Survey: We Want Transportation Improvements and We're Willing to Pay

Traffic

Would you be willing to pay more at the gas pump if it would improve safety and congestion on your daily commute? More than two-thirds of Americans say they would, according to a new AAA survey of more than 2,000 adults. Only 5 percent of respondents said the federal government should spend less on transportation. AAA is using the research to bolster its argument to Congress that the national fuel tax should be increased to address issues on the nation’s roads, bridges and transit systems.

Low Gas Tax Could Cost Drivers More

The federal Highway Trust Fund is funded by the national gas tax, which costs motorists 18.4 cents a gallon for gasoline and 24.4 cents a gallon for diesel. The tax has not been raised in more than two decades, and AAA says that due to inflation and improved fuel economy, "the purchasing power of the current tax has been cut nearly in half." AAA called the gas tax "the most efficient and fair method available to pay for transportation maintenance and improvements in the near term," and estimates that hiking the tax could save the average driver $324 in annual repairs and operating costs due to poor road conditions.

"The Department of Transportation expects the federal Highway Trust Fund will run out of money this summer without congressional action, which would delay transportation maintenance and improvement projects nationwide," AAA said in a statement.

Here are some other highlights from the AAA survey:

  • More than half of respondents are willing to pay higher fuel taxes each month for improved transportation infrastructure.
  • Nearly three times as many people are more likely to vote for a member of Congress who supports increased federal spending on transportation than would be less likely.
  • Sixty-seven percent of Americans agree that taxes on fuel consumption are appropriate for transportation funding.
  • Forty-three percent of respondents said they believe roads, bridges and transit systems have declined in quality in the past three years compared with 32 percent who believe quality has improved.

AAA image

Comments 

Kyle W

I remember when cars used to look like that

Pay? You already pay, pay, paid in high taxes. But, no, that's not enough. They swindle taxpayers with huge projects and lucrative maintenance contracts that go to cronies and insiders with graft and kickbacks. Put your foot down!

The typical highway costs $10 million/mile. Sound expensive? Locally, they recently spent $1 billion on 4 miles, or $250 million/mile. Why? Decades of neglect after paying contractors to clean and paint steel bridges, which didn't happen, left them in rusty spalled shambles, so they had to be replaced, which meant land acquisition and massive relocation. DOTs love such projects, start another right after the last to the exclusion of sealing cracks which permit water to undermine surfaces. Big projects have more milk than daily upkeep. Ask questions, sit in on meetings.

mark

wow save a drive just under $325 a year. big deal. And what would be the hike ? You know if the tax went up .o5 cents it would cost the avarage driver that drives a avarage of 15000 miles a year: $750. I would rather pay for repairs on my car...

George C

We have been fleeced for decades.
Take the excess money, put it into an account. The interest this account returns pays for all future upkeep of the road.

But first the United States need to take control of the issuance of its own money from the private, non-governmental, bank call "federal reserve". Every dollar created is a loan, and since the debt exceeds the entire money supply [a fraud and everyone knows it] the tax the slaves on their wages & salary [another unConstitutional fraud].
All the while the country goes to hell.
Enough is enough.

Math isn't hard

Mark,

It would not cost you $750 in tax. If the average driver drives 15,000 miles and averages 25 MPG over those miles then they will use 600 gallons of gas. A $0.05 increase PER GALLON equates to $30. Your math is wrong.

DAVID PEARCE

Interesting, Math Isn't Hard, even with a possibly more realistic miles per gallon of 20, and all other factors being equal, the increased cost per year would only be $37.50. I'd pay that!

In fact, even at 5 MPG, the increased cost is $150.00. Your vehicle would have to get 1 MPG to have to pay $750.00 more per year, which I guess was where Mark's mistake was, not factoring in MPG.

DAVID PEARCE

Frankly, the streets here in Washington, D.C. are horrendous after last winter. And the never ending improvement project of Route 95 South between D.C. & Fredericksburg is long overdue, but meanwhile is just a disgrace!

For one of our "national" roads, so to speak, (I know they're all national, part of the Interstate System, but 95 is an especially well-known route), the state of 95 is a disgrace in many places.

I'd pay 5 cents or even 10 cents more per gallon to have beautiful, smooth, well-kept roads. What are we, a third world country? I want good roads! Smooth roads!

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