Well, here we sit, waiting for Congress to do something about the dwindling Highway Trust Fund. Starting in August, the money in the fund starts being rationed and after it runs out- who knows? What we do know is that our transportation infrastructure isn’t fixing itself, so some new method of funding maintenance and preservation projects is imperative.
The problem is that the Highway Trust Fund is funded by the gas tax. With people driving less, cars being more efficient on fuel these days and the infrastructure aging and crumbling faster than we can fix it, the tax doesn’t supply as much money for repairs and maintenance as is needed.
Every state has been struggling with this for a while now and many are trying experimental funding methods to try to solve the problem at the state-level. While many are looking at raising the gas tax, Oregon has been trying out a mileage-based funding system. And it seems to be working. A new report on the pilot program says revenue from it exceeded expected gas tax earnings by 28 percent.
This CityLab article looks at why the program appears to be working so far, and why it will help change our behavior if it goes country-wide.