"Everything they're doing is designed to drive things to privatization," Rep. Peter DeFazio, Chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure highways and transit subcommittee told the Washington Post. He was speaking about the Bush administration and its appointees at the Department of Transportation, who the paper says, are doing everything possible to move the national transportation infrastructure towards privatization and therefore pay-per-use charging.
Through a system of taxes, incentives, legislation and earmarks, the privatization of our road network is drawing rapidly nearer. This will mean an increase in both toll roads and congestion charging as public transportation suffers from the lack of investment as its channeled elsewhere.
The WaPo goes on to explain that while this policy is heavily criticized, a large investment in the road network is needed and drivers are going to be the ones paying for it, either through tolls and similar charges, or through increased fuel taxes. But, as the price of fuel skyrockets, it's looking increasingly unlikely that it'll be the latter.
We don't necessarily think that road pricing is a bad thing, but would like to see a substantial portion of the money raised reinvested in public transportation. Encouraging rather than forcing people to pursue alternative means of commuting. [Via The Washington Post]
Photography credit: Andrew Ciscel