Americans Agree Infrastructure Needs Fixing, Can’t Agree on How to Pay For It
A few weeks ago, I penned a blog post titled “America’s Crumbling Transportation System and how it Affects Auto Transporters.” The post was a brief, if not compelling, piece designed to raise people’s awareness of just how bad our infrastructure has gotten, since Congress has done little to fix the problems that ail not just auto shippers, but regular motorists like you and me. A failing system of roads across the country is leading to higher rates of accidents, slower delivery times for transportation companies (including car shipping companies), and an increase in damages to existing vehicles, both personal and commercial alike. And while a majority of American believe that this is a problem that needs to be fixed – roughly sixty percent, according to the Detroit Bureau – the question remains: how to actually pay for it.
Federal fuel taxes – 18.4 cents per gallon of gasoline and 24.4 cents per gallon of diesel – haven’t been raised in close to 20 years, and this is in spite of the price hikes that we’ve all been seeing since the turn of the 21st century. Call it greed, call it inflation, call it what you will, but the lack of a federal gas tax increase has led to some stark realizations about our infrastructure, raising questions that are getting harder and harder to handle. Congress managed to pass a new spending bill for the Department of Transportation, which is surprising in and of itself; however, the bill is a stop-gap, more than anything, and this is what has auto transporters worried. Without a concrete spending bill, many areas of the country, particularly California, New York, Florida and Texas – the top-four largest auto transport markets in the country – will likely still see major problems with their own roadways, be they state highways or parts of the Interstate Highway System, even though the DOT just got an additional $10.8 million. The biggest problem is agreeing on how we’re going to pay for repairs and construction of new, updated roadways; many Americans don’t believe that an increase in taxes are the way to go, and one could argue that Congress is just following the will of the people, as ironic as that may sound.
So where will the money come from? Auto shippers are having a harder time getting to where they need to go, as traffic jams and pileups are becoming increasingly common across the country. Traffic leads to idling, and idling wastes fuel, which leads to more stops at the pump to refuel, more money spent in overhead, and in turn higher car transport prices for you and me. This is a problem that definitely needs to be fixed – but how to go about it? Right now, taxes don’t look like the way to go. Some states are turning to private corporations, but that just turns the problem over to someone else, who ultimately will end up billing individual state governments for the work – a problem that might just be like letting out snakes to solve a rodent problem. Will state governments just pile on the debt, this time to private corporations? It’s a problem seemingly without a solution, especially considering that no one wants higher taxes at this point.
Auto transporters and other commercial enterprises that rely on long-haul trucking are seeing some of the biggest problems as a result. Damaged roads can lead to damaged rigs, which can put an auto transport company completely out of business, as many of them are owner-operators. For the companies that operate large fleets, damaged haulers lead to lost revenues and higher costs for maintenance, and in this day and age that’s a bigger problem than in years past. Add onto that the higher prices being paid already for fuel and regular maintenance, and it’s a problem that will only continue to get worse. If you’re looking for auto transport quotes, it might not be a bad idea to get them before the prices start really skyrocketing – you can fill out our free online quote form and get multiple quotes e-mailed to you completely free of charge, and you can always call our toll-free telephone number at 800-930-7417 to speak to one of our live agents, who can answer your questions and also help you navigate our quote form if need be.