U.S. Sens. Cynthia Lummis (R-WY) and Mark Kelly (D-AZ) introduced a bill Monday that would study changes in how Americans use highways.
For the first time in 25 years, the Highway Cost Allocation Study Act of 2021 would require the Secretary of the Department of Transportation to study vehicular highway use. That information would then be used to determine how to address the Highway Trust Fund’s revenue shortfalls in its upcoming reauthorization cycle.
“Today, we have over 50 million more vehicles on the road than we did in 1997,” Lummis said. “It’s critical that we understand how this significant increase is impacting our highway system so we can build a stronger, safer, and more efficient system, with a plan to fund it, for the future. This is a bipartisan issue, and I’m proud to be working with Senator Mark Kelly of Arizona to look at how our highway system’s use has changed in the last 24 years and how we can make it better for the next 24 years.”
The bill would give the Transportation Secretary up to four years to conduct the study that would coordinate with state departments of transportation to look at costs associated with the federal highway system and determine the costs of highway use by various types of users.
“As an engineer and astronaut, my career has taught me about the importance of having the data to tackle a complex issue,” Kelly said. “I’m working with Senator Lummis to get the facts about our highways to make sure we continue making the investments needed to grow our economy in Arizona and across the U.S.”