ON-Lion Letter

Approximately every six years, Congress reauthorizes U.S. surface-transportation legislation, providing an opportunity to make changes and updates that affect millions of Americans.  The Reason Foundation in Los Angeles has recommended eight free-market policy improvements for consideration during the next reauthorization:

1.     encourage large metro areas to implement seamless networks of priced express lanes serving both express buses and toll-paying motorists by allowing those lanes to get equal transit funding;

2.     grant user-friendly tolling flexibility for Interstate-highway reconstruction;

3.     simplify long-range planning requirements for regional transportation plans to get rid of those that have nothing to do with transportation;

4.     lessen the huge administrative burden of environmental regulations on regional transportation plans;

5.     eliminate the diversion of surface-transportation funding to other things like transit, bicycling, walking, "smart growth," transportation museums, and weed removal;

6.     add taxpayer protections to the Federal Railroad Administration's loan program, which currently makes 100% of a project's projected cost available without requiring a dedicated revenue stream to pay off the loan;

7.     allow taxpayers to judge whether transportation plans focus enough on congestion reduction; and,

8.     get rid of the Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) Program, an executive-agency discretionary funding program that supports road, rail, transit, and port projects with a focus on politics, not policy.

The Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation in Milwaukee supports Reason.

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