ARLINGTON, VA – The American Trucking Associations (ATA) says the new infrastructure plan from the White House falls short on what’s needed to repair roadways, and is calling for more funding.
President Trump kicked off infrastructure week in the nation’s capital Monday by announcing a US$1.5 Trillion, 55-page plan that would give money to cities, counties, and states to improve infrastructure, including roads and toll areas.
The grants are also being allocated for transformative projects such as high-speed internet and transit for rural communities, as well as transit, telecom, and water pipe upgrading in both rural and urban areas.
ATA President and CEO Chris Spear says the plan is a good start, but doesn’t go far enough.
“While the White House’s plan kick starts this debate, it unfortunately falls short of the President’s campaign promise to go big and bold, because it lacks the required federal investment. A proposal that relies on fake funding schemes like highway tolls and privatizing rest areas will not generate the revenue necessary to make significant infrastructure improvements,” he said.
While the legislative outline is being introduced, the U.S. Congress just created a budget The Center for American Progress says reduces infrastructure spending by US$281 billion across the country. Critics of the proposed infrastructure plan also say it downloads the responsibility for improving infrastructure to states and cities, reports NPR.
Suggested solutions to infrastructure issues in recent days have included additional tolls on highways or privatizing parking areas. Spear says those are not solutions the ATA supports.
“To be clear, new tolling on existing interstates is a non-starter for our industry. Tolls are ineffective and wasteful, with as much as 33% of revenue being wasted on administrative and overhead costs,” he says.
“We also have grave concerns with the failure of the Administration’s budget proposal and infrastructure proposal to address the imminent collapse of the Highway Trust Fund. To be blunt, America is hurtling toward a highway funding cliff. If we continue on this trajectory, the motoring public, the American taxpayer and future generations are going to pay a very steep and unacceptable price. Any infrastructure funding proposal that does not address this situation is unacceptable.”
The infrastructure plan is currently a legislative framework and has yet to be approved by Congress.