Rethinking Transportation Systems for Rural Areas: Role of the Federal Government, Funding Formulas, and Strategic Disinvestment

State and federal transportation funding mechanisms, which are primarily dependent on gas and diesel taxes, are becoming increasingly inefficient due to both a reduction in overall fuel purchases and an inflationary decrease in purchasing power. The proposed solutions to this funding crisis have either limited applicability in rural areas or raise equity concerns when applied to rural areas. High occupancy toll lanes (HOT lanes), tolling, congestion pricing, and public-private partnerships are all dependant on high levels of vehicular activity, which are not usually found in rural areas. Rural transportation corridors are critical to our nations’ economic and security interest, providing access to agricultural and energy resources and enabling the movement of people and goods between metropolitan areas. If the new transportation bill is to address national transportation issues, it is essential to move beyond urban-centric funding solutions. This paper outlines concepts related to rural state transportation funding issues raised during a Vermont Summit hosted in December 2008. The following concepts were identified as of critical interest to rural states: supporting a strong federal government role in transportation; being cautious with use of opt-out Programs; significant changes and new variables in funding formulae; identification of significant and diverse new federal revenue sources; questioning of non-federal Match Sources and Requirements; further exploration of strategic disinvestment in highway infrastructure; and creation of new mobility systems designed explicitly to efficiently work in rural areas.


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: DVD
  • Features: References;
  • Pagination: 14p
  • Monograph Title: TRB 89th Annual Meeting Compendium of Papers DVD

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01158037
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: 10-2473
  • Files: TRIS, TRB
  • Created Date: Jan 25 2010 11:10AM