Caltrans Publication: 2015 Executive Fact BookletMarch 4, 2016
California Business Roundtable: CA Center for Jobs & the EconomyMarch 4, 2016
LAO Assessment of Governor’s 2016-17 Budget: Transportation ProposalsFebruary 23, 2016
The Governor’s budget provides a total of $17 billion from various fund sources for all departments and programs under the California State Transportation Agency in 2016-17. In the following report, the LAO assesses the Governor’s budget proposals in the transportation area: The 2016-17 Budget: Transportation Proposals
Highway and Road Maintenance and Repair Needs. In order to assist the Legislature in its deliberations regarding increased funding for state highway and road repairs, we assess the costs to maintain and rehabilitate core aspects of the state highway system—pavement, bridges, and culverts—as well as local roads. We find that the state has ongoing highway repair needs of about $3.6 billion annually as well as an existing backlog of needed repairs totaling roughly $12 billion. This need is significantly higher than can be addressed through the existing funding of about $1.6 billion for these purposes. We recommend a roadmap to assist the Legislature in ensuring that the highest priority needs are addressed first and that any additional funding provided is aligned with those needs. Specifically, we recommend the Legislature (1) make the Highway Maintenance Program the highest priority for additional funding to address $1.1 billion in ongoing unmet needs as well as a $3 billion existing maintenance backlog, (2) make the State Highway Operation and Protection Program the next priority for additional funds, (3) determine the level of funding for local roads based on legislative priorities weighed against state highway needs, (4) align permanent funding sources with ongoing needs and temporary funding sources with one-time needs (such as addressing backlogs), and (5) adopt accountability measures to ensure that any additional funds are spent effectively.
California’s Continuing Transportation Funding ProblemsFebruary 16, 2016
Will Kempton, CTC presentation during CTF Annual Meeting on 2/10/16. Click to access.
Building California’s Future Begins TodayFebruary 16, 2016
Treasurer Releases Blueprint for Infrastructure Growth and Innovation. State Treasurer John Chiang today released an extensive blueprint for fixing California’s dilapidated roads, bridges and other infrastructure. The report also takes on many of the seemingly-intractable problems facing Californians today, from its affordable housing shortage and emerging retirement security crisis to local government bankruptcy and predatory-ADA lawsuits.
The 25-page, document — “Building California’s Future Begins Today” expresses in detail the treasurer’s vision for modernizing public finance and creating better lives for all Californians.
Chiang made his report public during a meeting of the California Business Roundtable, where he stressed the importance of working with private sector leaders in solidifying the Golden State’s deserved reputation as a home to some of the world’s most innovative corporations.
“I want you to join me in the effort to construct a 21st-century economy. One that cements our position as a world economic power, but remembers that a thriving private sector is reliant on a thriving private sector workforce. One that embraces the high-tech, bio-tech, and green-tech giants which have made California the cradle of global innovation but also the ma-and-pa entrepreneurs which account for much of our new job growth,” said Chiang.
The Biennial Report contains a series of concrete proposals to identify, prioritize and pay for new public works construction of highways, water projects, state buildings, parks, schools and universities. At least $850 billion worth of new public works must be built in coming years, warns California Forward, a nonpartisan think-tank.
“Finding that kind of money is an enormous challenge,” said Chiang. “That is why I have come up with necessary foundational steps in a long-range plan for rebuilding California’s public works.”
Here is an outline of the Treasurer’s three-step approach to reinvesting in California:
- First, perform a statewide inventory of California’s growing infrastructure deficit. This inventory would include a detailed list of all major capital assets, an evaluation of its remaining useful life and the cost replacing it or doing nothing.
- Then, figure out the best way to pay for construction, using a combination of innovative public and private investments.
- Lastly, create a reserve fund to tap excess tax revenues when the state’s economy performs exceptionally well.
“Now is a particularly good time to share these ideas with lawmakers, who are currently in a special session on infrastructure called last summer by the governor,” added Chiang. “I am urging legislators to think creatively about how to inventory and pay for nearly a trillion dollars in new transportation links, hospitals, schools and water projects.”
The Treasurer’s biennial report spells out an ambitious agenda. One section of the plan focuses on strengthening our oversight of California’s financial ecosystem by:
- Seeking legislation to make state and local government officials more accountable for how proceeds from the sale of municipal bonds are tracked and spent.
- Establishing “fiscal red teams” to help distressed local governments craft recovery options short of bankruptcy.
- Building open-government technology to promote transparency and accountability in how public debt is being utilized.
Read the full report here.
New Report: Will Americans Support Higher Gas Taxes? Yes–Under Certain Conditions…November 30, 2015
Common wisdom holds that Americans do not support increased taxes at the gas pump. However, a just-released Mineta Transportation Institute research report says the majority of Americans will support those taxes, but only if the revenue… Read more!
…revenue is invested in specific transportation improvements that people value. The results of a national telephone survey are detailed in What Do Americans Think About Federal Tax Options to Support Public Transit, Highways, and Local Streets and Roads? Results from Year Six of a National Survey. The survey findings have implications for current Congressional discussions about funding the transportation infrastructure.
The survey, the sixth in an annual series, was directed by Asha Weinstein Agrawal, PhD, and Hilary Nixon, PhD. The report is available for free download athttp://transweb.sjsu.edu/project/1428.html
Two proposed federal bills would raise gas tax rates. One bill, H.R. 1846, would index the gas tax to inflation and create a bi-partisan, bi-cameral transportation commission that would provide long-term funding of the Highway Trust Fund (HTF). That bill is currently in the Subcommittee on Highways and Transit. Another proposed bill, H.R. 680, would increase the gas tax by five cents per year for three years. That bill is with the House Committee on Ways and Means.
But if either bill is to gain support, legislators must be confident that increases in transportation taxes and fees would be politically feasible.
This report provides valuable data.
“These survey results show that a majority of Americans would support higher taxes for transportation, but only under certain conditions,” said Dr. Agrawal. “For example, a gas tax increase of 10 cents per gallon to improve road maintenance was supported by 71% of respondents, whereas support levels dropped to just 31% if the revenues were to be used more generally to maintain and improve the transportation system.”
Specific taxes tested were ten variations on raising the federal gas tax rate or creating a new mileage tax, as well as one option for creating a new federal sales tax. In addition, the survey collected standard sociodemographic data, some travel behavior data, and respondents’ views on the quality of their local transportation system and their priorities for government spending on transportation in their state.
“U.S. policymakers face a dilemma,” said Dr. Nixon. “Transportation revenues available from state and federal gas taxes have fallen significantly, especially in terms of inflation-adjusted dollars per mile traveled. At the same time, the transportation infrastructure requires critical and expensive system upgrades.”
That dilemma offers only two possible resolutions. Either the nation must dramatically lower its goals for system preservation and enhancement, or new revenues must be raised. If the latter is to happen, legislators must craft the means to pass those bills in a form that Americans will support. These survey results can help to shed light on current public opinion.
MTI has conducted several similar surveys.
The random-digit-dial telephone survey tested national support for federal gas, mileage, and sales tax options to raise revenue for transportation purposes. Multiple variations on the mileage-tax and gas-tax concepts were presented to test relative support levels among the options.
The Mineta Transportation Institute has conducted similar surveys annually since 2010. Looking across the six years of survey data, support for all the taxes has risen modestly since 2010. From 2014 to 2015, support increased for nine tax options.
A total of 1,503 adults completed the 2015 survey in either English or Spanish between February 26, 2015, and March 31, 2015. For the full sample, which included both land-line and cell-phone numbers, the margin of error was ± 2.53 percentage points at the 95% confidence level.
The full research report provides in-depth analysis of the survey results, reviewing trends in support across the six annual surveys, and investigating how the revealed opinions may vary according to respondents’ socio-demographic, political, and travel-behavior characteristics. Go tohttp://transweb.sjsu.edu/project/1428.html
Tweet this: MTI just released the full research report – What are American views on increased transpo taxes and fees? http://ow.ly/ONkLX
ABOUT THE RESEARCH TEAM
Asha Agrawal, PhD, is director of the MTI National Transportation Finance Center and also an associate professor of urban and regional planning at San José State University. Her research and teaching interests in transportation policy and planning include transportation finance, pedestrian and bicycle planning, and planning and transportation history. She has a BA from Harvard University in folklore and mythology, an MSc from the London School of Economics and Political Science in urban and regional planning, and a PhD from the University of California, Berkeley in city and regional planning.
Hilary Nixon, PhD, is an associate professor and chair of urban and regional planning at San José State University. Her research and teaching interests are in environmental planning and policy focusing on the relationship between environmental attitudes and behavior, particularly with respect to waste management and linkages between transportation and the environment. She holds a BA from the University of Rochester in environmental management and a PhD in planning, policy, and design from the University of California, Irvine.
ABOUT THE MINETA TRANSPORTATION INSTITUTE
The Mineta Transportation Institute (MTI) conducts research, education, and information transfer programs regarding surface transportation policy and management issues, especially related to transit. Congress established MTI in 1991 as part of the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act. MTI won national re-designation competitions in 2002, 2006 and 2012. The Institute is funded through the US Department of Transportation, the US Department of Homeland Security, the California Department of Transportation, and public and private grants. The internationally respected members of the MTI Board of Trustees represent all major surface transportation modes. MTI, the lead institute for the nine-university Mineta National Transit Research Consortium, is affiliated with San Jose (CA) State University’s College of Business. Visit transweb.sjsu.edu
Contact: Donna Maurillo, MTI Communications Director
831-234-4009 (24 hours) donna.maurillo (at) sjsu.edu
Research Brief (221K)
TRIP Release New Report Evaluating Condition of America’s Major Urban RoadsJuly 23, 2015
TRIP has released a new report that evaluates the condition of America’s major urban roads. The report, “Bumpy Roads Ahead: America’s Roughest Rides and Strategies to Make our Roads Smoother,” evaluates pavement conditions in the nation’s large and mid-sized urban areas (250,000 to 500,000 and 500,000 + population) and calculates the additional vehicle operating costs borne by the average motorist in each urban area as a result of driving on deteriorated roads. The report also includes information on federal surface transportation funding, travel trends and economic development.
In addition, below please find links specific to the California Urban Roads news releases:
California Urban Roads News Releases
PAVEMENT CONDITIONS IN FIFTEEN CALIFORNIA URBAN AREAS RANK AMONG NATION’S MOST DETERIORATED, COSTING DRIVERS AS MUCH AS $1,044 EACH YEAR…
Los Angeles – Long Beach – Santa Ana Urban Roads News Release
LOS ANGELES-LONG BEACH-SANTA ANA AREA ROADS ARE AMONG NATION’S MOST DETERIORATED, COSTING DRIVERS $1,031 EACH YEAR…
San Diego Urban Roads News Release
SAN DIEGO AREA ROADS ARE AMONG NATION’S MOST DETERIORATED, COSTING DRIVERS $843 EACH YEAR.
San Francisco – Oakland Urban Roads News Release
SAN FRANCISCO-OAKLAND AREA ROADS ARE NATION’S MOST DETERIORATED, COSTING DRIVERS $1,044 EACH YEAR..
Further information is available at www.tripnet.org.
Special Session 2: TC Update on Activities-MWatts-7/8/15July 8, 2015
Click to view Special Session 2: TC Update on Activities from Mark Watts – 7/8/15.
TC Legislative Update-State Budget Update – MWatts – 6/17/15November 30, 2015
Click to view TC Legislative Update-State Budget Update from Mark Watts – 6/17/15.
State Budget UpdateNovember 30, 2015
(Mark Watts, Transportation California) On June 15, the Legislature approved AB 93, the 2015 State Budget Act. The overall State General Fund expenditure plan for 2015-16 reflected in the bill amounts to $117 billion… Read more…