Our transportation network exists almost in a vacuum, with virtually no connection between how it is designed, how it is funded, and how American families and businesses use it every day. The result is an inefficient system in which system needs are out of alignment with investment, cost is out of alignment with usage, and congestion is threatening to undermine the potential gains associated with recent improvements in vehicle technology and fuel diversification. We require a system based more closely on a true supply and demand model, 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.
The recommendations outlined in this paper will 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. These recommendations will replace the existing indirect fees, inefficient investments, misaligned incentives, and overburdening regulations with a system that relies on market signals, offers more consumer choices, and ultimately provides Americans a more efficient, more effective network of roads and rails.