The majority of Americans would support road-usage fees to help fund transportation costs, according to a recent opinion survey by infrastructure solutions firm HNTB.
HNTB’s Transportation Mobility 2016 survey found that 65% of Americans support options such as mileage-based fees to fund infrastructure improvements.
And close to 69% of Americans surveyed agreed that priced managed lanes should be considered when making improvements to U.S. highways.
“The growing recognition that new ways are needed to pay the costs of maintaining and building our transportation infrastructure, shows Americans understand the fundamental shifts in funding infrastructure are happening,” said Matthew Click, ACIP, HNTB national director of priced managed lanes and vice president. “More and more people realize that road-usage fees options are needed to fill the gaps resulting from declining ability of federal gas taxes to provide needed funds.”
Respondents' age was also a factor in the shift in how infrastructure should be funded over the next ten years. Millennials preferred increased taxes to user fees instead of fuel taxes while Baby Bboomers were still in favor of fuel taxes. Millennials and Gen-Xers were also shown to be more likely than Baby Boomers and seniors to prefer paying for local infrastructure needs through higher property taxes.
“The use of traditional approaches, such as federal gas taxes, sales and property taxes, continue to be favored by certain segments of the population,” said Click.
Again, younger – ages 18-24 - generations surveyed showed a preference for mileage-based user fees as well at 77% vs. 63% of older Americans. Younger generations also showed that they valued increased public transportation as a way to reduce traffic congestion.
“The differences among younger Americans from their older counterparts in how to fund infrastructure is likely a reflection of their increased reliance on public transit over private automobiles, and a lower rate of home ownership than older Americans,” said Click.
HNTB’s America Thinks Transportation Mobility 2016 survey was conducted among 1,002 nationally representative American adults. The survey was conducted suing an email invitation and online survey.