Strengthening U.S. Transportation Infrastructure Policy

Transportation infrastructure and energy policy have historically been debated in two entirely separate spheres in American politics, and a coherent, unified strategy for the federal surface transportation system has largely been absent since the construction of the interstate highway system.

Characterized by indirect fees, misaligned incentives, overburdening regulations, and inefficient capital investments, today the system faces major funding, decision-making, and performance challenges. Road congestion in particular severely threatens the potential gains associated with more efficient vehicles and alternative fuels.

SAFE proposes reforms designed to transform the nation’s transportation policy, introducing a more market-oriented model and instituting oil consumption as a key metric by which decisions are made and evaluated. Policies to promote more stable road speed conditions in particular are crucial to lowering oil consumption. Reforms are also required to promote smarter capital investments in highways, transit systems, and advanced technologies that encourage higher operating efficiency. The result is a U.S. transportation system in which assets are allocated based on needs and costs are aligned with use, helping to restore the mobility upon which our dynamic economy depends.

“I can think of no more pressing threat—aside from global terrorism—than America’s economic and national security dependence on an unpredictable, uncontrollable global petroleum market.” General Charles F. Wald, U.S. Air Force (Ret.)Former Deputy Commander,United States European Command

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