents per gallon federal gas tax.

Infrastructure expenses have outpaced receipts for the gas tax by about $20 billion per year in recent years however, and the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has project the Highway Trust Fund will run out of money this fall.


Advocates want more tolls on roads

Advocates are pushing Congress to ease up on restrictions on tolls roads in the next transportation funding bill.

The International Bridge, Tunnel and Turnpike Association (IBTTA) held a “summit on legislation, policy and infrastructure finance” on Tuesday in Washington.

IBTTA Executive Director Patrick Jones said tolling could be a potential solution to a shortfall in transportation funding that is projected to reach as high as $20 billion without congressional action later this year.


Transit industry wants $11B annual funding increase

The American Public Transportation Association (APTA) is recommending that Congress increase its funding of transit systems in the U.S. by $11.5 billion per year.

The association announced on Tuesday at its annual conference in Washington, D.C., that it was proposing that Congress approve $100.4 billion in new public transportation spending when the current funding for road and transit projects runs out this fall.

The current congressional surface transportation bill is scheduled to expire in September, and the trust fund that pays for most of its infrastructure initiatives is projected to go bankrupt as soon as August.

APTA President Michael Melaniphy said the funding for transit systems should be increased in the new round of transportation funding that Congress is debating now.