Every citizen relies upon and expects our transportation system to be safe and to work. Transportation funds are critical to global competitiveness. The country’s economic health depends on its transportation system.
The IRTBA is committed to keeping America working. In order to keep our economy robust, our roads, bridges, transit, airports, and ports must be safe and effective. Congress and the General Assembly must provide adequate and reliable funding for our transportation systems. IRTBA supports increased, sustainable, and dedicated funding. We need a multi-year, multi-modal, federal-funding package immediately. The IRTBA also supports financing new infrastructure through direct user charges.
MAP-21 is the current surface transportation act. It was enacted as a short-term measure and has already expired. The funding levels did not increase from the last all-encompassing transportation program was The Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU) program, which expired in 2009 and was extended for several years. MAP-21 has already been extended, and neither a new bill nor a new funding source is anticipated before the Highway Trust Fund is depleted. Currently the program spends $40 billion annually with only $35 billion in gas tax receipts. The rest of the money has come from general revenues due to the failure of Congress to find a sustainable user fee to properly fund transportation.
How Do We Rank?
Today, China spends nine percent of its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per year on infrastructure, Europe spends five percent, and yet, the United States of America only spends 2.4 percent of its GDP per year on infrastructure.
According to the World Economic Forum, the United States jumped in our international rank, from 25th to 12th place for overall infrastructure quality in 2017.
Illinois is ranked 17th nationally for our transportation network, according to U.S. News & World Report. Illinois ranked 25th for our bridge quality, public transit ranked 5th, road quality is ranked 23rd nationally, and our commute time as it compares to other states is by far the worst of our ranks - 45th in the nation.
- Dramatically cut spending; which endangers the public, increases the number of structurally deficient bridges and potholes, and causes a loss of hundreds of thousands of jobs;
- Further add to the deficit; or
- Raise new revenues of some kind.