The National Surface Transportation Policy and Revenue Study Commission created under SAFETEA-LU to advise Congress on the future direction of surface transportation policy is anticipated to release its final report to Congress soon.
The Commission is expected to call for a strong federal role in surface transportation policy, including recommendations to reform the program to focus on those areas of clear national interest. The Commission is also expected to propose to Congress a significant increase in federal funding, including an increase in the federal motor fuels user fee and other revenues in addition to expanding the use of tolling, congestion pricing, and public-private partnerships. To recommend specific user fee increases to Congress, the Commission is expected to call for the creation of an independent commission, similar to the commission that currently sets postal rates. AGC presented the idea to the commission in testimony in 2006 and 2007 as a way to to guide and de-politicize federal funding decisions.
The House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee will conduct a hearing on the Commission's report next Thursday; the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee will conduct a similar hearing the following week. AGC will review the contents of the report and work with Congress to shape the upcoming surface transportation authorization.