A federal official warns about the need for a new revenue source to maintain our roadways.
New data shows we're driving a lot less these days, lowering the demand for fuel, but that's not good news for the highway trust fund.
“As Americans are driving less, they're actually giving less money to the states with which to keep highways safe.”
Doug Hecox, spokesman for the Federal Highway Administration, says Americans have driven 62 billion miles less than we did over the same period a year earlier. In July alone, Wisconsin motorists drove 100-million miles less than in the previous July.
Hecox says the problem is … the current highway financing system relies so heavily on conventional motor fuel sales, that as we drive less and purchase less fuel, there is less revenue going into the trust fund to maintain the roads.
“As Americans are finding new ways to avoid going to the gas stations, I mean finding increasing or radically increased fuel efficiency through hybrid cars or the electric cars we hear are just about ready to come out of Detroit … that condition is only going to worsen.”
Hecox says lawmakers will have to work hard to reform highway finance and figure out a new revenue source for the trust fund, otherwise the Wisconsin Department of Transportation — and other state DOTs — will be hard pressed to keep up with demand.