Subscribe to our free, weekly email newsletter!



A ray of light in Washington when it comes to transportation funding?

By Jeff Berman, Group News Editor
October 28, 2013

The current federal transportation law—Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21str Century (MAP-21)—expires in less than a year in next September.

The calendar tells us that next September is not all that far away, but politics, especially based on the current state of affairs, could be telling us the chances of a comprehensive, long-term bill are much further away, or perhaps not.

Putting the political rancor aside, which can be hard to do for many regardless of affiliation, I was encouraged to see an article in today’s edition of the Wall Street Journal, entitled “Push for Transportation Funding Gains Steam.”

The article noted how the Water Resources Reform and Development Act of 2013 was passed by the House of Representatives by a more than convincing 417-3 margin. How is that for bipartisanship in today’s disharmonized political times?

Among the other transportation infrastructure-related headwinds cited in the article were:
-a Congressional conference committee focused on fiscal 2014 spending, which could lead to “a bipartisan agreement that more spending is needed on infrastructure projects [and] give both parties an incentive to ease the sequester cuts”;
-the reopening of a widened Panama Canal in 2015; and
-national highway funding focused on the federal gasoline tax, which has not been raised in 20 years, and finances the Highway Trust Fund, which is constantly teetering on the edge or is insolvent.

Addressing the issue of the federal gasoline tax, American Trucking Associations President and CEO Bill Graves, a Republican and former governor of Kansas, said that his party’s’ premise of refusing to pay more taxes is doing more harm than good, when it comes to transportation funding.  Graves and the ATA fully support raising the tax.

“Republicans, by holding tight to the notion that there should not be any tax increases, are forcing the citizens of this country to potentially have to pay more than they otherwise would,” through more toll roads, for example, said Graves

To be sure, things are nowhere near perfect when it comes to solutions for transportation funding and how to make things better.

But even with the angst and the related risks in today’s political sphere, it is clear that some baby steps toward some type of progress are actually happening, albeit at a very slow pace.

This week, for example, the House Transportation and Infrastructure (T&I) Committee’s Panel on 21st Century Freight Transportation, whose chief objective is to examine the current state of freight transportation in the United States and how improving freight transportation can strengthen the U.S. economy, will issue its final report and recommendations to the House T&I Committee.

The subject matter germane to this hearing will focus on the usual suspects like MAP-21, WRRDA, the Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) discretionary grant program, the Transportation and Infrastructure Financing Innovation Act (TIFIA) Program, State Transportation Funding Packages, and Public Private Partnerships, all things which Committee officials apply specifically to freight transportation projects.

Considering the fact that on the highway funding side of things the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) is projecting that the HTF will face a cash deficit of $126 billion over fiscal year 2012 to fiscal year 2023, the fact that this panel is being proactive and looking for long-term funding solutions is a good thing. It will be interesting to see what its findings are to say the least.

About the Author

Jeff Berman headshot
Jeff Berman
Group News Editor

Jeff Berman is Group News Editor for Logistics Management, Modern Materials Handling, and Supply Chain Management Review. Jeff works and lives in Cape Elizabeth, Maine, where he covers all aspects of the supply chain, logistics, freight transportation, and materials handling sectors on a daily basis. .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).


Subscribe to Logistics Management magazine

Subscribe today. It's FREE!
Get timely insider information that you can use to better manage your
entire logistics operation.
Start your FREE subscription today!

Recent Entries

Transportation stakeholders reliant on North Carolina’s major seaports are welcoming news this week, which outlines plans to enhance the intermodal and cold chain network in the region.

The index ISM uses to measure non-manufacturing growth—known as the NMI—was 56.9 in February, which was 0.2 percent ahead of January and also 0.1 percent ahead of the 12-month average of 56.8. Economic activity in the non-manufacturing sector has grown for the last 61 months, according to ISM.

Non asset-based third-party logistics (3PL) services and logistics technology services provider Transplace said today that Brooks Bentz has joined the company in a newly-created role as president of Transplace Consulting in conjunction with the launch of the company’s new North American consulting services practice.

The advent of e-commerce continues to grow and gain increased traction over time. The many ways for consumers to order and purchase goods online continues to expand and leads to various subsequent byproducts of online purchases, including shopping through multiple channels, and delivery and payment options, among other things. These types of topics serve as the thesis in the second annual UPS Pulse of the Online Shopper Global Study issued this week by UPS and comScore Inc.

A major highlight of CEVA’s fourth quarter performance was its new business wins, which were up 14 percent for all of 2014, with Freight Management wins up 14 percent, and Ocean Freight and Air Freight wins up 30 percent and 14 percent, respectively, while Contract Logistics wins were up 2 percent.

Comments

Post a comment
Commenting is not available in this channel entry.


© Copyright 2015 Peerless Media LLC, a division of EH Publishing, Inc • 111 Speen Street, Ste 200, Framingham, MA 01701 USA