Photo: U.S. Department of Transportation

Photo: U.S. Department of Transportation

The American Trucking Associations has formed a panel consisting of 10 top executives of major motor carriers and the president of a state motor carrier association that its has charged with evaluating approaches to financing highway-infrastructure improvements.

 The Infrastructure Funding Task Force had first been floated by ATA President and CEO Chris Spear back in early October at the group’s annual meeting.

At the time, Spear said he was aiming to launch the panel early next year “but with infrastructure spending likely to be one of the first policy efforts undertaken by the incoming Trump Administration, the time is right to begin this important work now,” he said in a Dec. 12 statement. 

“These individuals have been asked by the leadership of ATA to evaluate all potential sources of funding for our roads and bridges,” noted Spear.

Indeed, according to Spear, creating the panel does not mean ATA is abandoning its "historic support" for the fuel tax or opposition to tolling existing highways. "It does mean that we will be looking at alternatives to help the new administration develop long-term, sustainable infrastructure funding.” 

The Task Force is slated to meet for the first time on December 19. Its members are:

  • Jim Burg, president and CEO, James Burg Trucking Co. (Co-chair)
  • David Congdon, CEO, Old Dominion Freight Line (Co-chair)
  • Mike Ducker, president and CEO, FedEx Freight
  • Eric Fuller, COO, U.S. Xpress Inc.
  • Neal Kedzie, president, Wisconsin Motor Carriers Association
  • Rich McArdle, president, UPS Freight
  • Dennis Nash, CEO, Kenan Advantage Group
  • Tonn Ostergard, president and CEO, Crete Carrier Corp.
  • John Smith, chairman, CRST International Inc.
  • Paul Will, chairman, Celadon Group Inc.
  • Kevin Burch, ATA chairman and president, Jet Express Inc.  

“Having well-maintained, congestion-free highways is very important to our industry,” said ATA Chairman Kevin Burch. “Trucks move 70% of the nation’s goods, and while our industry already pays a significant amount in state and federal user fees, we are prepared to contribute more because it is an investment in safety and efficiency.

"This Task Force will point the way for ATA as the nation debates the important question of how to pay for these important projects," he added. 

Related: ATA Ready to Roll with Political Tide

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David Cullen

David Cullen

[Former] Business/Washington Contributing Editor

David Cullen comments on the positive and negative factors impacting trucking – from the latest government regulations and policy initiatives coming out of Washington DC to the array of business and societal pressures that also determine what truck-fleet managers must do to ensure their operations keep on driving ahead.

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