• Transportation Advocates Say Look at the Facts
Election campaigns are underway all across Texas and there are lively discussions going on about how to address the transportation challenges facing our state.
In more than one case the discussions have veered far from the facts – facts about our fuels taxes and the total amount Texas motorists pay in fees each year to build and maintain our highway system.
As the late Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan famously said – everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts.
Transportation Advocates of Texas (TAoT) took up the challenge of making sure that some of the facts are available to candidates and constituents. They are distributing thousands of Transportation Crisis information cards to candidates and others. TAoT encourages them to pass the cards along to the public as they meet with people who have questions about transportation.
In their June meeting Alliance for I-69 board members and guests heard on update from Jim Reed, chairman of the TAoT board. The Alliance is one of the founding organizations of the Transportation Advocates.
Reed said TAoT will soon begin working to develop consensus positions to advocate during in the upcoming regular session of the Texas Legislature. He said Texas needs conservative solutions to paying for critically needed highway projects. He said just ignoring the problems is not a conservative solution. He urged sustainable solutions with an acceptable combination of fuel fees and registration fees coupled with limited use of toll roads.
The TAoT information card points out that gasoline taxes have not changed since 1993 even as the buying power of those revenues has declined by more than a third. At the same time the gap is widening with the growth in population and the aging of the transportation system.
More than 30,000 additional vehicles join us on the state’s streets and highway every month. Texas motorists in congested area are losing millions of hours of time each year in slow moving traffic. Texas has a transportation crisis and we need a new sustainable, long-term source of revenue to meet mobility demands. Despite the obvious political difficulty, our state can’t continue to kick the can down the road for someone else to address in the future.
TAoT is offering copies of the Transportation Crisis information card to member organizations and others who can make timely use of them in helping the public understand the challenges we face. To inquire about copies please contact Leslie Harlan at (210) 688-4407.